If you suffer a dental emergency in Edmonton or Calgary, you can expect doctors and staff at Dental Choice to help you as soon as possible. We are equipped to provide treatment for most general dental emergencies including loose and fractured teeth, toothaches, abscesses and infections among many other conditions. Our emergency dentists are also available to be contacted for follow up care. Please note, Dental Choice offices have a wide range of operating hours and availability but we are not a 24/7 service provider. When you experience a true dental emergency, please contact us immediately. If your emergency cannot wait until normal operating hours, please contact your local hospital.
Dental emergencies can occur at any time, such as participating in contact sports like hockey or football. If you’ve suffered a broken tooth or have had a tooth knocked out, it’s important to contact an emergency dentist immediately. If your tooth has been knocked out, try to gently insert it into the socket and hold it there until you reach the dentist’s office. If you are unable to do so, place the tooth in a glass of milk or water and bring it with you to a dentist as quickly as possible.
Types of Dental Emergencies
Common dental emergencies include:
- chipped front teeth
- acute sensitivity
- broken fillings
- broken crowns
- local swelling
- facial swelling
- pain at night
- painful wisdom teeth
Dental injuries can also occur at times when and places where they’re least expected. Sometimes an individual may suddenly feel severe pain and have no idea why. In many of these cases, the individual has suffered a cracked tooth. This condition can be caused by many factors such as teeth grinding, wear and tear, and uneven chewing pressure.
Urgent Care services are available in Calgary and Edmonton Dental Choice offices.
Here are tips on what to do when you are experiencing any of the following dental emergencies:
Broken or Chipped Teeth
If you have a broken or chipped tooth, it’s important to first rinse out your mouth thoroughly, as well as any pieces of the tooth you may be able to collect and save. If there is bleeding, apply pressure to the area with gauze until the bleeding stops, which usually takes about 10 minutes or so. If there is swelling and/or you are in pain, gently apply a cold compress on your cheek area or wherever around your mouth that is closest to the broken tooth.
If the tooth was knocked out, try to retrieve and preserve it, and come in for a dental appointment as soon as possible. Teeth with the best chance of being successfully replaced in their socket are those that are returned within an hour of being knocked out. You can preserve the tooth by putting it in a small container of milk, or water with a small amount of salt.
If the tooth is partially dislodged, you will also want to make a dental appointment for as early as possible. To ease the pain in the interim, you can take a pain reliever such as Tylenol and/or apply a cold compress on the outside of the mouth near the affected area.
An abscess is an infection that forms in the space between the teeth and the gums or around the root of the tooth. To help with pain and swelling, Ibuprofen may be taken. However, you will need to be placed on antibiotics to properly combat the infection. It is important to see your dentist to get started on antibiotics as soon as possible, because abscesses can cause major damage to the teeth and gums and also spread if left untreated.
Lost/Broken Filling or Crown
When it comes to fillings and crowns, if they are lost or broken, they will ultimately need to be replaced. To help the pain in the meantime, place a small amount of clove oil on a cotton swab and gently apply it to the area. You can also try to put the crown back over the tooth using toothpaste or denture adhesive to help keep it in place, but it’s important not to force it.
Bleeding Gums, Cheek, Lips or Tongue
When people think of dental emergencies, most usually think about issues involving the teeth. But problems with the rest of the mouth may constitute a dental emergency as well. If you are experiencing bleeding as a result of an injury to the gums, cheek, lips or tongue, these steps may help:
- Rinse your mouth with a mixture of water and salt to help sterilize the area.
- Apply pressure to the bleeding site for 15-20 minutes using a piece of gauze.
- Place a cold compress on the outside of the cheek or mouth to help alleviate pain and swelling. Keep the compress there for about 5-10 minutes.
What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?
Many things can constitute a dental emergency. Even if you’re not sure what happened, but you feel severe pain in your gum or tooth, it’s important to get in touch with an emergency dentist right away. A few examples of dental emergencies when you should contact your dentist right away include:
- Gums that won’t stop bleeding
- Jaw injuries, including dislocation or possible fractures
- Extreme sensitivity of the tooth
- Throbbing toothache that does not let up
If your tooth has been knocked out of your mouth, that is also an emergency. You should contact your dentist right away, as you may have a chance to save the tooth if you act quickly.
Many people worry about inconveniencing the dentist, but we would prefer that you call us to discuss your issues than ignore them or wait for them to go away. A quick call to our dentists in Calgary or Edmonton allows you to ask questions and get answers on how to deal with your condition.
For instance, if you have a small chip in your tooth, we may advise you that an emergency appointment is not necessary. Those issues won’t likely get worse if you wait a few weeks to visit the dentist.
Whether you’re in Calgary or Edmonton, an emergency dental practice can quickly evaluate the problem and decide on the best course of action. If there’s no time to treat the tooth fully, the dentist will offer you a quick temporary solution to stop the pain as you wait for a longer dental appointment.
If you are experiencing non-emergent tooth pain, you may want to consider our tooth removal services at our Edmonton office. You can address your pain without the urgency of an emergency visit, but you can still get the issue taken care of quickly.
Should I Go to the Hospital for a Dental Emergency?
You may feel tempted to go to the hospital in the event of a dental emergency. Hospitals are fantastic for treating injuries to your body, but for an emergency involving your mouth, seeking treatment from your dentist makes more sense in many cases. Dentists specialize in this type of trauma. They have experience with people experiencing tooth problems.
A dentist can diagnose your emergency issues quickly. They also have access to dental records, such as X-rays, that can help them identify any changes that have occurred in your mouth since your last appointment.
When Should I Go to the Emergency Room vs. the Dentist?
There are times when a visit to the emergency room is preferable to contacting your dentist. If you have a dental emergency as well as another possible condition, or the dental emergency has sparked an issue involving an underlying condition, then you should head to the emergency room. Some examples include:
- Trauma to the head resulting in the tooth issue, if you suspect you sustained a concussion
- Your mouth pain is impacting your ability to swallow or breathe
- You suspect a fractured or dislocated jaw
A physician will need to treat these issues, so going to the hospital is recommended.
What Is Treated at an Urgent Dental Center?
Your dentist can treat a range of issues when you visit their office. Most dentists have a thriving preventative practice, and they can manage just about any dental need, including emergencies.
Some of the things you can get checked out when you come to our dentists in Calgary and Edmonton include:
- A tooth that has come loose or been knocked out of the mouth
- Painful, unrelenting toothache
- Swollen face as well as a toothache
- Gum bleeding
If you encounter any of these problems, you may have a dental emergency. You should call the office of an experienced dentist.
Should I Wait Until Normal Hours to Contact My Dentist?
In case of a dental emergency, you should contact the dentist as soon as possible. The faster you react to the emergency, the higher your chances of saving your tooth. Specific examples of dental emergencies that require immediate medical or dental help include broken teeth, a fractured jaw, teeth that have been knocked out, and any other type of severe pain in your gums or teeth.
When you call the dentist to report an emergency, do your best to accurately describe how you’re feeling. This will help the dentist prepare for your arrival. Never hesitate to contact a dentist if you’re having a dental emergency.
How Do I Know If I Should Wait or Call?
Even if you think the dental office is closed, go ahead and make a call. You can either use our emergency number or follow the instructions on the answering machine. Most of our dentists leave slots in their schedules to handle such emergency cases. If none of these options work, visit a local emergency room as soon as you can.
What Kind of Treatment Will I Receive for a Dental Emergency?
The kind of treatment performed following a dental emergency depends on the complexity of the situation. Some issues may be addressed with simple interventions. Others, such as tooth loss or fractured jaws, may require oral surgery. Our staff will determine whether the emergency can wait for the dentist to arrive and provide pain medication to help reduce symptoms while you wait.
If you think you’re having a dental emergency, contact Dental Choice at our offices in Calgary or Edmonton as soon as possible. If you call while we’re closed and reach our voicemail, you may need to call the provided after-hours number. Depending on the severity of your dental emergency, the dentist may be able to meet you at the office.
The first priority of a dentist is to alleviate pain. Later, treatments such as dental bonding, dental crowns, dental bridges, or dental implants may be necessary to fully repair the damaged or lost tooth.
A dentist at one of our offices in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta is ready to assist if you have suffered a dental injury. Contact a Dental Choice office whenever a dental emergency occurs in Edmonton or Calgary.
For information on our other General Dentistry services, check out the pages below: