What is an Urgent vs. Non-Urgent Dental Emergency?

Emergency Dentists in Grand Rapids, MI

Teeth aren’t shy about letting you know when you need emergency dental care. Whether you knocked out a tooth while playing contact sports or you have a severe toothache, you’ll need to visit your Grand Rapids emergency dentist as soon as possible.

In this blog post, we’ll help you determine whether you need to see an emergency dentist this minute or if you can wait to schedule an appointment during normal business hours. Knowing the difference between urgent and non-urgent emergency dental care can help you limit the amount of damage done to your smile and save teeth.


What is an Urgent Dental Emergency?

Schedule an emergency dental appointment for the following:

  • Severe toothache
  • Knocked-out tooth
  • Loose tooth
  • Broken tooth
  • Chipped or cracked tooth causing pain
  • Abscessed tooth
  • Swollen gums

Any issue with your gums or teeth that involves severe pain or ongoing tissue bleeding requires a call to the dentist’s office. In the time between sustaining dental trauma and being seen by a Grand Rapids dentist, the dentist’s office may be able to offer advice for how to best protect your tooth in the meantime.

If the dental trauma happens on the weekend or outside of business hours, you should still go ahead and call the dentist’s office. Your family dentist should provide instructions on their answering machine for dental emergencies or provide an emergency number. If the answering machine message offers nothing useful, go to the nearest emergency room.

Responding quickly to dental emergencies will give you a better chance of saving the tooth and preventing permanent damage. When you seek urgent care for dental emergencies after a tooth injury, you also lower the risk of needing extensive dental restoration services in the future.

What is a Non-Urgent Dental Emergency?

Schedule an emergency appointment during regular business hours for the following:

  • Dull toothache
  • Food lodged between teeth
  • Small crack in tooth
  • Small chip in tooth
  • Lost filling, crown, or bridge

Even if the dental issue is not listed under our list of urgent dental emergencies, it’s still important to call your dentist’s office as soon as possible. Quick thinking can help save a tooth, which is why we always encourage our patients to contact us as soon as they suspect there’s a problem.

Whether you have an urgent or non-urgent dental emergency, we understand that this time is stressful for you. We hope that our blog post helped clear any confusion you might have had about the next steps after serious dental trauma.

Dr. Spraggins DDS at River Valley Dental does everything in his power to save teeth after dental injury or tooth decay. If you are in need of our emergency dental services, call our office to schedule an emergency dental appointment at (616) 363-5677.