Dental Emergencies

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We’re committed to providing you with prompt care when you have a dental emergency. If you call us during our normal office hours, we will give your situation immediate attention and make arrangements to see you at our office as soon as we are able to.

When our practice is closed, call our office and listen to the message on the recording. One of our team members will return your call as soon as possible. In the case of a serious or life-threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room for treatment.

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Here are tips to help you handle some common dental emergencies:

In case of a toothache…

Gently rinse your mouth with warm water, then floss around the affected tooth; sometimes toothaches are caused by food lodged between two teeth or the gums. If you’re still in pain or the tissue around your tooth feels warm, call our office to schedule an appointment.

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

Apply pressure to the wound using a clean washcloth or sterile piece of gauze in order to stop the bleeding. A cold compress or ice pack can be used to reduce swelling. If you can’t get the bleeding to stop, call your physician or go to the emergency room for treatment.

If a baby tooth gets knocked out…

Call our office to schedule an appointment for your child.

If a permanent tooth gets knocked out…

Call our office right away, as getting prompt care is critical in order to save your tooth. Hold your tooth by the crown (don’t touch the root) and rinse it with water to remove any dust or debris. If you can, push the tooth back into the socket, then bite down on a piece of sterile gauze in order to keep it in place. If you can’t do this, put the tooth in a small container of milk or saliva and bring it to your appointment.

If a tooth gets chipped or broken…

Use lukewarm water to rinse your mouth, then place the broken piece of tooth in a small cup of milk or saliva. Call us to schedule an appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Emergencies

What do you do if you have a dental emergency?

The best thing to do when you’re dealing with a dental emergency is to call our office. We can talk you through the home care tips listed above and determine whether you need to come to our office for a same-day emergency appointment.

Does the ER handle dental emergencies?

No, emergency rooms do not have dentists on staff, so they cannot provide dental care, even in emergency situations. If our office is closed and you go to the ER for treatment, you’ll still need to come to our office to get the dental care you need. That said, emergency rooms can help with pain management, infections, and bleeding that won’t stop, so there are some circumstances in which you may need to go to the ER, particularly after hours.

Can a knocked out tooth be put back in?

Yes, adult teeth that have been knocked out can often be put back in. Once they’re reinserted into the socket, we stabilize them to encourage the gums to reattach. The likelihood of successful reattachment is higher the faster you act.

What will a dentist do for a broken tooth?

The answer to this question depends on the extent of the damage. Sometimes, the piece of the tooth that has broken off can simply be bonded back into place. Other times, a root canal is needed or, if damage extends below the gum line, your tooth may need to be extracted.