Emergency dentists offer dental services to treat dental conditions classified as emergencies (conditions that need immediate treatment before it is too late). What does this mean? If you do not receive immediate treatment, the condition can worsen, and you can lose your teeth. You might also experience severe pain, facial swelling or bleeding.
Dental Conditions Involving Tooth Decay
These dental conditions are classified as minor emergencies; they need to be treated as soon as possible, but a short delay won't cause much harm. For example, if you have tooth decay, it means that bacteria are eating away at your tooth and creating a hole. The more you delay treatment, the deeper this hole becomes. Early treatment is not extensive; the dentist only needs to drill away the decayed part and shape your tooth with a dental filling.
If you take too long before receiving treatment, the hole will get deeper and reach the pulp cavity, where your tooth's nerves and blood vessels are located. The condition is treated through a procedure known as a root canal procedure. The nerves and blood vessels are removed and the cavity filled with a resin.
If you still delay getting treatment, your tooth can break at gum level, making it hard for a dentist to repair it. The tooth may only be extracted through surgery. You may also get a gum infection because bacteria have come into contact with your blood vessels.
Gingivitis and Periodontitis
Gingivitis occurs when tartar and plaque start to form in the spaces between your gums and teeth. At first, you may notice tooth discolouration (yellowing, which starts to turn black) at the base of your teeth.
Periodontitis, or gum disease, results when there is a severe build-up of tartar and plaque. These produce toxins and poisons that eat away at your tooth and jawbone. If you don't get treatment, teeth start falling out one by one.
Dental Injuries Resulting from Accidents or Impacts
These are classified as major dental emergencies because they need immediate care. Examples include when you have been in an accident and the point of impact is your mouth. This might mean that your jawbone may have been shuttered, you have lost several teeth, your gum has been injured severely, etc.
Seek a dentist who specialises in treating such dental emergencies. Such dentists will have a clinic equipped with the equipment, tools and staff required to handle such emergencies. The clinic may also be located inside a hospital because other specialists might be needed as well; for example, plastic and orthopaedic surgeons.
For more information, contact an emergency dentist.