What’s Truly Considered a Dental Emergency?

man tooth pain at home

Have you ever had a dental problem that was bad enough to make you think about calling your dentist for an emergency appointment? No matter what you decided to do, you probably second-guessed your decision at least once.

Dental emergencies can be difficult to define. Today, we’ll take a closer look at what types of situations really need emergency dental treatment.

What is Considered a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency is any dental problem that cannot wait for a more convenient time. There are two main factors that might make a dental problem urgent:

  1. Severe pain
  2. A risk of bad outcomes if treatment is postponed

For example, a severe toothache might be considered a dental emergency if you can’t get the pain under control with over-the-counter medication. Unless you have a dental abscess, treating this problem quickly won’t make much difference to the final outcome. However, it will make a massive difference to your quality of life in the meantime. Forcing you to wait would be considered inhumane, and most other patients would have no problem with you being seen before them anyway.

Sometimes, though, there is a clear need for speedy treatment that has nothing to do with pain. Let’s say you stumble in a parking lot one day and hit your jaw on the asphalt, knocking out one of your teeth. Your mouth hurts a little, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. The real problem is that one of your teeth is no longer attached to your jaw.

If you see a dentist within one hour of that incident, they might be able to get that tooth reattached to its roots. This would qualify as a dental emergency because waiting would make it impossible to replant the tooth. Seeking emergency dental treatment is worth it to preserve the only set of adult teeth you will ever have.

Other Emergency Situations

Even with these guidelines to help you, it can still be difficult to figure out if you really need emergency care. Some other situations that might qualify as a dental emergency include:

  • Sudden severe tooth sensitivity
  • Bleeding in the mouth that won’t stop
  • Unexplained swelling in the mouth
  • A broken filling or crown

In other words, if you think you might need an emergency appointment, you probably do. If you’re not sure, call your dentist and ask! We’ll tell you if you need to be seen right away or if it’s okay to wait a bit.

Get Help for All Your Dental Emergencies

At Coscarella Family Dentistry, we know how much reliable emergency treatment matters to our patients. We maintain 6 days of coverage each week between our two practices to ensure you always have somewhere to turn during dental emergencies. Contact us at 519-969-8171 to request an emergency appointment; we’ll make sure to fit you in as soon as possible.


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South Windsor Clinic

1390 Grand Maris Rd W
Windsor, ON. N9E 1E5

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Windsor, ON. N8S 1T6

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