How To Know If Your Dental Pain Is An Emergency

How To Know If Your Dental Pain Is An Emergency

Team Emergency

If you have pain in any part of your mouth, it can be extremely uncomfortable. When severe, you may have difficulty eating and talking. Dental pain can occur at any time and due to any number of causes. More often than not, it happens when your dentist’s office is closed. In this case, how do you know if your situation is urgent enough to be considered an emergency? Here are some questions to ask yourself or a loved one to determine when to seek emergency treatment

Can the pain be managed with over the counter pain medication? 

Over the counter pain medication is any type that you can buy from the store without a prescription. If your pain is manageable with Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), naproxen sodium (Aleve), or aspirin, you may be able to wait until regular office hours. Do not take aspirin if you have any bleeding, as it is a natural blood thinner and may make bleeding worse. If you take medication and do not experience relief, call your dentist. 

Is there uncontrolled bleeding? 

If you have bleeding in your mouth that won’t stop, it is considered to be an emergency. Call your dentist right away. Uncontrolled bleeding becomes life threatening if the person becomes dizzy, light-headed, or loses consciousness. In this case call 911 or proceed to the nearest hospital emergency department. 

Have you lost a tooth? 

If your pain is the result of a knocked out tooth, your situation is an emergency. A tooth that is completely out of the socket will need to be put back in place quickly for the best chance of saving the tooth. If you can, place it back in the socket and bite down on some gauze or a clean cloth. If not, put the tooth in a container of milk or saliva and bring it with you when you go to the dentist. 

Is there an abscess? 

An abscess is a raised pocket of tissue that typically appears on your gums. It may have a head like a pimple and ooze pus if it is touched or squeezed. An abscess is often an indication of an infection, either in the gum tissue or inside of a tooth. If your abscess is causing significant pain, it may need emergency treatment. It may be able to wait until regular office hours if the pain is bearable, but it will need treatment at the first available appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Emergency Dental Care


Will emergency treatment cost more? 

If you require emergency treatment, your dental insurance will be billed accordingly. When urgent treatment is needed, the first priority is the health of the patient and we will provide the appropriate care for the situation. 

What should I do if I’m not sure how urgent the situation is?

It is always better to be safe. If you call us after hours, someone will contact you shortly and ask questions to determine the severity of the situation. We have the knowledge and experience to assess that patient’s condition and determine if emergency treatment is indicated.

Where To Seek Emergency Dental Care 

Hudson Valley Periodontics & Implantology provides emergency dental care for current and new patients. During office hours, immediate attention will be given to your situation, and you will be seen as soon as possible. After office hours, please give the office a call and follow the instructions provided. Your call will be returned as soon as possible. If you are experiencing a serious or life threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.

In case of a dental emergency, call 845-623-6666 right away.