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What Constitutes a Dental Emergency? What to do in a Dental Emergency

February 5, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — nawrockidmdteam @ 8:19 pm

Dental emergencies often are not the same as medical emergencies. We would love to discuss the reasons for this. At Matthew Nawrocki DMD, MS, we are dedicated to providing family, general, cosmetic, prosthodontic, and implant dentistry to the residents of Orange Park FL and surrounding areas. In addition to normal routine visits for these treatments, providing emergency dental treatments are an important aspect of being a provider. But what is a dental emergency? You don’t often think of the emergency room being a place you would see dental patients. Below we have detailed what can be called a dental emergency as well as what to do in the event of an emergency.

What is a Dental Emergency?

Emergencies are normally seen as life or death. Life or death situations do happen in dentistry; however, there are other things that happen in and around the oral cavity that can be considered a dental emergency. Below are a few situations that should be considered a dental emergency

  • Significant swellings – certain areas of swelling should be considered emergencies. Swellings that occur under or around the eyes, underneath the chin, or in certain areas in the mouth can move to danger spaces that can threaten life. The areas in the mouth of concern are the tongue, soft palate, pharynx, or any other places in the mouth or throat that could possibly inhibit breathing.
  • High fever – many infections that appear to be dental related can present with fever. The presence of fever often accompanies a significant infection and should be addressed.
  • Trauma – this is a common reason for dental emergencies. Fractured or displaced teeth, damaged gums, lips, tongue, or any other areas in or around the oral cavity should be evaluated by your dentist. Many of these situations can be mitigated if treated sooner rather than later.

What to do in the Event of a Dental Emergency

If you feel like you have a situation that may constitute a dental emergency, it is important to contact your dentist immediately. If it is off hours, dialing 911 is recommended. Our main goal is to create and maintain the dental health of our patients so a phone call is welcome! In addition to protecting yourself from potentially dangerous situations with swellings or fevers, many problems can have much smaller consequences if treated immediately.

If you or your children play sports, mouthguards are strongly recommended. MouthHealthy has some more information regarding mouthguards. Many studies have shown the protective benefit of mouthguards in sports. The American Dental Association has some information regarding dental emergencies.

If you have any questions or would like to visit for a consult, feel free to contact us electronically or call us any time at (904)602-8396.

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