You may have come across the term 'emergency dentist' and wondered what the difference is between your general dentist and an emergency dentist. This article aims to answer questions you might have about emergency dentists.
What Is an Emergency Dentist?
An emergency dentist is just like any other dentist and can perform general dentistry work. The only difference between an emergency dentist and a standard dentist is that an emergency dentist is better equipped to handle emergency dental cases in skill, experience and equipment.
What Are Emergency Dental Cases?
These can be grouped into major and minor dental emergencies:
Major dental emergencies
These are dental problems that involve severe pain, swelling, bleeding and problems that physically feel or visually appear serious.
You might have been in an accident that resulted in an injury to your mouth leading to loss of teeth, gum injury, broken jaw, cracked teeth, loose teeth or something else. All of these injuries can cause severe pain, bleeding and swelling. Since such an accident can also lead to lip, cheek and tongue injuries, you might first see a trauma doctor who might call a surgeon or emergency dentist.
Minor dental emergencies
These are dental problems that need to be treated as soon as possible before they become worse or untreatable. Examples of such conditions include cavities, gingivitis, sensitive teeth, infected gums and teeth and so on.
What Should You Do During a Dental Emergency?
Depending on the nature of the emergency, you can first call your emergency dentist so that he or she can make preparations to receive you at the dental clinic. You can also receive first aid instructions over the phone.
Some dental emergencies can make it difficult for you to speak, especially if you have sustained a severe injury to your mouth. In such a case, you have to rely on someone else to make an emergency call, receive first aid instructions and wait for an ambulance or drive you to the hospital or dental clinic.
If a tooth or some of your teeth have been knocked out, don't try and put them back. Your dentist will tell you what to do with them over the phone. You might be required to rinse them and carry them to the dental clinic so that the dentist can inspect them. The inspection helps the dentist know whether the whole tooth came out or if part of the tooth is still in your gum before requesting an X-ray.