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How to Know When You Have a Dental Emergency

How to Know When You Have a Dental Emergency

An inconvenient fact of life is that emergencies are always going to happen, and that includes dental emergencies. You might wonder if something is serious enough to need to be seen right away or what can wait a few days.

Whatever the case may be, we’ll be there for you to treat your dental issue. But to give you some peace of mind, in this blog, our team at EZ Dental Clinic located in Bellevue, Washington wants to review what’s emergent and what’s not.

Defining dental emergencies

A good place to start is to take a closer look at what an actual dental emergency is. 

Routine dental appointments where your teeth are examined and cleaned are just that — routine and non-emergent. The same goes for any cosmetic treatments you may want to get done such as teeth whitening.

What does qualify as an emergency is having symptoms similar to any other medical emergency, such as pain that’s accompanied by swelling and a fever. Or maybe if you’ve fallen and are experiencing severe bleeding. 

These are some other signals to look out for that require emergent care:

Severe pain

If you have a toothache that persists — especially when you eat and talk — it needs to be addressed quickly. The cause could be an abscessed tooth, and that requires prompt treatment. Don’t try and fix the pain on your own or wait to see if it subsides.


If you have mouth trauma such as bruising or bleeding from your mouth, gums, or jaw as the result of a fall or car accident, come and see us right away. While cuts, lacerations, and mouth trauma can look worse than they are, they still need to be examined in order to be sure.

Lost teeth

When it comes to losing teeth, accidents and sports injuries are usually the culprit. Every year, about 5 million teeth are knocked out from an impact accident, and up to 40% of all dental emergencies are the result of a sports injury.

Should you experience an accident that knocks a tooth loose, the first thing to do is to contact us. While you’re on your way to see us, you should attempt to preserve the viability of the tooth.

If you have the tooth, try to gently clean it by rinsing it off before placing it back into the socket while holding it by the crown. You can keep it in place by biting down gingerly onto a clean cloth until you reach our office.

However, if you aren’t able to get it back in the socket, keep the tooth moist. When it’s rinsed off you can place it in a container of liquid such as milk or saline solution. You can even place it between your cheek and gums as long as you take care not to swallow it. 

Other than these, issues that qualify as a dental emergency are damaged fillings or crowns and broken dentures. 

Next steps

Whatever your dental emergency may be, our team at EZ Dental Clinic is ready to provide you with quality care. When you do have a dental emergency, make sure to contact us right away at 425-746-6090 to schedule a same-day appointment.

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