You or your loved one may experience a dental emergency, but how do you know who to call in the event? It’s a tough question to answer. In some cases, your dentist can handle dental emergencies. In other cases, you want to head to the emergency room first. In this article, Concord Smile is going to give you some guidelines on which to go to first, the dental office or the emergency room.

When Should You Visit the Emergency Room?

You should head to the emergency room if you’ve experienced a dental emergency that involves the mouth, face, head, or neck. If immediate medical attention is needed, it’s a trip to the emergency room for you. Jaw breaks, fractures, or dislocations; serious cuts, lacerations, or wounds; or an abscess that affects your breathing are all reasons to head straight to the emergency room. While there are dozens more reasons to choose the ER first, you’ll want to ask yourself if the injury is life threatening. Head to the emergency room if the answer is “maybe” or “yes.”

When Should You Visit Your Dentist for an Emergency?

While some dental emergencies may not be life-threatening, they still require immediate attention and care. If you crack, break, or fracture a tooth, it needs attention. Did you knock out a tooth? You will want to see a dentist. What’s more, an abscess or infected tooth may be painful, but it may not require you to go to the emergency room. If the abscess or infection does not negatively affect your breathing then you can call your dentist and schedule an emergency appointment.

Other Dental Concerns That May Require an Emergency Visit

Whether you choose to go to the emergency room or call your dentist, there are a few other dental concerns that you should be aware of. In some cases, these concerns require no emergency visit. In most cases, seeing your dentist as soon as possible is the recommended course of action — unless of course the concern is threatening your life, then you should go to the emergency room.

  • Bleeding gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Swollen jaw
  • Migraine

What if Your Dentist Isn’t Available?

In some cases, life happens outside of your dentist’s business hours. This is common. You are enjoying a weekend outside and you happen to knock a tooth out, or you decide to try a new crunchy snack while watching a movie and it cracks your tooth. Should you call your dentist, or should you wait until their office is open? In any non-life-threatening dental emergency, call your dentist’s office and leave a message.

Concord Smile: Your Smile Matters

Whether you end up in the emergency room, at the dental office, or with an ice pack at home, you want to take care of your smile. Your teeth are an asset that offers you opportunities in your social and professional life. What’s more, a healthy mouth is advantageous for supporting a healthy body. Call to schedule an appointment today!