Having a dental emergency? Call us!
We understand that dental emergencies don't always happen during regular business hours. We're open on Saturdays and here for you when you need us most.
Everyone at the office is very friendly and helpful, and the technicians are great. I feel like Westerville Dental is very much on top of the latest screening and monitoring techniques, and I really appreciate the thoroughness of the appointments in terms of measuring gum health as well as tooth health. I chose this place when I moved down here based on the good reviews, and I haven't been disappointed.
So professional AND friendly. I know that I am getting the best care for my whole family. Plus, the waiting area is beautiful and comfortable--like a living room!--with a special area for young ones to read and draw on the chalk boards.
So glad I found this office when I moved back to Ohio. I’ve had so many bad experiences at the dentist, this place is understanding and open to my questions, they explain everything and it really seems like they care. They also have an open and inviting waiting room that is beautiful.
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When you have a dental emergency, you need the help of a dentist right away. But what exactly is a dental emergency? The answer may surprise you.
There were more than 2 million emergency department visits for dental emergencies in 2018. Fortunately, 95 percent of patients were treated and released, and only 5 percent were admitted to the hospital.
Visiting a hospital emergency department for a dental emergency can be expensive and time-consuming. To help patients get the affordable care they need right away, some dental offices now offer emergency dentistry.
Dental Emergencies are Life-threatening or Cause Serious Pain
A dental emergency is a problem with your teeth, gums or tongue that causes significant pain or is life-threatening.
While life-threatening dental emergencies are uncommon today, they do happen. Life-threatening dental emergencies include:
- A dental problem that causes uncontrolled bleeding
- A spreading dental infection
- Trauma to the mouth that could affect the airway
Other dental problems may not be life-threatening, but are considered dental emergencies. These dental problems include:
- Severe toothache pain that does not respond to pain relievers or antibiotic medication
- Trauma that knocks one or more teeth completely out of the mouth
- Trauma that exposes the tooth’s nerve
- Cracked teeth
- Infection or swelling around a newly-emerged wisdom tooth
- Placement of a final crown restoration when the temporary one is lost or is causing problems
- A biopsy of potentially cancerous lesion in the patient’s mouth
- Dental infection of either a tooth or gums with localized gum swelling
Conditions that Cause Dental Emergencies
An abscess is an infection that develops in your gums, around the roots of your teeth. Abscesses can damage the tissues of your mouth and the surrounding teeth. Left untreated, the infection can spread to the rest of your body to cause sepsis, which is a serious and life-threatening condition. People with weakened immune systems from chronic conditions or treatments are at special risk for developing sepsis.
Symptoms of an abscess that requires emergency care include pain and swelling in the mouth or gums.
Certain mouth injuries have the potential for complications, and should therefore be considered dental emergencies.
Chipped, broken or dislodged teeth
Chipped, broken or dislodged teeth can damage inner cheeks, tongue, lips or gums; exposed pulp can attract bacteria that cause infection that can travel to the root holding the tooth in place.
You could benefit from emergency dental care if your damaged or dislodged tooth or teeth damages oral tissues or the pulp has been exposed.
Bitten tongue or lips
Bitten tongues or lips are usually the result of a fall or jolt to the face. If the damage is minimal, the body could heal itself.
Seek emergency care if the damage is larger than ¼ of an inch or if you have soft tissue damage that is painful or bleeds for 10 minutes or longer.
Lost fillings and crowns
A lost crown can create a jagged edge that could do further damage to your mouth; a lost filling can leave the tooth vulnerable to an infection that can spread quickly.
Seek emergency care if a lost crown causes jagged edges or if the injured tooth is painful, swollen, or bleeding profusely.
Eating or drinking very hot foods or beverages can burn the roof of your mouth and cause painful blisters. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can help keep your mouth clean and speed the healing process. Rinsing with a topical anesthetic mouth rinse and taking over-the-counter painkillers can relieve the discomfort of mouth burns and blisters.
Get emergency care if the blisters break and you develop deep infections in the lesions the broken blisters leave behind, or if the blisters do not heal within a few days.
While most toothaches are not dental emergencies, some can be an indication of something more serious. A toothache may be a sign of an infection, for example, which can spread quickly to the rest of your body without proper care.
Seek emergency care if your toothache is the result of an infection in the tooth or the root of a tooth.
Loose and broken braces are a common problem for people who wear braces, but they can become serious if the bracket irritates or injures any part of your mouth.
Get emergency care if loose or broken braces or other orthodontic appliances cause injury, infection, or severe pain. Seek help right away if you have been in an accident or have sustained a blow to your face that causes profuse bleeding.
Should I go to the hospital?
All true dental emergencies need immediate care, either from a hospital or dentist. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if a trip to the hospital or dentist is really needed.
Before going to the hospital emergency department or seeking emergency dental care, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I in severe pain? Severe pain is signs of an emergency – seek help right away, as severe pain may be a sign of a serious problem
- Am I bleeding from my mouth? Bleeding is a sign of emergency – seek help right away to reduce blood loss
- Have I lost a tooth? Immediate dental treatment could potentially save your tooth
- Do I have loose teeth? If you are an adult, you should never have a loose tooth. Even if it does not hurt, a loose tooth is a serious problem
- Do I have signs of an infection? Signs of a dental infection include swelling or bumps on your gums, or swelling around your face
- Am I bleeding from the mouth? This is a potential sign of an emergency
If you answered yes to any of these questions, get emergency assistance right away. Contact or call Westerville Dental Associates at 614.705.0791 right away – we will schedule an emergency appointment for you or we will advise you on what to do for your dental emergency.