Dentists recommend a regular visit to their office for routine exams and treatment. These visits are vital in preventing common dental and oral issues that people experience every day. However, sometimes a dental problem can occur, requiring an urgent call or visit to your dentist. In that case, you will need emergency dentistry services.

Emergency dentistry deals with dental issues that require immediate treatment. Most problems, like a broken or fractured tooth, will worsen if left untreated. In that case, you cannot wait until your next visit to the dentist and must seek treatment and care right after you experience the problem.

It helps to work alongside an experienced emergency dentist if you have an urgent matter that requires immediate treatment. That is why we recommend our team at Valencia Advanced Dentistry at Copperhill Smiles. We have extensive knowledge and experience handling all kinds of dental emergencies. Thus, you can count on our quality and affordable services if you need urgent help in Santa Clarita.

An Overview of Emergency Dentistry

Many people visit their dentists for regular checks and scheduled procedures and treatments. However, some require urgent treatment and must call their dentist’s office without scheduling an appointment. These unexpected and unplanned visits to the dentist are not unusual. The field of dentistry accommodates emergencies pretty well. Dentists are also trained on how to handle all kinds of troubles. Therefore, your dentist will be ready for you regardless of the day or time of your need.

Dental emergencies comprise the most severe issues that should not be ignored. Emergency dentistry is generally a particular service offered by trained and experienced dentists. It aims to address all emergencies affecting your teeth, gums, jawbones, and general oral health. If you experience a dental issue without warning or notice, you should be able to find help from a competent emergency dentist.

Emergency dentists treat all kinds of urgent issues, including broken or fractured teeth, infections, or replacing missing teeth. Due to urgent dental emergencies, dentists must be available around the clock to ensure patients receive treatment and care when needed. For example, if you suffer an injury to your mouth and it knocks out one or more teeth, you need immediate treatment to fix or replace the missing teeth and ensure the rest are healthy and functional.

Emergency dentists help alleviate pain that results from an injury or infection. Toothaches can be unbearable, which is why you need immediate treatment. Some dental injuries and other issues, like infections, escalate over time. They are also easier and less costly to treat at the onset. Other emergency issues worsen if left untreated, resulting in tooth loss or significant problems that could impact your general well-being. These are some of the reasons you should quickly contact your dentist.

Dentists can treat some of the urgent issues in their office on the same day you visit them, for example, tooth abscesses and chipped or cracked teeth. However, you could undergo extensive treatment for some emergency issues. For example, a heavy blow to your mouth can cause more damage to your teeth, necessitating a lengthy procedure to fix the damage. An emergency dentist sometimes refers you to a dental specialist, like a cosmetic dentist, for further treatment. Typically, the kind of help you receive from an emergency dentist depends on the underlying issue.

An emergency dentist's primary responsibility is to ensure you are not in pain or experiencing any other kind of discomfort. For example, if your cracked tooth is in pain, an emergency dentist will prioritize alleviating your pain and then later focus on fixing the cracked tooth. Once you are out of pain and comfortable, you can discuss your treatment options for the underlying problem.

Common Dental Issues Requiring the Services of an Emergency Dentist

Emergency dentists offer a wide range of services, from pain alleviation to more serious ones like fixing broken or fractured teeth. Here are common dental issues that could prompt you to visit your dentist urgently:

A Toothache

Though familiar, toothaches are symptoms of underlying issues with your teeth, gums, or jaws. In most cases, it is impossible to tell the cause of a toothache by merely looking at the aching tooth. The cause of a toothache could be anything, from a minor injury to a more severe problem like a cavity or tooth abscess. That is why you should visit your dentist immediately after you experience pain in one or more of your teeth. Your dentist will ask you questions regarding the pain you experience and conduct a physical exam to establish the cause of the pain. If you know the cause of your toothache, for example, if you fell or suffered a blow to your tooth, it is essential to let your dentist know immediately.

A Cracked Tooth

Your teeth can crack for several reasons, including biting on something hard like ice, trauma to your mouth, or an injury after a fall or accident. A cracked tooth is reason enough to visit your dentist urgently. Sadly, most people ignore cracked teeth until the crack widens or deepens or until they experience pain. In most cases, you seek help when the problem has escalated, necessitating an extraction or a lengthy or costly procedure. You must visit your dentist immediately if you notice a crack in your tooth. If the damage is severe and is causing you pain, it could be because it has exposed your tooth’s nerves. You need urgent treatment to alleviate the pain and save that tooth from extraction.

A Displaced or Knocked-Out Tooth

You must also visit your dentist urgently if you lose one or more teeth after an injury. For example, if you were in an accident and one or more of your teeth were knocked out, an emergency dentist can save the situation before it worsens. They could clean and place the knocked-out tooth back into its socket. But you must keep the tooth pristine for the dentist to reattach it. If you have lost more than one tooth, quickly visit your dentist to have them repositioned. If you have lost your teeth in the gums, a skilled emergency dentist will move them back.

If you cannot find your lost tooth, you must visit a dentist to ensure the socket is well-cleaned to prevent infections.

Broken Dental Appliances

If you have a tooth appliance like a retainer or denture, your dentist will advise you to take good care of it for long-term service. But sometimes that does not happen, and some appliances break over time. If that happens, you could experience extreme pain. The damaged device will also need to work more effectively. In that case, you need urgent medical attention to fix the broken appliance. If you are in pain, an emergency dentist will prioritize alleviating the pain and discomfort before repairing the damaged device. If the fractured appliance makes speaking or eating difficult, an emergency dentist will ensure you can eat and talk comfortably before fixing the underlying problem.

Tooth Abscess

A tooth abscess occurs when a pocket of pus forms on your tooth due to a bacterial infection. Thus, an abscess indicates a severe infection that requires urgent treatment. If left untreated, a tooth abscess can cause severe damage to your tooth and the surrounding tissues. The infection can also spread to the underlying tooth structures and other body parts. If you notice an abscess, you must contact your dentist immediately. Abscesses can become large quickly, putting pressure on the adjacent teeth, jawbone, and nerves. It can also become a more severe and life-threatening infection.

Lost Dental Filling

If your tooth has a cavity, your dentist can clean and fill the infected part with a dental filling. The filling protects your tooth from further damage and reinfection. A lost dental filling leaves your tooth exposed and vulnerable to infection and additional injury. That is why it should be treated with the urgency it deserves. A lost dental filling can also cause pain and sensitivity in the affected tooth. An emergency dentist will focus on restoring the lost filling to continue protecting the tooth. That should eliminate the pain and sensitivity.

Lost Dental Crown

If you have a severely damaged tooth, your dentist can recommend a dental crown to improve its appearance and functionality. But over time, the crown can become loose due to the force and pressure of chewing and biting, eventually causing it to come off. You could also lose a loose-fitting dental crown. If your damaged tooth is short or lacks enough structure to support a crown, the installed crown will loosely fit over the tooth. It is possible to lose it eventually.

Once you lose a dental crown, the damaged tooth is left exposed and vulnerable to more damage. It also becomes painful and sensitive. You must visit your dentist immediately to restore the crown. If the crown is not the right solution for your damaged tooth, the dentist will recommend an alternative restoration to improve the appearance and functionality of the tooth.

You Can Prevent Dental Emergencies

In addition to daily habits that will keep your teeth and gums strong and healthy, dentists offer advice and recommendations on preventing dental emergencies. Some ways you can avoid an urgent visit to your dentist are:

  • Maintaining good oral habits, including brushing your teeth twice daily or after every meal and flossing daily. That will keep your teeth safe from bacterial infections that cause pain, sensitivity, and other issues that result in an urgent need for dental care.
  • Visiting your dentist’s office regularly for routine dental checkups — Doing so twice a year could help prevent some oral problems like cavities and gum disease and ensure that your dental appliances are working as they should.
  • Wearing a mouthguard whenever you play your favorite sport will protect your mouth and teeth from injuries.
  • Stopping bad habits like tooth grinding or chewing ice will keep your teeth strong and free from damage.
  • Using recommended products on your teeth, especially those that contain fluoride, will keep your teeth strong and healthy.
  • Limiting your intake of specific foods, like sugary and starchy drinks and foods, will minimize your risk of bacterial infections.
  • Avoid opening bottles and cans with your teeth, as doing so could damage your teeth, necessitating urgent treatment.

How Dentists Handle Emergencies

How your dentist will handle an emergency matter will depend on the kind of emergency you have. Here are ways in which dentists handle emergencies:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting the affected area.
  • Replacing or repairing damaged tooth structures.
  • Administering pain medication to alleviate pain and swelling.
  • Temporary covering of exposed systems and roots before making a referral for further treatment.
  • Extracting severely decayed or damaged teeth.

If your tooth is gravely damaged due to a cavity and the infection has spread to its root structures, your dentist can recommend an emergency root canal treatment to alleviate the pain and eliminate the infection. Root canal treatment entails removing the infected parts of the tooth. An infection on the root of a tooth can result from a cavity, which spreads beyond the tooth to its underlying structures. It could also occur through a severely damaged or cracked tooth. During treatment, an emergency dentist will remove the tooth’s infected pulp, clean the root canal, and seal it thoroughly to avoid reinfection.

Root canal treatment is recommended because it saves the natural tooth.

An infected tooth can also result in a tooth abscess. The abscess can occur at the tooth's root or the surrounding gum. The tooth abscess is very painful. It could cause you to experience fever, tooth sensitivity, gum swelling, and a foul taste in your mouth. An abscess can result when a bacterial infection enters a cracked or damaged tooth. The bacteria spread very quickly in the mouth, causing a severe infection. The infection can spread to the underlying structure of the tooth. An abscess is only a symptom of an infection in the mouth. That is why you must treat it with urgency. If not, it could result in serious health issues and be fatal.

What To Do When You Experience a Dental Emergency

A dental emergency is not something you experience every day. A crisis will be a little different if you have had a dental or oral issue that you sought treatment for. It could start with excruciating tooth, gum, or jawbone pain. It will be hard to ignore an emergency dental problem. Any oral or dental issue that comes with pain, bleeding, swelling, or causes problems with eating or speaking must be treated as urgent. For example, if you have had an accident and your mouth was injured, you should see a dentist immediately if your teeth are in pain, bleeding, or swollen.

You should also consider urgent dental care if your teeth appear misaligned or if some are missing after an accident. If an object is stuck in your gum, an emergency dentist can remove it, clean, and disinfect the gum to avoid an infection.

Some emergencies can hold on for a few days, but some must be treated immediately. For example, if one or more of your teeth are knocked out, you need a dentist’s immediate help to restore them. If you cannot go to the dentist immediately, call your dentist for advice on salvaging the teeth and avoiding infection.

Issues like severe pain, tooth abscesses, or damaged dental appliances cannot wait. You must visit your dentist’s office right away. In that case, you must work with a competent emergency dentist to handle your urgent matter before too much time is lost.

Fortunately, emergency dentists work around the clock to ensure they are available when patients need help. A well-trained and experienced emergency dentist can handle any kind of dental emergency. Also, work with fully equipped dentists to enjoy quick, effective, and painless treatment.

When you experience a dental emergency, it is advisable to contact your dentist immediately. Explain the issue you are experiencing to them. If it is in the middle of the night and the problem can wait a few more hours, your dentist will give you instructions to alleviate the pain or swelling. They will then ask you to visit their office as soon as possible. If the issue requires more urgent attention, your dentist will need you to visit their office immediately. It is important to salvage the situation, save your tooth, or prevent the problem from escalating.

You can visit your dentist even before contacting them in advance. When it comes to dental emergencies, dentists do not require you to schedule an appointment. Most emergency dentists offer walk-in services throughout the day and night. They are always prepared, with the necessary tools and equipment, to handle a wide range of dental emergencies.

Emergency Tooth Extractions

One of the instances in which you could require emergency dental care is when you have a problematic tooth that requires extraction. Extraction services are offered around the clock in most dental offices. It is because most of the reasons for tooth extraction must be done within a few hours or even days. When your tooth is gravely damaged due to cracking, cavities, or gum disease, it will be painful and impossible to fix. Your dentist will recommend extraction to alleviate the pain, protect the remaining teeth, and stop any infection the tooth could have.

Here are reasons you could require an emergency dentist’s help with tooth extraction:

For Severe Tooth Infection

A severely infected tooth is difficult to ignore because of its excruciating pain and sensitivity. Besides, an infection can quickly spread to other teeth and parts of your mouth. Some infections will affect your general health, while others can be fatal. That is why you should treat a tooth infection with urgency. When a tooth is severely infected, it could develop an abscess in or around it. An abscess will cause severe swelling, pain, and fever. Once at their office, your dentist must extract the tooth to prevent infection and eliminate all other symptoms.

For Teeth Affected by Gum Disease

Gum disease is one of the most severe oral infections caused by dangerous bacteria in the mouth. It occurs when stuck food particles cause tartar buildup in the gums, which later results in an infection. The infection affects the gum, impacting its grip on your tooth. Eventually, your gums lose their ability to hold the teeth in position, causing them to loosen up and eventually fall off. When the disease causes your gums to separate from your teeth, they leave the underlying structures of your teeth bare, causing the infection to spread further.

It could be difficult to save your natural teeth if you fail to seek treatment for gum disease early enough. If the infection has affected the underlying tooth structures, your dentist can recommend extraction as part of the treatment.

For Impacted Teeth

Impacted teeth occur when the developing wisdom teeth fight for insufficient space in the gums. If your gums do not have enough space to allow the development of more teeth, the developing wisdom teeth could become impacted, causing you a lot of pain, severe swelling, infection, and fever. Dentists recommend extracting impacted teeth to alleviate the pain and eliminate all the other symptoms. Once extracted, the wisdom teeth will allow the other teeth to develop well.

Find an Experienced Emergency Dentist Near Me

Emergency dentistry aims to treat dental and oral issues that cannot wait until your next appointment or for you to make an appointment with your dentist. Emergency dentists work around the clock to ensure their services are available when their patients need them. If you experience a dental emergency in Santa Clarita, it helps to know an emergency dentist is available to help you with the pain, bleeding, swelling, and any other urgent issue you could have. We have a team of well-trained, experienced emergency dentists at Valencia Advanced Dentistry at Copperhill Smiles who are always prepared to handle emergencies. We are well-equipped to ensure you enjoy quality, affordable, and timely dental services. Call us at 661-775-7717 to learn more about us.