A dental emergency can include extreme tooth pain, severe infection or an abscess near a tooth, or any type of injury or trauma to the face or mouth that requires immediate medical attention. It can be difficult to determine whether the emergency is dental or medical, but most hospitals have dentists and oral surgeons on hand who are able to handle many of the more severe types of dental trauma. Injuries such as broken, cracked, or lost teeth, however, usually fall into the categories of dental and can be treated by a qualified dentist or dental surgeon. If an injury occurs, seeing a dentist as soon as possible is recommended.
If a tooth has been knocked out, there are many instances where it can be returned to the socket and re-established. The root of the tooth must still be attached and transported to the dentist in milk or water to prevent it from drying out. Time is of the essence if the procedure is to be a success. It is important that both the patient and the tooth arrive at the dentist's office as soon as possible. The dentist will clean the area and then reinsert the tooth into the socket. It may take several days for the tooth to become re-established. The tooth may continue to feel loose until the jawbone has started to heal around the root and can effectively hold it in place.
If a person has damaged a tooth or received any other type of dental trauma, the first thing they need to do is contact their dentist's office to find out if there is any availability. In most emergency cases, the dentist will have the patient come in to be evaluated. If it is dire that the problem is corrected immediately, such as a lost or broken tooth, the doctor will more than likely make allowances and the treat the patient at that time. If the emergency is more medical in nature, the dentist may have the patient continue to the nearest emergency room. If the patient can be stabilized, the dentist may temporarily fix the problems and send the patient home until the next available appointment time.