When you experience a dental emergency, sometimes you don’t know if you need to go to the dentist or not. Here are some questions that can help point you in the direction you need to go and help you decide if you need to call the dentist. Plus, knowing the questions ahead of time helps you answer them if you decide to seek help.
What is the nature of the dental problem?
Although this seems like a basic question, there are some issues your dentist is getting at when he is asking these questions. First of all, they are trying to determine if the problem involve a tooth or another area of the mouth. Does it involve a tooth, and if so, where it is located? Is the tooth is broken or fractured? Be sure to be specific on how much of the tooth is broken. If the problem involves the tissue around teeth, let them know if there is any associated bleeding.
Perhaps the problem involves a denture. If so, be sure to specify if it is it broken, loose, or causing a sore spot. Similar questions can be asked if your emergency involves a crown or bridge. Is it loose? If it is fractured, what is the extent of the fracture? Did the porcelain break as well? If the patient experienced trauma (injury to the teeth and/or bones and soft tissues such as the gums, lips, and tongue), how severe is it?
When something hurts, it is hard to think about or do anything else. But we have some basic questions that help us get at the cause of it so it can be alleviated. First of all, when did the pain start? Is it getting better, worse or staying the same? If asked to rank your pain on a scale of one to ten, where is it? Is it spontaneous or there something that causes pain such a hot, cold, sweets, or pressure (like when you bite on it)? Does the pain go away right away or does it linger? Are you taking any medication to relieve the pain? Some medications thin the blood so this is important to know.
Is there any swelling? Where is it located and what is the extent? Swelling can happen due to periodontal problems, infection, abscess, cysts, and allergic reactions to name a few causes.
Is the emergency cosmetic? Cosmetic concerns about the appearance of teeth can demand a dental emergency.
Some patients require premedication prior to dental treatment. Please be sure to tell our scheduler if this is the case so we can get you relief as soon as possible. If this has been an ongoing issue, please be sure to share relevant dental history to help us make a proper diagnosis.
If you are still unsure if you need emergency treatment after reading this list, don’t hesitate to call our office! We are always ready to help you!
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