As with most dentists in America, the Beaverton Dental Center can only see patients experiencing a dental emergency. The reason dentistry and all non-essential medical services are temporarily on hold is to limit any potential exposure to COVID, preserve much needed protective medical equipment, and to reduce any additional strain being placed on the health care system. Even though receiving dental care remains largely safe, we must all put on hold those things we often take for granted during this unprecedented period.
While dental care will remain limited until at least June here in Oregon, patients can still receive treatment for a dental emergency. Of course, this requires patients to understand what constitutes a dental emergency.
As regular readers of our blog know, a close connection exits between our oral and overall health. While slight, a possibility still exists that certain types of dental emergencies, such as oral abscesses, could become life threatening if ignored and treatment delayed. Even though postponing nonessential dental care now will help to flatten the curve, patients shouldn’t avoid receiving dental care when an emergency arises.
Let’s take a look at a few of the most common signs that signals you’re experiencing a dental emergency that requires immediate treatment.
Common Signs of a Dental Emergency
While patients may vary when it comes to pain tolerance, you should always seek immediate dental care when you experience the following:
- Significant tooth damage. Small chips and even cracks can usually wait a while before requiring treatment, but large breaks and fractures that cause significant discomfort require immediate attention from an emergency dentist. A severe break often suggest that damage has occurred both inside and on the outside of the tooth.
- Intense discomfort. Patients who’ve had a toothache before know just how much discomfort the condition can cause. However, there are different levels of discomfort. Toothaches that only occur after eating or drinking something hot or cold, or when biting down on something hard, differ from toothaches that remain consistently painful throughout the day. If your discomfort doesn’t lessen or go away after taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, contact a Beaverton dental center for an emergency appointment.
- Oral swelling. Swelling that occurs along the jawline or at the base of the teeth can signal the presence of an infection, such as an oral abscess. An oral abscess is a pocket of pus that develops as a result of a bacterial infection. Abscess can cause significant discomfort and won’t go away on their own. Early treatment for an oral abscess is key to preventing the spread of an infection. While uncommon, an oral infection that spreads could become life threatening, so immediate emergency dental care is required to treat this potentially serious issue.
- Adult tooth loss. Once we pass the age where we expect a visit from the tooth fairy, adult teeth should not come loose or fall out. If you experience facial trauma, due to a fall or other accident, and you feel a tooth become loose or knocked out, you need to receive immediate emergency dental care. If treatment is received as soon as possible after having a tooth dislodged, it’s possible that the tooth could be placed back in its socket and restored to health.
If you’re experiencing unusual dental symptoms that don’t fit into our list above, feel free to give our Beaverton dental office a call. We’d be happy to provide you with advice on whether your issue is an emergency, and whether you should seek immediate dental care.
Until the time comes where patients can schedule routine exams and cleanings, the team at the Beaverton Dental Center hope all of our patient remains healthy, safe, and secure.