Emergency Dentistry FAQ

What Constitutes A Dental Emergency?

Opinions vary regarding what constitutes a dental emergency. Many will seek emergency dental care for a chipped tooth, while others will only visit an emergency dentistry clinic if a tooth has been physically knocked out of their mouth. In reality, most of what people consider to be dental emergencies do not require an immediate visit to the dentist’s office. Dental professionals classify emergencies into two groups – those that include visible damage and those that cause pain. Common dental complaints can be further grouped into three categories based on priority level:

  • High Priority – Requires emergency dentistry
    • One or more teeth have been knocked out due to trauma
    • One or more teeth are loose and likely to fall out soon as a result of trauma
    • Uncontrollable bleeding
    • Severe pain that is not affected by painkillers
    • Swelling that affects the eyes or throat
    • Wounds to the tongue, lips, or cheeks
  • Medium Priority – Requires treatment within 24 hours
    • Internal structures of the tooth are exposed because of significant physical damage
    • Infection or abscess
    • A tooth that is out of alignment
    • Elements of a dental appliance are loose and impeding mouth function or causing harm
    • Cracked or fractured teeth
  • Low Priority – Requires treatment within 1-3 days
    • A tooth that has sustained significant impact, even without pain
    • Chipped tooth
    • Detached crown or bridge
    • Loose or missing dental filling
    • Loose or detached orthodontic appliance

How Do I Relieve A Toothache?

An abscess at the tip of a tooth’s root or on its side can cause sudden pain, but most toothaches will not require an emergency dentist. There are several ways you can attempt to treat the symptoms before visiting a dentist’s office. Among the remedies are over-the-counter pain relievers, applying a cold compress to your cheek near the painful area, and rinsing your mouth with warm, salty water. However, you may need to visit a dental clinic to treat severe pain. If the pain persists, or you experience chills, tightness in your chest, bleeding, or trouble opening your mouth, you may need to visit an emergency dentist. If you’re in the Millersville area, visit Millersville Family Dentistry. Our team of professionals will assess the situation and determine whether to treat you with medication or by performing surgery for tooth extraction or a root canal, among other options.

Can I Visit the Dentist’s Office for An Emergency?

Millersville Family Dentistry will treat you like a real family member. We know that life does not always go as planned, so we are here for all of your emergency dental care needs. We have staffed our Millersville, MD office with a team of specialists who have years of experience tending to dental emergencies. Our goal is to minimize your discomfort while addressing your dental concerns. We offer same-day treatment to quickly resolve your dental emergency and allow you to return to your normal activities with a big smile on your face.

What Should I Do with A Knocked-Out Tooth?

More than 5 million teeth are knocked out every year as a result of injuries or accidents. However, there are steps you can take to preserve your tooth if you find yourself in such a predicament. It is necessary to act quickly to increase your chances of saving the tooth. You will want to handle it carefully, without touching the root. If it is dirty, rinse it with water. You should not use soap or dry the tooth. If possible, reposition it in the socket gently. It will likely fit right into place. If it does not fit properly, keep it moist by storing it in milk or your mouth next to your cheek. Immediately bring the tooth to Millersville Family Dentistry so that we may have the opportunity to re-implant it.

What Should I Do If My Child’s Tooth Is Knocked Out?

Follow the same steps you would if your tooth was knocked out of your mouth. Be sure to avoid handling the tooth at the root but attempt to place it back in its socket and keep it moist until you can get to a dentist for treatment. If a child has a baby tooth knocked out, your emergency dentist may take an x-ray of your child’s mouth to determine if there is any damage to the permanent teeth beneath. Furthermore, if the tooth does not need to be replaced, a space maintainer may be inserted into the vacant spot to prevent teeth crowding.

How Do I Remove an Object Stuck Between Teeth?

We recommend visiting a dental office for regular cleanings to remove any food particles that are stuck in your mouth. If ignored, leftover food can lead to infections and toothaches. However, between cleanings, there are several ways to rid your mouth of objects that get stuck between your teeth without having to visit an emergency dentist. Rinsing your mouth with salt water or mouthwash can help loosen stubborn pieces of food. Although a toothbrush may help, its bristles might not be able to dislodge items stuck between your teeth. Therefore, dental toothpicks or floss will be your ideal choices for removing any objects that get stuck between teeth.

Visit Millersville Family Dentistry for Dental Emergencies

When you need immediate treatment for a dental emergency, visit our team of experts at Millersville Family Dentistry. Whether you have a knocked-out tooth in hand or a severe pain that will not go away, our knowledgeable, friendly staff will quickly address your issue and provide you with the family care for which we are known. Call or visit us now for same-day treatment!


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  • SAME DAY Emergency Appointments
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