When you have acute dental pain, visiting an emergency dentist is the right thing to do. They can work out the cause of the pain and offer you treatment to resolve the problem. To make your emergency dentist's job easier, you need to give them accurate information about the pain that you have been feeling. Begin by preparing answers to these five questions.
1. Where is the Pain?
The more accurate you can be about the location of your dental pain, the easier it is for an emergency dentist to pinpoint the tooth or place in your gum where the problem lies. If you have a toothache, note exactly which tooth is affected. You can communicate to your dentist where the pain is by saying "it's the second incisor on the bottom right," for example, which can be easier and more comfortable than pointing.
2. How Much Does it Hurt?
Doctors and dentists often ask patients to rate their pain on a scale from 1 to 10. On this scale, pain that ranks as a 1 is hardly noticeable, whereas 10 is the most severe pain a person can imagine ever feeling. Try to be honest when your emergency dentist asks you this question, as the severity of pain can be an important factor in diagnosing oral infections.
3. When Did the Pain Start?
It is important for your emergency dentist to know how long you have been experiencing pain. A pain that comes on suddenly often has a different cause than a pain that builds up gradually over time.
4. What Triggered the Pain?
Think back and try to remember whether there was anything that triggered the pain to start. For example, did it begin while you were eating? Was it triggered by a blow to your face, for example, while playing sports, fighting or being involved in a car accident? Or did the pain build gradually, starting as a barely perceptible ache and gradually increasing? The more information you can give your emergency dentist about the onset of the pain, the sooner they can work out what is wrong and help you.
5. Do You Have Any Other Symptoms?
Let your dentist know about any other symptoms, such as a fever, sinus pain, bleeding or discharge from the mouth. These symptoms might indicate an infection that requires urgent treatment. Again, try to be as specific as possible about the duration and onset of symptoms.