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5 Types of Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them

Are you experiencing a dental emergency such as a broken tooth or dental abscess? Here’s how to prepare for such a situation and how to ensure you protect your oral health. 

Having access to emergency dental care is very beneficial to your health and while some patients may avoid such treatment out of worry about high dental costs, this behavior may actually result in higher-long term costs and undesirable consequences.

Some of the benefits of visiting an emergency dentist include:

  • tooth loss prevention
  • immediate pain relief
  • you’re less likely to need extensive and expensive dental treatment
  • prevention of any oral infections
  • improved aesthetic appearance

Emergency Dental Care in Calgary

Whatever dental emergency you have, prompt treatment is key. Waiting too long or neglecting your condition can lead to serious oral and health problems down the road. At Marlborough Dental Centre, we offer flexible evening and weekend hours and emergency dental care services to ensure the long-term health of your teeth and gums.

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Emergency Dental Care


What To Do In a Dental Emergency

Are you having a dental emergency? Don’t panic! In most cases, it’s the potential of extreme pain that is the issue, not your health. However, you should call your dentist straight away for an appointment.

If you can’t see your oral healthcare professional straight away, here are some tips on how to protect your teeth and gums in the meantime:

If You Have Facial Swelling…

Severe facial swelling could be an infected tooth, bone infection, or gum infection. This is a serious dental condition that requires immediate response by a dentist. Typically, these types of conditions don’t get better on their own, so don’t neglect it!

What you should do:

  • Don’t wait. Go see your dentist right away. If you delay, it’s possible for the infection to spread and this may cause some serious health issues.
  • Stay upright. Try not lie flat, even during sleep.
  • Drink lots of fluids. Dehydration during an infection could increase your risk of developing complications.


If You Knocked a Tooth Out…

Visiting the dentist within the hour of this situation makes it likely that you’ll be able to reimplant your tooth. However, if you lose the tooth, you’re likely to need a dental implant which will fill the space where the root used to be in the gum.

What you should do:

  • Pick it up by the crown, NOT the root. The crown is the part of the tooth you bite with and the root is the pointed end of the tooth. Touching the root damages the tissue that helps with reimplantation.
  • Call your dentist to let them know you’re coming to the office. This should be done within the hour for the best results.


If You Have a Broken, Cracked, or Chipped Tooth

If it’s a small crack, you’ll need a filling but a larger piece will require a dental crown. If your tooth is cracked all the way through, this would require an extraction and need for an implant. If a crown breaks in half, or falls off, you can wait a few days to have it fixed.

What you should do:

  • Don’t panic! If you aren’t in pain, this gives you some time. Most often, there will just be some sensitivity to cold and heat but this may go away in a few days as saliva will remineralise and insulate the area.
  • However, you do need to get this fixed. Call your dental clinic and schedule a consult. Your dentist will determine if you need a filling, crown, or extraction.  


If You Think You Have a Gum Abscess…

A gum abscess looks like a yellow, red, clear, or whitish pimple on your gum. It could mean that the tooth or gum is infected which may require an extraction or root canal. In some cases, antibiotics and x-rays are required. An abscess could lead to permanent gum recession so the sooner you get to it, the better!

What You Should Do:

  • visit your dentist immediately or make an appointment for the next day.
  • DO NOT pop the gum abscess like a pimple
  • keep brushing and flossing the area as usual


If You Think You Have a Tooth Abscess…

It’s hard to know whether you have a tooth abscess without an x-ray and dental exam but if your tooth has ongoing sensitivity, severe tenderness upon chewing, or is causing spontaneous pain, chances are good you have a dead or dying tooth.

What you should do:

  • Visit your dentist as soon as possible. Tooth abscesses can lead to facial swelling and potentially severe systemic complications.


Call Today

To find out more about our emergency dental care services and how our dentists can help restore the function and beauty to your smile, contact our Calgary dental clinic at 403-248-2066 or fill in our online contact form.

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From emergency care and teeth cleanings, to cosmetic or restorative oral treatments, our passionate dental team provides safe, affordable, and optimal quality dental care to every patient. Contact us now!

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