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Having dental issues is never fun, and having to worry about a dental emergency can really be a drag. It can cause you a lot of anxiety if you have never experience a dental emergency before and don’t know what to do. If you’re someone who is worried about knowing what to do or how to handle a dental emergency, you can take a look at some common questions that will be answered below about emergency dental care.

1. Do I have to go to the ER?

Generally speaking, not all “dental emergencies” are true emergencies. A true emergency would be a situation where you have sever trauma to the face and mouth, difficulty breathing or swallowing, jaw dislocations, or lacerations to the mouth or face. If any of these are happening, call 911 ASAP. However, if you don’t have any of these true emergencies, do not go to the ER. Wait to see your dentist the first time you can. It can be really painful to deal with a decayed tooth or an abscess, however, they are not affecting breathing or swallowing and are not a true emergency suited for the ER.

2. What if my dentist isn’t available when my emergency occurs?

If your emergency happens outside of regular business hours, your dentist will usually provide you with emergency car or on-call substitute numbers. You should always try and call your dentist before trying to find care elsewhere, however, if you do not have access to your dentist to talk with them, visit a healthcare facility nearby. If this happens late at night, it might be an urgent care center. If it occurs during the weekend, you might be able to get into a clinic and if not, you might need to settle with urgent care, just until you can get in to see your dentist.

3. What if my teeth are just sensitive?

This is not an emergency, though it can be very uncomfortable. Try using toothpaste for sensitive teeth and using a soft brush. Usually sensitivity doesn’t signal a really serious problem. It’s more than likely just a small amount of decay, a loose filling, or some gum recession. You don’t have to worry about a root canal! Pain after root canal procedure can also be likely, but again, this is not an emergency and probably not a serious issue.

Are you dealing with any dental issues at the moment? Let us know in the comments below!