If you are experiencing severe dental problems, especially outside of regular office hours, it can truly be a major headache. Most dental clinics offer emergency dental services to handle cases in need of immediate treatment. But it can be challenging to determine, "what is a dental emergency?" It is important to distinguish between an emergency and a dental problem. What Is a Dental Emergency? (And What Is Not?) A dental emergency is a situation when you need dental care as soon as possible. It also refers to dental situations that occur on weekends, holidays, or in the middle of the night. After all, some dental issues can't wait. In these cases, you need immediate treatment. This treatment can be provided by a visit to an emergency dentist or an emergency room of your local hospital. However, you must remember that not all dental situations are emergencies. Some dental issues can be treated at a convenient time during normal hours of operations. So how can you decide what is a dental emergency? You will know if you should take a trip to an emergency dentist or ER if you experience symptoms that include: \tSevere pain \tMissing tooth \tLoose tooth, even without pain \tAbscess or infection in the mouth \tBleeding An emergency dentist can provide you quick treatment to save your tooth, alleviate pain, or stop any bleeding. Even infections constitute an emergency, as severe cases can be life-threatening. On the other hand, if your dental problems do not include any of the conditions above, then you are probably not dealing with a situation requiring immediate attention. Of course, there are also ordinary cases that need immediate attention. For instance, you should seek immediate treatment if you cracked or chipped your tooth. But unless the cracked tooth is severely painful, it can wait for a normal appointment. You should head to an emergency dentist only if it causes severe pain. What Are Common Dental Emergencies? If you are still unsure whether you need immediate attention, you can check out your dentist's website. The most types of common dental emergencies include: \tA knocked-out tooth \tAn abscessed tooth \tA chipped or cracked tooth \tA severe toothache \tA bitten lip or tongue \tA lost crown or filling \tA burned roof of your tongue How to Avoid a Potential Dental Emergency? If you want to avoid getting into a dental emergency, the best way is to make sure you are following proper oral hygiene techniques. Also, be proactive by regularly getting checkups and cleanings. By following these tips, you can detect any signs of infection, decay, or gum disease before they become serious. By getting a regular dental exam, you can create a treatment plan that addresses any dental issues before they become an emergency. Knowing the signs of a dental emergency is also a must. And pay close attention to what your teeth, mouth, and body tell you about your health. Still, keep in mind that this can happen no matter how much you try to avoid them. If something happens, try to keep calm so that you can ensure the situation will not get any more serious. Most importantly, always have your dentist's contact info with you to get a prompt response. Get Help from a Dentist If you experience any dental issue that you think cannot wait for treatment, then that must be an emergency. It makes no sense to suffer in pain or anxiety. So do not hesitate to contact your dentist. To learn more about 'what is a dental emergency,' visit Lovett Dental today or call to schedule your next appointment.