How Do You Know If It's a Dental Emergency?
Not every problem with your teeth and gums will constitute a dental emergency; you might get a slight cut or might bump your mouth on something, and it will heal quickly enough. However, you also don't want to ignore problems you have with your mouth and teeth and assume that you can or should put off seeing a dentist when you're actually facing an emergency. Note a few times when it's good to visit an emergency dental clinic or 24-hour dentist rather than ignoring a problem in your mouth.
1. When a cut is very severe
If you bite the inside of your cheek or cut your gum on some type of sharp food, this may not be an issue and your mouth might heal within hours or by the next day. When determining if a cut is a dental emergency, however, ask yourself if you would see a doctor for the same type of cut if it was on your hand or forehead. If you would get stitches or any type of medical intervention for the same type of cut anywhere else on your body, you want to visit an emergency dentist for the cut in your mouth. Not only might you need medical intervention to stop the bleeding, but remember that your mouth holds germs and bacteria even with the best oral hygiene routine, so you don't want any type of open cut to go untreated and risk an oral infection.
2. When you lose a cap or crown covering a root canal
If you've had caps or crowns put on your teeth simply for cosmetic reasons, there may not be much danger if one should chip or come off. However, caps and crowns are often put over teeth after a root canal in order to protect the pulp or root of the tooth, as much of the original tooth itself may be cut away in order to reach the tooth root. If this cap or crown should come off, that tooth root or nerve might be exposed. This is not only painful but it could mean allowing bacteria and germs to settle in, and causing damage to the exposed pulp of the tooth. Don't waste time trying to salvage the crown or cap or assuming you can just go without eating solid foods if one goes missing, but visit an emergency dentist to have a crown reapplied and the tooth root protected.