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A 37-year-old member asked:

Should you go to the emergency room for a toothache?

5 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Orringer
General Surgery 21 years experience
No: The best place to get help for a toothache is with a dentist. More and more, you will find urgent care dental practices. You may have a significant abscess (infection) at the site and require antibiotics. Seeking pain medication may only mask the underlying condition and create a dependency. Dentists are the best practitioners to handle tooth related issues.
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Dr. Mark DeBard
Specializes in Emergency Medicine
It depends.: Toothaches usually develop slowly, giving you time to see a dentist to fix it before it gets too bad (they never get better on their own). Emergency doctors are not dentists and can't fix your problem, but can help under certain circumstances.If you have facial swelling or fever, you have an infection and need antibiotics. Severe pain may require prescription pain meds until you can see a dentist.
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Dr. Daniel Wolter
Dentistry 31 years experience
Usually Not: Toothaches by themselves are usually not life-threatening unless they are accompanied by significant facial swelling. The danger, of course, is that such a swelling can appear rather quickly and spread into sensitive areas of your face and neck, causing permanent damage, and even restricting your airway. So, while the toothache itself can be very painful, it's the swelling which is most dangerous.
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Dr. Kayvon Javid
Dentistry 21 years experience
Maybe: If you have swelling, difficulty breathing or an uncontrolled infection and you have no way of seeing a dentist than you must seek emergency treatment. If your pain and swelling is not sever than you can use some over the counter pain medication and see your dentist as soon as you can.
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Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 54 years experience
Most ER's will provide you with antibiotic and tell you to call your Dentist. Some have Oral Surgeon on staff who may remove tooth. Best solution is see Dentist directly.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

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Last updated Jan 3, 2022

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