The Ins and Outs of Emergency Dental Care: A Guide to Your Visit Experience

The Ins and Outs of Emergency Dental Care: A Guide to Your Visit Experience

July 3, 2023

Emergency Dentistry in South Lake Tahoe, CA, is vital when you experience sudden and severe dental pain that requires immediate attention.

Dental emergencies can arise for various reasons like an abscessed tooth, broken or knocked out teeth, severe toothache, a broken or lost dental crown or filling, or a jaw injury.

Dental emergencies can cause significant discomfort and difficulty eating, speaking, or carrying out daily activities. Visit an emergency dentist near you immediately in case of a dental emergency to prevent further damage or complications.

Examples of Urgent And Non-Urgent Dental Issues

Some dental issues require immediate attention, while others can wait for a regular dental visit.

  1. Urgent Dental Issues:
  • Severe Toothache: A severe toothache that lasts for several hours or days can be a sign of an abscessed tooth or an infection. These dental problems require immediate attention to relieve pain and prevent further complications.
  • Broken or Knocked-Out Teeth: Broken or knocked-out teeth require urgent dental care as they can lead to infections, severe pain, and further damage to surrounding teeth and gum tissues.
  • Swelling or Infection: Swelling or infection in the gums or around the teeth can indicate a serious dental issue such as abscess, infection, or gum disease. Immediate dental attention is necessary to diagnose the issue and start appropriate treatment.
  • Broken or Lost Dental Crown: A broken or lost dental crown can expose the underlying tooth to damage, decay, and sensitivity.
  • Jaw Injury: A jaw injury can cause severe pain, swelling, and difficulty in speaking or eating. Urgent dental care is necessary to diagnose and treat the injury to prevent further damage or complications.
  1. Non-Urgent Dental Issues:
  • Discoloration: Teeth whitening can improve the appearance of stained or discolored teeth. While it is not an urgent dental issue, it can be important for enhancing the appearance of your smile.
  • Routine dental checkups are necessary for preventing dental issues. While they are not urgent, regular dental visits can help detect dental issues early and prevent serious problems.
  • Orthodontic treatment can improve the alignment of teeth and correct bite issues.
  • Filling Replacement: Dental fillings can wear out and need replacement over time. While it is not urgent, replacing old fillings can prevent tooth decay and further damage to the tooth.

How Emergency Dental Clinics Prioritize Patients Based On The Severity of Their Condition

Emergency dental clinics typically prioritize patients based on the severity of their dental condition to ensure that those with the most urgent needs receive prompt attention. Upon arrival, patients are often evaluated by a triage nurse or dental professional who assesses their condition and assigns them a priority level.

Priority levels are typically categorized into urgent, semi-urgent, and non-urgent. Urgent cases require immediate attention, including severe toothaches, broken or knocked-out teeth, swelling or infection, or jaw injuries. Patients with urgent cases are typically seen first and receive prompt treatment to relieve pain and prevent further damage.

Semi-urgent cases require attention within 24 hours, such as lost dental crowns or fillings, while non-urgent cases can wait for a regular dental appointment, such as routine dental cleanings or teeth whitening.

How To Care For the Teeth After An Emergency Procedure

After an emergency dental procedure, it is vital to care for your teeth to promote healing and prevent further complications.

  • Follow the Dentist’s Instructions: Your emergency dentist in South Lake Tahoe will provide specific aftercare instructions.
  • Take Pain Medications as Directed: If you are experiencing pain or discomfort after the procedure, your dentist may prescribe pain medications.
  • Avoid Hot and Cold Foods: After an emergency dental procedure, your teeth may be sensitive to hot and cold foods.
  • Brush and Floss Regularly: Good oral hygiene promotes healing and prevents infection.
  • Use Salt Water Rinse: Rinsing your mouth with warm saline water can help to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
  • Avoid Smoking and Alcohol: Smoking and alcohol can slow healing and increase infection risk.


Emergency dental care can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. However, with the right preparation, you can make your visit as smooth as possible. It’s important to understand what constitutes a dental emergency. If you’re experiencing severe pain or bleeding, don’t hesitate to seek immediate medical attention. Visit Tahoe Dentist for assistance when a dental emergency occurs.

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