Sometimes, when you sustain a dental injury, it can feel like the sky is falling.
We tend to expect the worst when we get hurt, but thankfully, not every situation is a real emergency. Some dental injuries are emergent and require immediate care, whereas others are minor, and their treatment can wait until business hours.
So when should you call your Missoula dentist, and what is a dental emergency?
Emergency dentistry in Missoula, MT involves situations where you are in severe pain or sustain a substantial injury. Common dental emergencies include symptoms such as extreme toothache, significant blood loss, or a broken jaw. Treatment for these injuries cannot wait until the next business day—our Missoula dentist must see you right away.
Your situation is most likely a dental emergency if:
- Your tooth is no longer in your mouth
- You are bleeding significantly, and the wound won’t react to normal pressure
- Your tooth is broken and in pieces
- You punctured your gums, cheeks, or other facial tissues
- Your dental pain is bad enough to keep you from sleeping
- You’re experiencing symptoms in other areas of your body, such as shortness of breath or swollen lymph nodes
- You notice signs that your jaw might be broken, such as facial pain or numbness, displacement of your mandible, or excessive drooling
Your situation is most likely not a dental emergency if:
- You chipped your tooth mildly
- You have a minor, ongoing toothache
- There is a small crack in your tooth
- You have food or another object stuck in your teeth
- Your gums are bleeding when you brush or floss
- You got hit in the face while playing sports but have no pain, swelling, or bleeding
The goal of emergency dentistry in Missoula is to act fast to save at-risk teeth. If you went through a true dental emergency and sustained a severe injury, you need to call Dr. Nelson right away at (406) 542-3305. If your injury is not emergent, we can schedule you for the next available standard dental appointment.