What is Emergency Dental Care

What is Emergency Dental Care?
Dental emergencies can affect anyone at any time. Especially if we take into account, for example, situations that happen because of accidents, that is, in environments where we have no control. Emergency dental care is specific care that is related to a dental emergency, oftentimes after regular dental office hours or on weekends. It is important to understand the difference between dental emergencies and dental urgencies.
Dental Emergency
A dental emergency happens when there is an extremely critical situation, which increases the patient’s risk of severe and lasting oral damage, intense or excessive pain, tooth loss, or in rare and extreme cases, death. Therefore, it is necessary for the dentist to be able to deal with the case immediately. Dental emergencies can be defined as the following:
* uncontrolled bleeding;
* cellulitis or diffuse bacterial infections, with swelling, that is, edema, located intra-orally or extra-orally. As a result, there is a potential risk of compromising the airways of patients;
* trauma involving the bones of the face. In this scenario, there is also a risk of compromising the patient’s airway.
Dental emergency vs Dental Urgency
Dental urgency is defined, in turn, as a situation with less criticality, in which the patient is not at risk of death. However, it still needs priority care. In this case, the dentist has time to study and diagnose the problem before starting any procedure. Dental urgency situations are as follows:
* acute pain, resulting from inflammation in the pulp;
* pericoronitis, that is, pain related to infectious processes involving impacted third molars;
* postoperative alveolitis, control or application of drugs at the site;
* removal of sutures;
* abscesses, dental or periodontal, or bacterial infection resulting in localized pain;
* tooth fracture resulting in pain or causing buccal soft tissue trauma;
* dental treatment necessary and prior to a critical medical procedure;
* cementation or fixation of crowns or fixed prostheses if the restoration is loose, provisional or fixed. She may be lost, broken or causing pain and gum inflammation;
* biopsy of abnormal changes in oral tissues;
* adjustment or repair of removable prostheses that are causing pain or with compromised masticatory function;
* finalization or exchange for intracanal medication with calcium hydroxide and effective sealing with material resistant to mastication for endodontic treatments already started. In this way, an unfavorable prognosis is avoided;
* extensive cavities or restorations with problems that are causing pain;
* oral necroses with pain and the presence of purulent secretion;
* adjustment, exchange or removal of the arch or orthodontic device that is causing ulceration of the buccal mucosa;
* oral mucositis with indication for treatment with laser therapy ;
* dental trauma with avulsion or dislocation.
The list is certainly long and requires attention from dentists. And as we can see from this list, pain is the main cause and symptom that tends to mark a dental urgency or emergency and may require the care of an emergency dental office that offers 24-hour care. Additionally, acute diseases of the periodontium (such as pericoronitis and gum abscesses) will oftentimes require emergency care in an ER, hospital, or emergency dental office.