Is a Cavity a Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies have a knack for happening when you are least expecting them. You could be having fun with friends, at work, or running errands, and the next thing you know, you need an emergency dentist near you.

Dental emergencies vary, ranging from a knocked-out tooth to dislocated jaws. However, there are some gray areas when it comes to dental emergencies. For instance, dental cavities are not necessarily considered a dental emergency. But anyone who’s had a throbbing toothache because of a cavity might beg to differ.

So, we will explore the different aspects of a dental cavity and see if it is a dental emergency.

First Things First, What Are Dental Cavities?

Dental cavities plague countless smiles across the globe. It affects toddlers to senior citizens and is a leading cause of tooth loss.

At the early onset, cavities seem like discolored spots on the tooth. These spots will begin to change color as the cavity progresses. The cavities represent the enamel’s (the tooth’s hard outer surface) permanently damaged areas

It takes years for cavities to worsen. They will usually go unnoticed since they are not painful. But as they grow, they can reach the inner parts of the tooth that house the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. This is when you will start feeling pain.

So, How Do I Know If It Is a Dental Emergency?

First, we must define dental emergencies to get a better perspective. In a nutshell, a dental emergency could be any condition or accident that affects the oral cavity (mouth) and requires immediate care.

The definition may seem a bit vague since anyone with some discomfort might consider their scenario urgent and need to visit our dentist in Brentwood for care. To be clear, if you have a scenario that can wait for a day or two to get dental care, you are not facing a dental emergency.

Second, you will need some scenarios that might make it easier for you to differentiate between a dental emergency and a non-emergency:

Knocked-Out Teeth

You will need immediate dental care when you have experienced direct trauma to your teeth and you lose a tooth or teeth. If you get to our dentist near you within half an hour, there is a greater chance that your tooth might be reinserted.

Cuts, Lacerations, and Persistent Bleeding

If you have been cut on the lips, inner cheeks, or gums and the bleeding will not stop even after first aid, then you will need instant care to stop the bleeding.

Abscessed Tooth

A tooth can get infected when a cavity reaches the pulp. In this case, the infected tooth can cause fever and toothaches. An abscess is considered an emergency since the infection can spread to other parts of the head and the rest of the body. So, our dentist has to deal with it immediately to remove the infection.

These are just some of the examples of dental emergencies that might occur.

Third, look at some of the questions that you should answer:

  • Am I in excruciating pain, and pain medication won’t work?
  • Am I bleeding incessantly?
  • Have I lost a tooth?

Lastly, cavities aren’t all the same; they vary in degree, depending on the tissues that have been compromised. During the first stages of the infection, the symptoms will be mild and can be treated during regular hours. Therefore, the dental cavity will not be viewed as a dental emergency.

Dental cavities can progress, and you will experience mild tooth sensitivity and some pain. Still, this is not considered a dental emergency since you can visit our dentist near you at your convenience.

When you leave your cavity unattended much longer, the symptoms will worsen. At this stage, the integrity of your tooth will be compromised, thus the need for an emergency dentist to quickly rectify the problem.

We Are Here for You

Dental emergencies that arise because of dental caries can be avoided. The only instance dental cavities will be a dental emergency is when you choose not to visit our dentist in Brentwood regularly. If you choose to visit us regularly, such issues will be dealt with even before they evolve.

So, contact us today at Brentwood Dental Arts to schedule an appointment.