Emergency Dentist

Get to know what an emergency dentist does and when you need to make an appointment with an emergency dentist.

Need an emergency dentist near you?

Call us to make an appointment! Click the button in the menu to get started.

What is considered to be a dental emergency?

Dental emergencies are common. Most people know when they are having an emergency and need to go to the ER. However, when it comes to dental emergencies, it can be awkward and even embarrassing to know when to call your dentist. The most common dental emergencies are tooth fractures, oral infections and severe tooth pain or sensitivity.

What should I do if I have a dental emergency?

Any injury to the teeth or gums is serious and should not be ignored. The sooner the injury is treated, the better the chances of reducing or eradicating long-term effects and reducing the likelihood of needing more expensive treatments down the road.

1. Tooth Fractures: Chipped or Broken Teeth

In cases of chipped or broken teeth, retrieve any pieces and save them. Rinse your mouth using water. Use water to clean the broken pieces. If you’re bleeding, apply pressure to the area with gauze for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. If necessary, apply cold compression (a bag of ice or a cold compress) to any swelling areas. Then, contact your dentist to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

2. Severe Toothache or Sensitivity

In the case of severe tooth pain or sensitivity, rinse your mouth with clean warm water. Floss your teeth to ensure all food is dislodged. If pain persists, call your dentist to set up an emergency dental appointment.

3. Dislodged or Knocked-Out Tooth

First, retrieve your tooth. Hold it by the crown (the top part visible in the mouth) and rinse with clean and warm water. Do not scrub the tooth or use highly-abrasive cleaning cloths or brushes. Then, attempt to put the tooth back in place. The best case scenario is where you can hold the tooth in its original place and see your dentist within one to two hours. This will give you the best chance of recovering the tooth. Do not press or force the tooth vigorously into place. If it’’s difficult to place back in the mouth, set the tooth aside and see your dentist as soon as possible.

4. Partially Dislodged (Extruded) Tooth

In this case, see your dentist as soon as possible. To relieve pain, apply a cold pack or cold compress on the outside of the cheek of the affected area. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever if needed.

5. Foreign Object Caught Between Teeth

Be very careful not to use excessive force to try to dislodge the object. Using regular floss, gently and carefully attempt to remove the object. Contact your dentist if you are unable to remove the object. Never use anything other than floss, including sharp objects, metals, pins or even toothpicks. These can easily make the situation worse and more costly.

6. Lost Filling

For a temporary solution, some dentists recommend inserting a stick of sugar-free gum into the cavity (do not use sugar-filled gum as it will increase pain) or using an over-the-counter dental cement. Make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible.

7. Lost Crown

If your crown is removed, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. If possible, attempt to slide the crown back into place by first coating the inner surface of the tooth with an over-the-counter dental cement, toothpaste or denture adhesive. Do not use excessive force. If you are unable to slip it back on, retrieve your crown and bring it with you when you see your dentist. While you are waiting to see the dentist, using a cotton swab, apply clove oil to the affected area. Clove oil is readily available at any local drug store or pharmacy and is even available at grocery stores in the spice aisle. Never use super glue as dental adhesive.

8. Broken Braces and Wires

If you have a broken wire and are experiencing pain, schedule an appointment to see your orthodontist as soon as possible. As a temporary solution, use the eraser of a pencil and attempt to point the broken wire into a more comfortable position to prevent your gums or cheek from being injured. Do not use excessive force. Be gentle. Never attempt to trim or cut wires in your mouth, as you could swallow or absorb the metal into your lungs.

9. Loose Brackets and Bands

You can temporarily reattach loose braces with orthodontic wax. You can also place wax over the braces to act as a cushion. Schedule an appointment with your orthodontist as soon as possible. If it’s a loose band, retrieve it. Your orthodontist will re-cement or replace loose bands.

10. Abscess (Infections)

Abscesses are typically bacterial infections that can spread and occur around the base of the tooth. Abscesses are a buildup of pus that forms inside the teeth or gums. Abscesses are a serious condition that can damage surrounding teeth and gums. Because abscesses are so serious, schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible. In the meantime, to ease pain and draw out pus from the surface, rinse your mouth with a mild salt-water solution using 1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of water, every 4 hours.

11. Soft-Tissue Injuries

Injuries can often occur to the soft tissue portions of a person’s mouth. This includes the tongue, cheeks, gums and lips. Schedule an appointment at your dentist’s office as soon as possible if you’ve experienced an injury. If you are bleeding, here are some ways to reduce it while waiting for your dental appointment:

  • Rinse your mouth with a mild salt-water solution
  • Use gauze or a tea bag to apply pressure to the affected area.
  • If bleeding continues, go to the emergency room. Continue to apply pressure to the area until you can be seen by a physician.

Does your dental office offer services for dental emergencies?

Yes. Our office provides a variety of services to help with these various dental complications. Contact our office today by clicking the button in the menu!

When should I go to the ER for tooth pain?

In most cases, it’s not necessary to go to the ER for tooth pain. However, if you are dealing with excessive bleeding, have other complications unrelated to tooth pain, or are just unsure, go to the ER. In most cases, however, going to the ER isn’t necessary.

During what hours is emergency dentistry available at your dental office?

Our emergency dental services are available during normal business hours.

What is the best painkiller for severe toothache?

You can use over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol and Advil. Your preferred over-the-counter pain reliever is typically best.