Those of us who have no experience in the field of medicine, or in this case, dentistry cannot be expected to realize and differentiate between dental problems that require immediate attention on an emergency basis, or problems that can wait till you book a normal appointment during normal clinic hours. Regardless of whether you are on the lookout for “is this the best dentist in Gold Coast, QLD?” or already have a designated dentist, you need to find out your dentist’s off-duty services and to what extent they accommodate dental emergencies so that you know where to go in case you ever run into one.
Dental emergencies are mostly determined by the extent of pain and damage that is caused. If you have suddenly lost a tooth, then you need to get emergency dental care as soon as possible since there is a very small window where your tooth can still be saved. Another scenario would be a case of really bad oral infection that is extremely painful and does not allow you to carry out any task.
A chipped tooth is not necessarily a dental emergency, however, if there are broken fragments in your mouth coupled with extreme pain, then it needs to be looked over immediately so that they can be removed and the area is cleaned. So, the intensity of the pain, the extent of damage, and its ability to hinder normal functioning is what you should normally assess when you are considering going for emergency dental care. So, mild tooth pain or swollen gums will not count as an emergency situation that requires immediate attention. By asking yourself questions like how bad does it hurt and does it require immediate care etc. you can manage to make the right decision. If you are still unsure, you can contact your dentist’s clinic to learn more.