What are the signs you should see an emergency dentist?

  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Outside of Israel, the largest Jewish communities in the world are in New York and Los Angeles. Over 1 million Jews live in New York City alone, with about 700,000 in Los Angeles. These thriving communities contain a broad spectrum of political and religious views, from liberal Jews to the conservative Orthodox community.

Studies conducted in both America and the UK have found that Orthodox Jews visit the dentist significantly less than non-Orthodox Jews. Some of the barriers to greater dental access include a lack of education about contemporary dental care, a problem common to isolated religious communities of many faiths.

Orthodox Jews, though, are just as likely to suffer dental emergencies as anyone else. When this happens, these communities should be aware that visiting a dentist is a viable option, and that a dentist can give prompt emergency care that can save a tooth and prevent further dental problems.

Oral health is integral to your overall health, no matter your religious faith. That's why it's crucially important to see a dentist regularly for checkups. However, there are times when you can't wait for your regular dental visit. So how do you know when to see an emergency dentist instead of waiting for your regular appointment?

Here are the eight most common signs that you should see an emergency dentist:

1. Severe Toothache

If you have experienced a toothache before, then you understand it's not something you can assume will go away on its own. At first, the pain might be bearable and mild enough for painkillers to help. However, the pain might get severe and unbearable. Regular painkillers won't be effective anymore, and the pain may be accompanied by other symptoms like fever or swelling in the gums.

That's when you should see an emergency dentist. That way, you can not only get treatment for the pain, but also treat the underlying issue causing the toothache.

2. Knocked-Out Tooth

Teeth give our smile its natural beauty, and losing a tooth can be a traumatic experience. You shouldn’t wait to visit a dentist if your tooth or teeth are knocked out. Time is of the essence because the chances of reattaching the tooth decrease significantly with time.

An emergency dentist can quickly assess the situation and try to save the tooth if possible. If the tooth isn't salvageable, your dentist will offer treatment to stop the bleeding and offer options for replacing the tooth, like a bridge or dental implants.

3. Loose or Broken Tooth

Is one of your teeth loose? Do you feel like it's about to fall out, or have you broken a tooth? If so, you need to see an emergency dentist as soon as possible. A loose or broken tooth can be a sign of a severe underlying dental issue, like gum disease, that needs to be addressed promptly. Leaving the tooth untreated could result in further damage or even the loss of the tooth altogether. Your dentist will be able to check it out and offer the best options for treatment.

4. Swelling or Bleeding Gums

While gum bleeding can happen occasionally when you floss, swelling can be a sign of a dental issue, including gum disease, infections, or even cancer. It's not a situation that warrants panic, but again, you don't want to take any chances.

So, if you notice these symptoms, see your emergency dentist as soon as possible to determine the underlying cause and get appropriate treatment. You don't want to ignore the symptoms, which might lead to serious dental and health issues later.

5. Abscessed Tooth

An abscessed tooth is when a pulp filled with pus forms on a tooth. It tends to be quite uncomfortable and painful. Considering it can pop at any time and lead to an infection, you can consider this a dental emergency. Your emergency dentist needs to examine and treat it as soon as possible. The infection must be controlled and prevented from spreading to your other teeth.

6. Lost Filling or Crown

Suppose you went for a dental filling or crown in the past, and it suddenly falls out or gets lost, leaving the affected tooth exposed. This situation can be painful and lead to tooth sensitivity. In addition, the unprotected tooth can become vulnerable to further damage or decay. You should see an emergency dentist as soon as possible to have the filling or crown replaced or repaired. This will help protect your tooth and save it from further damage.

7. Jaw Pain or Clicking

If you're experiencing jaw pain or clicking, it could indicate a TMJ disorder. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which connects your jaw to your skull. When there's an issue with this joint, it can lead to headaches and difficulty opening and closing your mouth. These symptoms can be highly uncomfortable and make it challenging to perform daily activities like eating and speaking. You should see your emergency dentist to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment if you're experiencing jaw pain or clicking.

8. Complications with Dental Implants

Dental implants can be a life-changing experience, but like any medical procedure, they have some risks. Soft tissue ingrowth can occur, which can cause the implant to become loose and painful. This is a critical issue, especially for patients who undergo "immediate" dental implants. Seeing an emergency dentist will ensure that your dental implants are correctly placed and avoid complications.

How to Prepare to See an Emergency Dentist

A dental emergency can occur anytime, anywhere. Toothaches, chipped or broken teeth, and other dental issues can disrupt your daily routine and cause considerable pain and discomfort. In such situations, seeking urgent dental care from an emergency dentist is essential.

If you're experiencing a dental emergency, stay calm and follow these steps.

Find an Emergency Dentist Near You

The first step is to find an emergency dentist near you. You can search online with phrases like "emergency dentist in (your city)” or “24/7 dental emergency care near me.” Look for dental practices offering emergency services and flexible hours to accommodate patients outside of regular office hours.

Call Ahead

Before you leave for the dental clinic, call ahead to see if the dentist is available and to ask about their emergency dental services. The dental practice might ask questions about your emergency to determine how urgently you need care. Let them know about your symptoms and any medications you are taking. This will help the dentist prepare for your visit and provide timely and appropriate treatment.

Bring Relevant Documents

When you visit an emergency dentist, bring your dental insurance card if you have one. This will help you determine the cost of treatment and ensure that you receive the maximum insurance benefits. You must also provide your medical history, including recent surgeries or medical conditions. This information helps the emergency dentist understand your overall health and adjust your treatment plan.

Pack a Basic Dental Care Kit

Carrying a primary dental care kit can help temporarily relieve dental pain and prevent further damage to your teeth or gums. Pack dental floss, a small mirror, an ice pack, over-the-counter pain medication, and a dental emergency kit (if you have one). These items can help alleviate discomfort and reduce swelling while waiting for an emergency dentist.

Follow-Up After Treatment

After you receive emergency dental care, follow the post-treatment instructions provided by the dentist. Depending on your condition, you may need to book a follow-up appointment. Take your medications as directed and avoid hard or chewy foods that can damage or dislodge any dental restorations you may have received.


It's important to take dental emergencies seriously and seek urgent treatment from an emergency dentist. Time is of the essence, and the earlier you seek treatment, the higher the chances of saving your tooth or preventing further damage. If you experience any of the signs mentioned above, don't hesitate to call your emergency dentist and schedule an appointment.

This article is written in Collaboration with partheniadental.com