Emergency dental treatments explained



May 28, 2020

Dental accidents happen during the day or night and often without warning. Not all accidents need emergency dental treatments, but some which cause severe dental pain and injuries do require immediate dental treatment. At Coastal Dental Care, our practices offer emergency dental treatment to accommodate patients for when these unexpected dental accidents occur. After all, treating these cases straight away can mean the difference between a long, painful experience and a short, symptom relieving one.

What are dental emergencies?

Dental emergencies are for when oral injuries need immediate treatment – which might be outside normal dental hours. Some of these oral injuries might include:

  • A toothache
  • A cracked tooth
  • A broken tooth
  • A knocked tooth

Emergencies can be caused by trauma to the mouth or simply from eating a piece of food or even swelling in the mouth.

dental emergency tooth knocked playground

Tooth is knocked

When a tooth is knocked and receives force upon it, it can sometimes cause damage. Of course, the severity of damage to occur to a tooth because of trauma or impact will vary.

In some cases, when a tooth is knocked the tooth might only be loosened and cause swelling. In other cases, the outcome from having a tooth knocked can be more severe. This includes a tooth breaking and causing dental pain. As each case is unique, the dental service required to ease discomfort and treat the issue will also vary.

Tooth extractions

Teeth that are damaged by decay or broken from an incident can be fixed in most cases by a filling, crown, or other dental treatment. But when damage to a tooth is severe and cannot be repaired as easily, a dentist will recommend a tooth extraction.

Typically, there is the choice of having a simple extraction or a surgical extraction. However, depending on your unique case, the procedure for extracting teeth may vary.

Simple Extraction

A simple extraction is the removal of a tooth by your general, dentist. Your tooth and gum are numbed first and then the tooth is removed using dental forceps.

Surgical Extraction

A surgical extraction is used to remove teeth that show more complexity. This might be a broken tooth in the gumline or unerupted teeth. Unlike a simple extraction, oral surgeons typically perform surgical extractions.

However, they can be performed by general dentists. As this procedure is more complex and may take more time than a simple extraction, patients are usually given general anaesthesia.

Broken Tooth

Forceful impacts to the oral area can cause a tooth to break. This break, however, can be as slight as a chip in the enamel or as severe as a complete fracture. Depending on the severity of the of break, however, depends on whether immediate dental action is required.

When teeth break, not everybody experiences dental pain. This is common if the break is less severe like a chip in the enamel as enamel contains no nerves. But if a tooth is broken through, exposing the pulp to air, pain often accompanies the injury.

If you have fractured your tooth and are feeling dental pain, contact your dentist as soon as possible. Prolonging time between the accident and consulting a dentist allows for bacteria to more likely infect the area. This can occur especially if the pulp is exposed and cause you further dental pain.

Tooth pain

Tooth pain can not only occur due to forceful impact or trauma to oral areas. It can also be caused by cavities, sensitive teeth or even be referred from other parts of the body such as the sinus.

If you are experiencing tooth pain, contact your dentist to discuss possible treatments.

First aid for emergency dental treatment

If you experience trauma to oral areas and have dental pain, there are a few home remedies you can enact.

To reduce your pain due to a knocked or broken tooth, hold a cold compress or ice pack to the outside cheek above the painful tooth. Cool the area for a few minutes at a time. If you do not have an ice pack, a frozen bag of peas is a good alternative.

Similarly, if you have broken a tooth and experiencing pain, wash your mouth with warm water with the addition of salt to sterilise the area. This also helps to reduce pain, especially if the pulp of the tooth is exposed due to the break.

Receive emergency dental care at Coastal Dental Care

At Coastal Dental Care, we offer emergency appointments and urgent dental services.

To prevent dental trauma due to the impact often caused by contact sports, enquire about our custom mouthguards.

With 13 dental clinics across Queensland and Northern New South Wales, you can find an emergency dentist near you.

We have convenient business hours, even offering Saturday dental appointments. Get in touch with one of our dental practices today. Alternatively, you can book an appointment with one of our caring dentists online 24/7.