Sports and other fitness related activities are some of the most common things people do that results in the need for emergency dental care. While many preventative measures might be followed, accidents can still happen, especially when participating in higher contact sports like football and hockey.
While majority of these kinds of injuries happen to children involved in sports, the reality is that many adults participate in leagues and pick up games for a variety of sports that can lead to dental injuries. The most important thing to understand is what kinds of dental injuries, whether young or old, constitute a dental emergency.
For many, knowing the difference between an emergency and non-emergency can help you avoid costly and unnecessary trips to the emergency room. If you’re unsure, it is critical you speak to your dentist. But here is some info on common emergency situations and non-emergency injuries.
Emergency Dental Injuries
Pain, bleeding and nerve damage are the greatest indicators of an emergency situation. If you have experienced a dental injury and are experiencing any of these issues, you must contact your dentist immediately. Many dentists block time in their schedule 7-days a week to handle emergency requests or are “on-call” to handle your emergency needs.
If you’ve attempted to contact your dentist, but are unable to get ahold of them or they are not available to see you, you should immediately head to the emergency room in order to receive a professional opinion and get treated for the injury.
In some cases, even if there is no bleeding or pain, a severely cracked took will require immediate attention by a professional. Also, injuries that occur after a tooth extraction can be dangerous to the long-term health of your mouth. In almost all cases, you should consult a professional ASAP after a dental injury.
Non-Emergency Dental Injuries
Dental injuries that result in minor chips, cracks and fractures can sometimes be handled during the regular business hours of your dentist. There is no clear-cut rule for how to know if you have a emergency, which is why even if you aren’t experiencing pain, bleeding or and nerve damage, you should still consult a professional.
Some dentists even offer you the ability to reach them via text message, where you can share a picture of the injury during non-work hours and have your dentist examine the picture. In many cases, that could be enough information to allow your dentist to provide a recommendation that might save you the time and money associated with an emergency room visit.
Rule of Thumb – Speak to a Dentist
No matter the severity, any dental injury should be reviewed by a professional as soon as possible. If you’re unable to reach your dentist or they aren’t available to see you, see if there is a way to share a picture or speak with your dentist remotely. And if that isn’t an option, an emergency room visit might be required. Even if you find the injury is minor, at least at that point you can have peace of mind.