It’s always stressful to deal with a dental emergency, but we’re here to help. If you experience an emergency during our regular office hours, we will give immediate attention to your situation and make every attempt to see you as soon as we can. 

Should you have a dental emergency when our practice is closed, call our office and follow the instructions on the recorded message. A member of our team will return your call as soon as possible. In case of a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room for treatment.

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Common Dental Emergencies

Here are instructions on how to handle a few of the most common dental emergencies:

If you have a toothache…

Check to see if you have a piece of food lodged in the tissue surrounding the affected tooth by rinsing your mouth with warm water and flossing gently around the tooth. If this doesn’t help or you notice that the area around your tooth is warm, call our office to schedule an appointment.

If a lip, gum, cheek, or tongue gets cut…

Use a sterile piece of gauze or a clean washcloth to apply pressure and stop the bleeding. If you have swelling, use an ice pack to bring it down. For bleeding that can’t be controlled, call your physician or go to your nearest emergency room.

If a baby tooth gets knocked out…

Call our office to schedule an appointment for your child. We will examine for soft tissue damage and assess whether a space maintainer is needed.

If a permanent tooth gets knocked out…

Hold the tooth by the crown, not the root, and rinse it gently with water. Place the tooth back into the socket if you can and bite down on a piece of gauze to hold it in place. If you can’t put the tooth back in the socket, place it in a small cup of milk or saliva. Call our office immediately.

If a tooth gets broken or chipped…

Use lukewarm water to rinse the area and a cold compress to reduce swelling. If you can find the piece of tooth that broke off, put it in a small cup of saliva or milk and bring it to our office. If more than half of your tooth has broken off, call our office right away.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Emergencies

What are some dental emergencies?

Some dental emergencies include unbearable toothaches, uncontrolled bleeding, knocked out or broken teeth, restorations that have fallen out, abscesses, and loose dental implants.

Are cavities considered a dental emergency?

No, we don’t consider cavities to be a dental emergency. The only exception to this is if you have a cavity that’s causing you unbearable pain. If this is the case, you may have an infection, which is a dental emergency.

What helps unbearable tooth pain?

When tooth pain is severe, it’s almost always a sign that there is a serious problem, which means the pain won’t go away without treatment. Call our office right away for an appointment. While waiting, you can use over-the-counter pain relievers, cold compresses, and numbing gels to make yourself feel more comfortable.

Can I go to the ER for dental emergencies?

You can go to the ER for dental emergencies, but we don’t recommend it. ERs don’t typically have dentists on staff, so if our office is open, it’s best to call us for an emergency appointment. If our office is closed and you’re experiencing excruciating pain, you can go to the ER, as they can prescribe pain medication and antibiotics if you have an infection.