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How To Know If It’s A Dental Emergency…

When something goes wrong with your teeth, it can be difficult to determine if you should see our West MI emergency dentists immediately or if it’s safe to wait. When you are dealing with a dental issue, your first call should be to our dentists.

Over the years we have seen a high number of patients visit an emergency room instead of seeing a dentist. According to the American Dental Association, most emergency rooms do not have dentists on staff to treat dental emergencies.

Their only option is to prescribe a mild painkiller and sometimes an antibiotic, which do not treat the source of the patient’s pain. Approximately 39% of these patients must return to the emergency room at some point to seek further treatment, as their primary dental needs are not adequately addressed.

In general, any dental problem that is in need of immediate treatment to alleviate severe pain, save a tooth, or stop bleeding would be considered a dental emergency. This example would also apply to severe infections that could be life-threatening.

If you have any of these symptoms, you may very well be experiencing a dental emergency. Call one of our MI Smiles Dental locations immediately and describe your situation.


What is considered a
dental emergency?

  • Severe Dental Pain
  • Painful Tooth Fracture
  • Knocked-Out Teeth
  • Swollen or Bleeding Gums
  • Swollen Jaw or Mouth
  • Abscess of Infection Resulting in Swelling
  • Exposed Nerves
  • Missing Filling or Broken Crown

Does any of the above describe your current situation? Give us a call, our emergency dentists would be happy to help!

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Did You Know…

A tooth infection can spread to other parts of your body and cause further dental issues if left untreated.
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A dental emergency can cause daily life to grind to a halt. Pain, swelling, and other symptoms make it hard, if not impossible for you to focus on work, cherish time with friends and family, and consume a balanced diet. That’s why it is important to seek treatment for your dental emergency as soon as you can — before the problem gets more extensive and leads to potentially life-threatening complications.

But how exactly should you handle these situations? Let’s examine some FAQs regarding urgent oral health problems.


How soon should I see a dentist?

The simple answer, as soon as you can. Receiving quick care is especially important in the case that a tooth was knocked out; if you receive help within an hour or so, it may be possible for our emergency dentists to splint it back in place. In some situations, such as if you lost a filling, you may be able to practice self-care for a day or two before you visit our dentists.


I have a chipped or broken tooth. What should I do?

You may not be experiencing pain, but don’t wait until it hurts! It is important to ensure you see our emergency dentists as soon as possible. The internal and sensitive portions of the tooth may now be exposed to harmful bacteria in the mouth. If the tooth is left unprotected, it may cause new decay.


What is considered a dental emergency?

A dental emergency is defined by pain, a large amount of discomfort, and any sudden swelling. It is important to know that oral health issues rarely solve themselves and they will not just go away.


What happens if I lose a tooth filling?

If a filling fell out recently, it’s important not to panic. Most of the time, losing a filling is not considered a dental emergency, however if you experience pain and sensitivity in the area near or around the lost filling, you should not ignore it. Our emergency dentists advise not to wait longer than 3 days to seek help. When you wait longer than 3 days, your tooth will be left unprotected, which may call for a dental crown to replace it.


What should I do if my tooth was knocked out?

This is cause to see our emergency dentists immediately. Your nerves will likely be exposed and we recommend avoiding touching the tooth. Never touch the tooth by the root as it contains important fibers necessary for proper healing. Instead, grab the tooth by the chewing surface area. Rinse the tooth with tap water, ensuring not to scrub it.

Immediately place the tooth back in the socket, if at all possible. If you are unable to place the tooth, go immediately to our dentists, bringing the tooth with you. While heading to one of our offices, put the tooth back in your mouth next to your cheek or in a small container of milk (not tap water) so that the root stays moist.


What is the best way to deal with swelling?

Swelling usually indicates an infection. If you have a hard time breathing or eyes swell, you are in need of emergency dental care immediately, you will likely need an antibiotic. Do not place heat on the affected swollen area, this may cause the infection to spread more quickly.