Island Dental blog

What Is and What Is Not a Dental Emergency?

April 13, 2023

When it comes to dental emergencies, it can be difficult to determine what constitutes an emergency and what can wait until regular business hours. While some dental problems can wait, others require emergency dental care in Marco Island to avoid further complications.    

patient needs to get an emergency dental care in Marco Island

What is a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency is a dental problem that requires immediate attention from a dental professional. The following are some common examples of dental emergencies:

Severe Toothache  

A severe toothache that is accompanied by swelling or fever and that does not go away with over-the-counter pain medication is a serious dental issue that requires immediate attention from a dentist. Ignoring a severe toothache can lead to complications such as tooth loss or spread of infection to other parts of the body.

Broken or Fractured Teeth  

A broken or fractured tooth can expose the nerves and cause pain or infection. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious problems.

Knocked-Out Tooth  

A knocked-out tooth requires immediate attention. If you can, gently rinse the tooth with water and make sure your hands are clean. If that is not possible, try to save it in a clean space and bring it with you to your dental appointment.


An abscess can occur as a result of untreated tooth decay or gum disease, which can allow bacteria to enter the tooth and form an infection. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the surrounding tissue and bone, leading to more severe pain, swelling, and even tooth loss.

What is Not a Dental Emergency?

Not every dental issue is a dental emergency. The following are some common examples of dental problems that do not require immediate attention

Mild Toothache  

A mild toothache is a common dental problem and is often caused by tooth decay or even teeth grinding. While it can be uncomfortable, it's not typically considered a dental emergency and can often be managed with over-the-counter pain medication or home remedies like rinsing with warm saltwater.

Chipped Tooth  

While a chipped tooth can be concerning, it's not typically considered a dental emergency if there is no pain or sensitivity. It's important to take care when eating or speaking to avoid further damage to the tooth, but it's generally safe to wait until regular business hours to see a dentist for treatment.

Lost or Loose Filling or Crown  

If a filling or crown is lost or loose but does not cause pain or sensitivity, it can wait until regular business hours.

Mild Sensitivity  

Mild sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks is common and does not usually require immediate attention. However, if the sensitivity is severe or persists for an extended period, it's best to consult with a dentist.

Canker Sores  

These are small, painful sores that can develop inside the mouth. They are not contagious and usually heal on their own within a week or two.

Even while many non-emergencies call for treatment in a few days, they rarely require emergency or same-day dental care.

patient undergoes emergency dental care in Marco Island

Need Emergency Dental Care in Marco Island?

Understanding what is and what is not a dental emergency is important to ensure that you receive the appropriate care for your oral health needs. If you need immediate dental care, please don’t hesitate to contact us and visit us! Here at Island Paradise Dental, we are ready to assist you.  

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