What counts as one?
It's late. Most businesses, including your regular dentist's office - have been closed for hours and won't be open again for hours either. Or if it's the weekend, possibly days. Which would usually be fine. Except you have a toothache that just won't quit. Or a chipped tooth that is both sharp and painful. Or, worse still, a tooth that is hanging by a thread, or knocked out altogether. But it is late, getting across town might be a pain and although you know that emergency dentists exist, don't they charge an arm and a leg?
The fact is that it is important to know what kinds of oral health problems or dental injuries do require emergency treatment and which can probably wait until a more civilised hour. No, if you can avoid a mad midnight dash to the dentist's it's probably more convenient, but it won't always be the best thing for your oral health.
Take that knocked out tooth for example. A couple of decades ago everyone would have told you to suck it up, stop crying and deal with the fact that the tooth was gone. These days a lot has changed and a tooth that has been dislodged can be saved, but usually only if you act fast.
The toothache that just won't quit? Even though you have taken the bottle-recommended dose of Nurofen - and then some Panadol - twice and it's still there throbbing away, although in a slightly more muted fashion than before? Is that worth a visit to an emergency dentist? Will they be able to help or is toughing it out until the morning the most sensible option here?
Figuring out what is or isn't a dental emergency can indeed be hard. However, as a general rule of thumb all of the following may very well be 'serious' enough to warrant the emergency trip:
- A knocked-out tooth
- A severely chipped tooth that is very sensitive (indicating that there may be nerve damage)
- Objects stuck in the tooth
- Severely bleeding teeth or gums
- An abscessed tooth or gum area that is causing a great deal of pain.
One of the best things you can do in any potential emergency oral health situation is give an emergency dentist a call before you go anywhere. The staff at Emergency Dentist Sydney are available via phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are all trained to help even the most panicked patients and advise them about the best way to proceed to treat their unique dental emergency.
That might involve coming in to see a dentist right away, making an appointment for the next day or, in some rare cases, proceeding to the hospital emergency department instead.
The one thing you should not do is wait and wonder. It's only a simple phone call and if it turns out the problem can wait no one will think any less of you for having checked. Your oral health is hugely important - and so is your peace of mind - so no matter what the time it's better to be safe than sorry!