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Dental Emergency

Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies require immediate medical attention.  Be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions until you are seen.

Infection or abscess – An abscess is a pocket of pus that has developed in the tooth and led to an infection.  This can cause acute pain and swelling.  If left untreated, the infection can spread from the affected tooth into the surrounding tissue.

Tooth loss – Tooth loss is a serious emergency that requires immediate attention to save the tooth.  If you managed to rescue the tooth, be sure to only touch it by the crown and never the root.  Store the tooth in a glass of milk or soak your tooth in your own saliva until you can make it to the dentist. 

Facial trauma – Severe pain and bleeding from the mouth, as well as swelling in the gums or around the face, are cause for concern and should be evaluated immediately.

Urgent Dental Injuries

Unlike dental emergencies, urgent dental injuries pose little to no immediate threat to your health, and can often wait until the first available appointment.  Follow your dentist’s instructions until you can make it to the office.

Cracked or chipped tooth— A cracked or chipped tooth can be very painful, and if left untreated, it can progress into a fracture.  A cold compress and over-the-counter pain reliever like Motrin can help minimize discomfort until your appointment.

Persistent Tooth or Mouth Pain— While tooth or mouth pain alone rarely constitute an emergency, it can be uncomfortable.  If you have persistent pain that doesn’t subside or is worsening, schedule an appointment as soon as possible.  A toothache that throbs and radiates to the jaw, ear, or neck, or is accompanied by a fever or swollen lymph nodes in your neck is a cause for immediate medical attention.

Loosen fillings or crowns— A lost filling or crown is not necessarily an emergency.  However, it can cause sensitivity or pain in the exposed tooth.  If you can save the crown or filling, keep it in a safe place, and bring it to your dental appointment.  Also, keep the exposed tooth as clean as possible in the meantime.

 

How It Works: Same-day or Walk-in Emergency Appointment

We accept walk-in and call-ahead emergency appointment.  Please be aware that such an appointment must be added into an existing schedule, and it may require some wait time.  Although we have a team of dentists, their schedule and pace of care are dependent on the type of service scheduled for that day.

However, you can be sure that if you arrive for emergency care, you will be seen by a dentist who will determine the next course of action.  Not only will our team do their best to schedule you with the shortest wait time possible, they will also inform you about the estimated wait time and keep you comfortable in the meantime.

Nearly all dental emergencies can be treated.  And fortunately, they are rarely life-threatening.  Though traumatic injuries can be painful, there is not need to panic.  Our team will do everything we can to squeeze you into our schedule as soon as possible.  

 

What should I do before being seen by the dentist?

For pain or discomfort:

  • Apply a cold compress to a painful or swollen area
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever if possible, and avoid hard, crunchy, and chewy food.

For bleeding:

  • Place gauze inside the mouth to control the bleeding
  • Apply an ice pack or cold compress

For a lost tooth:

  • Avoid touching the tooth by the root.
  • Store the tooth in a glass of milk or soak your tooth in your own saliva until you can be seen.