The last thing you want to do is overreact and seek unnecessary medical care.

But the actual last thing you want to do is have a dental emergency that gets worse because you don’t seek the immediate attention it requires.

When Should You Visit the Emergency Dentist?

If you’re in a position where you think you have a dental emergency but don’t know whether it’s “serious enough” for treatment, check out these tips from our emergency dentist.

For an emergency dentist in the Seattle area, visit First Hill Dental Center today.

Knocked Out Teeth

Whether your daughter got a tooth knocked out during an evening hockey practice or you severely cracked a tooth after biting into a carrot, the situation could qualify as an emergency.

While minor cracks can wait for normal general dentist hours, bigger cracks might necessitate emergency care.

That’s because large, severe cracks expose nerves and also leave us susceptible to infection. The more exposed a tooth socket is, the more painful and serious it is. The same goes for a tooth that was knocked out entirely — you do not want to leave a gaping hole in your mouth for an extended period of time.

In these scenarios, try to keep your tooth as fixed as possible in position so that you do not swallow it. If your tooth does fall out, keep it in milk or saliva. This will keep the tooth in tact to hopefully go back in the mouth.

You can also apply a wet compress, such as a tea bag or gauze, to the affected tooth. This will help with bleeding and can keep the tooth fixed in place.

Severe Tooth Aches

A good rule of thumb is that if you cannot manage your pain on your own, you should probably head to the emergency dentist.

You might have a tooth abscess that needs to be dealt with immediately. If ibuprofen, cold compresses, and your other go-to pain relief treatments aren’t doing the job, it’s a sign that a professional should.

Your body is incredibly smart, and it uses pain as a message to us. It’s best that we listen to that message and seek treatment before things get worse.

Uncontrollable Bleeding

Maybe you cut your tongue or a broken tooth is bleeding uncontrollably. If you cannot stop bleeding on your own, you should consider heading to a dental office.

Methods to stop bleeding in the mouth include:

  • Biting on gauze
  • Biting down on a wet tea bag

It can be normal for an oral wound to bleed for up to 45 minutes. If bleeding continues, though, it might be a sign that something more serious is going on.

Visible Jaw Swelling

If visible swelling is accompanied by pain, difficulty swallowing, and difficulty biting, it’s a sign that you have an oral infection. While this might not seem like an emergency, the infection can easily spread to your jaw, throat, lymph nodes, and other surrounding areas.

It might also signify that you have an abscess, which can be incredibly painful and require immediate dental attention. An emergency dentist can give you antibiotics and deal with the affected area before it starts to affect other areas of the body.

Emergency Dentist Protocol

If you decide that your situation merits a visit to the emergency dentist, it’s best to call your general dentist to see if they offer emergency hours.

If your general dentist does not staff emergency hours, then you should find a local dentist that does.

Give the dental office a heads up about what’s going on, who the patient is, what symptoms they’re experiencing, and how long it will take you to get to the office. This way, the emergency dental staff can prepare for your arrival and know exactly what to expect when you walk in.

First Hill Dental Center in Seattle offers both general and emergency hours, so we’re here around the clock for your dental needs.

First Hill Dental Center in Seattle

As a general dental office in Seattle, First Hill Dental Center offers emergency dental services for the community. We also offer a host of dental services including:

  • Cleanings
  • Fillings
  • Implants
  • Oral surgery
  • Invisalign
  • Endodontics
  • Dentures
  • Periodontics
  • Tissue Grafts

If you’re in need of immediate dental attention, contact our dental office as soon as you can.