What Qualifies as Emergency Dental Care?

Featured Image

While most dental care you and your family members receive will be of the routine variety, such as cleanings or fillings, emergency dental care can become a necessity when experiencing an issue too painful or potentially life-threatening to wait. The team of professionals at LANCO Dental Care in Lancaster, PA can help you understand what qualifies as emergency dental care so you can understand when to seek urgent treatment.

Severe pain

Many emergency dental issues cause extreme pain that can’t be controlled with over-the-counter medications. If the dental pain you or your loved one is experiencing is constant and severe, the culprit could be something like a dental abscess, infection, or inflammation of the gums caused by wisdom teeth. Because everyone handles pain differently, it can be tough to gauge how severe someone’s pain is by using the traditional pain rating scale you may be familiar with. Instead of rating their pain on a 1 – 10 scale, ask the person whether their pain is tolerable. If it’s not, that’s a sign of an emergency situation, and you should contact the team at LANCO Dental Care in Lancaster, PA right away.

Unexpected tooth loss

While it’s normal for children to continue losing teeth until about the age of 12, adults should not experience sudden or unexpected tooth loss. A tooth falling out or breaking off could signal any number of serious dental issues that require immediate attention, including severe infection or injury.

Sudden dental bleeding

Dental bleeding with no immediate cause is another sign of an underlying emergency dental issue. Sudden bleeding from the gums can be a signal of advanced gum disease, infection, or impending tooth loss.


There are several infections inside the mouth that could pose life-threatening complications if not treated urgently. Infections can result from abscesses, gum disease, and other issues, and their most common symptoms include swelling, pain, fever, and difficulty breathing or swallowing.

Dental injuries

Dental injuries are among the most common reasons to seek emergency care for your teeth. While this typically doesn’t extend to something like a chipped tooth, a serious dental injury should be inspected closely for signs of more serious problems. That’s because any impact to the face or head can cause trauma to the bones of the face, which could make it difficult to breathe.

Dry socket

Among the most painful dental conditions is dry socket, which occurs when the blood clot that forms over a tooth extraction site becomes dislodged or does not fully form around the site. That causes the underlying nerve to be exposed to air, bacteria, and food particles, and the resulting pain can be extreme. Similarly, if a person damages or loses a temporary bridge or crown, or a permanent filling, this could be another reason to seek emergency care, as it’s possible for the nerve to become exposed, causing pain and increasing the risk of infection.

Your resource for routine and emergency dental care

Nobody wants to experience traumatic injury to their mouth or have an infection so bad they need emergency care. But if any of the situations we’ve discussed here happen to you or a loved one, the team at LANCO Dental Care is ready to help. Our team will help determine the severity of your emergency and work quickly to give you the treatment you need to protect your dental health. Lancaster, PA residents in need of urgent or routine medical care should contact our office today to set up a consultation.

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