In general dentistry, urgent care can mean a variety of things. A broken tooth, an injury to the soft tissues of the mouth, or an injury that results in the loss of a tooth or dislocation of the jaw, are all types of emergencies that may require an emergency visit to the dentist.
The severity of an injury determines whether or not it is a true emergency. Some people may try to “tough it out” and wait until their dentist’s office reopens. However, in certain situations, seeing the dentist immediately may save a tooth or prevent further damage from occurring. Breaking a tooth off at the base or soft tissue damage that results in profuse bleeding and possible tooth loss are injuries that should be seen as quickly as possible.
A knocked out tooth or bitten tongue can cause panic in any parent, but quick thinking and staying calm are the best ways to approach such common dental emergencies and prevent additional damage and costly dental restoration. This includes taking measures such as applying cold compresses to reduce swelling, and of course, contacting our office as soon as possible.
While any injury is serious, when a child receives a dental injury, the ramifications may be permanent. When a child has an accident and a baby tooth is damaged, not much is typically done in the way of repairs. However, if a permanent tooth is damaged, a dentist will often go to great lengths to ensure that repairs are made quickly and efficiently to preserve the integrity of the tooth. Children are also much less likely to be able to handle the pain and discomfort associated with an injury to the face.
In most cases, the decision to wait for dental treatment rests on how much pain and discomfort is associated with the injury. If a risk of permanent tooth loss or lasting damage to the structure of the mouth exists, a patient should take the initiative and seek urgent care treatment.