Are you currently suffering through a toothache so severe that it’s hard to eat and sleep? Did you recently break or even knock out a tooth by playing sports or eating something crunchy? Whatever the case may be, you need urgent medical attention to deal with your dental predicament. But who exactly should you call: your local ER or your emergency dentist in Coral Springs? The answer actually depends on what type of emergency you have.
When to Go to a Hospital
If your dental emergency involves serious trauma such as jaw fractures or dislocations, deep cuts to your face or mouth, or infection or swelling that impacts your ability to breathe or swallow, then you should absolutely visit the emergency room of your local hospital instead of your dentist. Don’t wait for your dentist to handle a potentially life-threatening situation.
When to See Your Dentist
Some dental emergencies, while not life-threatening, still require care as soon as humanly possible. The main example of this is when you knock out a tooth. In this case, you have an hour at most before the tooth’s chances of being successfully reimplanted decrease significantly.
If you break, crack, or chip a tooth, you still require care in a timely manner, but it’s not as urgent as a knocked-out tooth.
Toothaches generally can wait until you can schedule an appointment with your dentist unless your pain is the result of an injury that causes bleeding. In the meantime, take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Ibuprofen is usually the best thing to take for oral pain. You could also apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth for up to ten minutes at a time. If your discomfort is the result of temperature sensitivity, try using a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.
When Your Dentist Isn’t Available
Dental emergencies can and do occur when your dentist’s office isn’t open. If your dental emergency occurs during this time and it’s not life-threatening, try calling their office anyway. Sometimes they’ll have an emergency hotline set up to provide you with some basic first aid. Even if they don’t, at least leave a voicemail detailing your situation. That way your dentist can get back to you as soon as they open to set up an appointment.
About the Author
Dr. Walter K. Kulick earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. He maintains active memberships in the American Dental Association and the Florida Dental Association. His practice has late hours some days and is even open on Saturdays, just in case you have a dental emergency. If you’re currently suffering through a problem like an intense toothache or a broken tooth, visit Dr. Kulick’s website or call (954) 341-0500.