What Counts as a Dental Emergency?


When it comes to your oral health, maintaining clean and reasonably aligned teeth is essential for basic speaking and chewing functions. Some people don’t realize how important their oral health is until an unexpected problem occurs. Dental emergencies can be sudden, traumatic, and overwhelming. However, by recognizing dental emergencies and knowing the next steps, children and adults can quickly address oral injuries or infections and return to a normal, virtually pain-free routine. At Elegant Smiles, our skillful team of dentists works with patients throughout Las Vegas, NV to help meet their emergency and preventative dental care needs.

What is a dental emergency?

According to the American Dental Association (AMA), a dental emergency is any dental problem that requires immediate treatment to “stop bleeding, alleviate severe pain, or save a tooth.” Severe infections or abscesses that are considered life-threatening are also dental emergencies. At Elegant Smiles, our team carefully assesses your unique situation to determine if emergency treatment is needed.

What dental issues count as dental emergencies?

Dental emergencies can be a result of physical trauma, prolonged infection, or other ailments that cause unexplainable pain, including:

  • Tooth abscesses
  • A dislodged or partially dislodged tooth
  • Cracked or fractured teeth
  • Injury to the jawbone or gums
  • Severe oral bleeding
  • Toothache
  • Swelling or discoloration of oral tissues
  • Broken restorations and fillings

If you are unsure if your situation is considered a dental emergency, contact our team at Elegant Smiles for clarification or to get scheduled for immediate treatment

Medical emergency versus dental emergency

In some cases where patients experience physical trauma to the head, neck, or jawbone, we recommend a trip to the medical emergency room before visiting our team for dental emergency services. A primary care physician may need to rule out or confirm fractures, concussions, internal bleeding, or other serious complications. Once your medical situation is stable, you may come to our office to assess your oral needs.

What dental emergency services look like

If you or a loved one have incurred trauma or pain to the teeth, gums, or mouth, call our team at Elegant Smiles right away to schedule your dental emergency visit. Once you’ve arrived, our team will examine your teeth and other oral structures utilizing x-rays and digital screening tools. Once our dentists have diagnosed the problem, we will provide you with your available treatment options.

What to do after my dental emergency visit

Depending on the nature of your dental problem, you may have to return for a follow-up appointment to assess your progress and be fitted for new restorations, or additional treatment. Patients may be sent home with antibiotics or other prescription medication for infection and pain management. To promote healing, some patients may have to temporarily modify their diet. Consult with our team about your specific recovery plan.

How to prevent a dental emergency

Not all dental emergencies can be prevented; however, patients and their families can practice healthy habits at home to lower their risk for injury and infection, including:

  • Wearing mouth guards during contact sports
  • Brushing and flossing twice daily
  • Eating healthy, nutritious foods
  • Avoiding eating chewy, sticky, or hard foods
  • Attending routine dental check-ups and cleanings

Learn more about our dental emergency and preventive care services

If you reside in or near Las Vegas, NV, and are interested in learning more about our dental emergency services or would like to schedule a routine check-up, contact us at Elegant Smiles and make your appointment today. Our dedicated team will happily work with you and your family, and tend to your restorative and preventive dental care needs.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.