Tooth pain, tooth abscesses, cracked, broken, or even a knocked-out tooth…these kinds of dental emergencies don’t always happen during regular business hours or when it is convenient to make an appointment to see your dentist. These types of urgent dental concerns can happen in the evenings, on the weekend, and on vacation. Some seemingly urgent dental problems can wait, but others really do need to be taken on as soon as possible.
Some dental issues can seem like an emergency because they are a little uncomfortable, or annoying. A chipped or cracked tooth that isn’t bleeding and doesn’t cause pain is the kind of problem that can wait a short while for an appointment. A chipped or cracked tooth does need to be taken care of sooner than later, but it does not require an emergency visit. Likewise, lost or broken fillings, bridges, and crowns are also dental discomforts that, in the majority of cases, may also wait for an appointment during regular business hours. A young child who has a baby tooth knocked out doesn’t usually need to be seen on an emergency basis. If you have a toothache, but it is not excruciating and can be controlled with over the counter pain meds, this is also not considered a true dental emergency. If you are unsure if your particular dental issue needs emergency dental care, call the Idaho Falls Comfort Care Dental office for more information.
Some dental emergencies do require urgent dental care and can be seen at the Idaho Falls office. If the patient has been in an accident or sustained an injury to the jaw that is severe, an emergency room visit may be to make sure the bones are not broken. If the jaw seems to be alright, but one or more teeth have been loosened or knocked out, that is definitely an emergency situation that needs urgent dental care. Loosened or knocked-out teeth can often be saved if dental care is acquired right away. A severe toothache or abscessed tooth will also qualify as an urgent dental concern. If over the counter meds do not help a toothache and the pain is severe, a dentist can help with that on an emergency basis. It is possible the tooth is infected and the pain will not subside until the infection has been addressed. If you have an abscess, which can appear as a swollen bump or very sore spot on the gum tissue, it is an infection that can cause a great deal of pain and damage to dental tissues. In some cases, the infection can spread to other parts of the body, so it really is an emergency to get this dental issue resolved. While a chipped tooth isn’t usually an urgent situation, sometimes a broken tooth is. If a broken or chipped tooth is causing a great deal of pain, or if it seems the tooth could become infected if not treated right away, urgent dental care could be necessary. If any of these situations come up for you, call the Comfort Care Dental office in Idaho Falls to receive information and urgent dental care.
At the current time, communities all over the world are dealing with the health crises of COVID-19. Understandably, some dental offices may be refraining from some unnecessary services temporarily. Emergency dental care in Idaho Falls may follow these guidelines. The American Dental Association has recommended some guidelines for dental professionals to consider. Part of this guidance is an examination of what constitutes dental emergencies during this time. The ADA’s guidance (which can be found here) is clear:
“Examples of urgent dental care treatments, which should be treated as minimally invasively as possible, include:
• Severe dental pain from pulpal inflammation.
• Pericoronitis or third-molar pain.
• Surgical postoperative osteitis or dry socket dressing changes.
• Abscess or localized bacterial infection resulting in localized pain and swelling.
• Tooth fracture resulting in pain or causing soft tissue trauma.
• Dental trauma with avulsion/luxation.
• Dental treatment cementation if the temporary restoration is lost, broken, or causing gingival irritation.
Other emergency dental care includes extensive caries or defective restorations causing pain; suture removal; denture adjustments on radiation/oncology patients; denture adjustments or repairs when function impeded; replacing temporary filling on endo access openings in patients experiencing pain; and snipping or adjustments of an orthodontic wire or appliances piercing or ulcerating the oral mucosa.” In addition, the ADA also gave guidance on what does not necessarily make up a dental emergency as well:
“The American Dental Association recognizes the unprecedented and extraordinary circumstances dentists and all health care professionals face related to growing concern about COVID-19,” according to the March 16 statement from ADA President Chad P. Gehani. “Concentrating on emergency dental care will allow us to care for our emergency patients and alleviate the burden that dental emergencies would place on hospital emergency departments.”
Non-Emergency dental procedures, according to the Association, include but are not limited to:
• Initial or periodic oral examinations and recall visits, including routine radiographs.
• Routine dental cleaning and other preventive therapies.
• Orthodontic procedures other than those to address acute issues (e.g., pain, infection, trauma).
• Extraction of asymptomatic teeth.
• Restorative dentistry including treatment of asymptomatic carious lesions.
• Aesthetic dental procedures.” (Also from this article from the ADA)
If you find yourself with dental pain or have an accident or injury that requires dental care in Idaho Falls, call the office of Comfort Care Dental for more information on how to get the urgent care you need.