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When to See an Emergency Dentist for Facial Swelling
An emergency dentist is an important source of help when you have the most serious oral health conditions. You should not only look for tooth and gum issues but for facial discomfort as well. A swollen face could signal a variety of troubling issues. The dentist can examine you, diagnose your needs and provide prompt relief. You should understand when to see this professional and when you can wait for a regular appointment.
What an emergency dentist does
Some dentists are trained to handle emergency cases where a patient is suffering from acute pain. These circumstances require immediate attention. This dentist undergoes additional years of study and hands-on training to diagnose and treat these most urgent cases. Unlike a general dentist, an emergency office accepts same-day appointments and may even welcome walk-ins in the most urgent times. The dentist may provide a short-term solution to a patient’s needs until the family dentist can intervene.
Causes of facial swelling
A person could experience swelling in the face for several reasons. An emergency dentist should be the first professional the patient sees in many situations. The swelling could be due to an abscessed tooth. This occurs when bacteria enter the pulp (the chamber that contains nerves and blood vessels) and causes an infection. The infection can spread throughout the face and eventually to other parts of the body.
The emergency dentist may also determine that the patient has a salivary gland infection. These glands are located in the cheeks. If they become infected, the patient can experience severe pain. A sinus infection could also be the culprit of the swelling. The dentist may refer the patient to an ear, nose and throat doctor for this condition.
Seeing the dentist
Minor or infrequent swelling may be no reason to visit an emergency dentist. However, if this issue persists and gets worse, it is time to call the dentist’s office. If the pain does not improve after two or three days, call the dentist. Patients should also seek treatment if the pain intensifies and causes other problems, such as headaches.
How the dentist provides relief
Once at the emergency dentist’s office, the patient will get a diagnosis. The dentist will examine the patient and take X-rays. For an abscessed tooth, the emergency dentist will numb the patient and drill beneath the enamel and dentin into the pulp. After removing the pulp, the dentist will clean out the tooth and disinfect it. A crown will go over the damaged tooth to protect it from further infection. For a salivary gland infection, the dentist may prescribe an antibiotic or remove part of the glands if necessary.
Knowledge is key
You should not treat facial swelling and pain lightly. Do not pass this off as something minor. The more you understand about this condition and what it can lead to, the more likely you are to recognize the need to go to an emergency dentist near you. The dentist can relieve your pain and kill any infections that may cause the swelling.
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