Dental pain is certainly no fun, and sometimes it can be hard to determine whether it is a dental emergency or not. It is always a good idea to call your dental office and tell them what you are experiencing so they can determine whether you should be seen on a short term basis.
Some problems can be alleviated with an emergency or "problem focused" visit with your dentist; so when you have a dental issue it is a good idea to book an appointment.
A few examples of things that can be alleviated with one of these types of visits are:
Smoothing a chipped tooth.
Re-cementing a crown.
Relieving certain types of pain.
Prescribing antibiotics for active infections.