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Emergency Dentist vs Regular Dentist: When to See Each One

severe-mouth-pain-sq-300 (1)When it comes to dental emergencies, time is of the essence. That’s where emergency dentists come in. Unlike regular dentists, who focus on routine check-ups and preventative care, emergency dentists prioritise treating patients with urgent dental issues as soon as possible. Let’s look at how emergency dentists differ from regular dentists in terms of the services offered and availability.

Identifying Dental Emergencies

Some everyday dental situations considered urgent include

  • Toothache: Persistent and intense tooth pain that hinders your daily activities.
  • Infection: Swelling, pus formation, and intense pain in the gums or around a tooth.
  • Trauma: Injuries to the mouth, such as knocked-out teeth or broken braces wires.
  • Bleeding: Excessive bleeding from the mouth, especially if it doesn’t subside within a reasonable time.

Differentiating Between Regular Dentists & Emergency Dentists

While regular dentists are skilled in providing comprehensive dental care, certain situations require the know-how of emergency dentists. For example, a regular dentist may perform difficult wisdom tooth extractions, while an emergency dentist can address acute wisdom tooth infections.

After-Hours and Weekend Availability

Some emergency dental services may not be readily available during after-hours or weekends when regular dental practices are closed. Conditions such as severe trauma (fractured mandibular or maxilla), severe bleeding, or life-threatening infections that could affect the airway may require immediate medical attention at an emergency room.

When to Consult Your Regular Dentist

Sometimes, patients may be unsure whether their condition warrants emergency care. If you’re experiencing a toothache but can manage the pain with antibiotics and pain relief medication, contact your regular dentist first. They can provide guidance, offer treatment options, and discuss the pros and cons associated with each option.

Signs You Need Immediate Prompt Dental Care

Specific symptoms should never be ignored and require immediate emergency dental care. If you experience any of the following, it’s crucial to seek urgent treatment:

Extreme tooth pain: Intense and unmanageable toothache that affects your daily life.

Swelling in the jaw or gums: Significant swelling that causes discomfort or difficulty in breathing or swallowing.

Knocked-out tooth: If a tooth gets knocked out, immediate care can increase the chances of successful re-implantation.

Broken braces and protruding wires: Sharp wires that can cause injury or discomfort in the mouth.

Severe bleeding: Excessive bleeding from the mouth that doesn’t subside. However, if you have bleeding from brushing or flossing, that may not be an emergency.

Seeking Immediate Care: Better Safe than Sorry

If you need clarification on whether your dental issue requires immediate care, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. You should have any significant toothache or discomfort addressed promptly to prevent potential complications or permanent damage.

If you are experiencing a dental emergency, call us at (02) 9055 0355. We offer same-day emergency appointments so you can get the prompt care you need.
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Any invasive or surgical procedure may carry risks. Before moving forward, it is recommended that you seek a second opinion from an appropriately licensed medical professional.

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