How to Identify a True Dental Emergency

How to Identify a True Dental Emergency

Team General Dentistry

There are dental offices that provide services for dental emergencies, especially on the weekend or at night, when many offices are closed. However, it can be difficult to know what counts as a true dental emergency and what conditions or symptoms could wait to be discussed at a regular dental appointment. Here are some of the signs of a true dental emergency. If you experience any one of these situations, it is important that you seek dental care right away.

Tooth Loss

Unless you are a child losing a primary tooth, losing a permanent or “adult” tooth is a dental emergency that requires swift action to save the tooth. If you lose a tooth, try to hold the tooth in its place until you make it to the dentist’s office ASAP. Try to avoid holding it by the root and instead hold the tooth by the crown. The sooner you can get to your dentist’s office, the better the outcome.

Extreme Pain

Nobody wants to be in pain. If you have extreme tooth or jaw pain that an over the counter pain medication can’t fix, it is important to head over to the emergency dentist to have it checked out. It could be a sign that something more significant is wrong. If you have pain that can be controlled by a pain reliever, it is still important to see your dentist as soon as you can during regular office hours. Make sure to mention the tooth pain to the receptionist when you call to see if you can get an earlier appointment.

Tooth Abscess or Pus

If you find pus in your mouth or suspect a tooth abscess, you can expect to need antibiotics. Even if you don’t have pain, pus is a sign of infection. It is imperative that you get treatment as soon as possible to eliminate the pain and the infection. If left untreated, a tooth abscess can lead to further dental problems.


If your jawline or gumline looks abnormally puffy or swollen, you should go to the emergency dentist. Inflammation can be a sign of an infection. If you go to the dentist and they can’t find an issue, they may recommend treatment with your primary care physician or the hospital, depending on the severity of the symptoms. Going to the emergency dentist can be a great first step to resolve the issue.

Cracked or Chipped Tooth

A cracked or chipped tooth is one of the most common dental emergencies dentists repair. With a cracked tooth, nerves can be exposed, which can cause further pain. If left untreated, the crack could worsen and lead to tooth loss.

Nobody wants to experience a dental emergency. However, if you notice any of these symptoms, it is critical that you see an emergency dentist as soon as you can. This is true even if you can’t see your regular dentist.

Ultimate Dentistry is dedicated to each patient’s individual dental needs, from restoring damaged or missing teeth to cosmetic smile enhancement. We serve the entire Long Island area, and we offer convenient evening and Saturday appointments as well as emergency care. Call us today at 516-798-0223 to schedule an appointment.