If you have a real dental emergency when normal dentist offices are not open, you can't afford to wait for them to open. You need to get help right away. Not only are major dental problems extremely painful in many cases, they are also often time sensitive. If you wait too long to treat an emergency dental problem it will only make matters worse for you.
Now, before you go and call an emergency dentist it's important that you recognize what real emergencies are. You don't want to see an emergency dentist for a problem that can wait until normal business hours. So what types of problems would be considered an actual dental emergency?
If you have a minor toothache you can probably wait until your dentist can see you to have the problem resolved. However, anyone that has ever had a severe toothache will tell you that waiting isn't an option. If the pain is so severe that over the counter pain medications don't help, you need to see an emergency dentist. Pain that is unbearable is often indicative of a serious dental problem, so the sooner you get it taken care of the better off you are.
A tooth infection isn't just an emergency dental problem, it's a problem that could prove life threatening. Many people don't think that a tooth problem can threaten their life, but an infection can. Just think about it for a moment and it makes sense. Your teeth are close to your brain, so a major infection has the potential to spread to that vital organ, and if it does your life could be at risk.
A broken tooth is also an emergency dental problem due to the severe pain you will probably be feeling, as well as other complications. In many cases a broken tooth can be saved by having a root canal performed, and a crown put on. While this is nobody's idea of a fun time, the fact remains that a root canal usually causes only minor discomfort and is a small price to pay to save your tooth. You need to be aware that a broken tooth is at risk of further damage as long as it is left without being repaired. So this is also a time sensitive dental problem, which means it qualifies as an emergency.
If you have the misfortune of having a tooth knocked out, then this definitely qualifies as an emergency dental problem. While the nerves and blood vessels of a knocked out tooth cannot be repaired, it can be put back in place and will often attach to the bone once again. In this case you will need a root canal, but the good news is your tooth has been saved. Keep in mind that the longer your tooth is out of your mouth, the lower the chances are that it can be saved. So if you have a tooth that has been knocked out then get to an emergency dentist as soon as possible.
A broken filling can be very painful, especially if it exposes the root of your tooth. While the pain isn't a lot of fun, the more serious complication of a broken filling is that your tooth is very vulnerable to further damage. This could result in you needing a crown, and it may even cause you to lose the tooth. On the other hand if you address the problem quickly a skilled dentist can usually simply replace the filling, which is a minor dental procedure.
A chipped tooth often results in that horrible shocking, electric like pain that can be unbearable. Of a more serious concern though should be the likelihood that a chipped tooth will suffer further damage causing it to get to the point where it cannot be repaired. In many cases a chipped tooth can be repaired, although a crown is often needed. If you have chipped a tooth the longer you wait for treatment the greater the chances are that you will end up loosing that tooth.
Some bleeding from your teeth will happen from time to time for most people. It's often a sign of a problem, but it's the type of problem that can wait until your regular dentist can see you in most cases. If however, you have severe bleeding that doesn't seem normal this could indicate a lot of different emergency dental problems. Then you should call an emergency dentist and be seen as soon as possible.