Emergency Help

How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies
What Are Emergency Dental Services?

If your dental problem is interfering with your comfort and your ability to eat, speak, and function normally, it’s time to seek emergency dental care.

Call your dentist right away if you think you need emergency dental care. Most dentists set aside time in their daily schedule to handle emergencies—so you may be able to get in for an appointment quickly. Even if your emergency happens on the weekend or at night, try calling your dental office first. The office’s after-hours message may give an emergency number to call or provide other useful information. If these options do not work, you should go to the nearest emergency room.

Here are a few common emergency conditions that providers treat on a regular basis:

  • Toothache diagnosis and treatment
  • Emergency tooth extractions
  • Repair of fractures, chips, and cracks in teeth
  • Relief from pain and swelling caused by impacted wisdom teeth
  • Treatment of abscesses and other infections
  • Replacement of lost crowns and dental fillings

Here are a few tips to remember in the event of trauma:

  • Never touch the root of your tooth with your hands. Instead, hold the tooth by its crown.
  • Rinse debris off all tooth pieces using warm water.
  • Insert the tooth back into its socket whenever possible.
  • If you can’t reinsert the tooth, put it in a glass of milk or hold it between your cheek and gums to keep it moist until you can obtain professional care.

What to do in the case of a dental emergency:


Contact your dentist as soon as you feel discomfort or pain.

Knocked-Out Tooth

A knocked-out tooth is a time-sensitive crisis, but if you act quickly, your dentist may be able to save the tooth. If your tooth becomes loose or knocked out due to trauma, call your dentist.

Broken, chipped, or cracked tooth

Rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to your face. Contact your dentist right away. If the tooth was broken or chipped, bring the tooth fragment wrapped in wet gauze or a wet towel.

Broken Jaw

Apply ice pack or a cold compress to the face. Visit your doctor or seek emergency care immediately.


An abscessed tooth can be identified by the presence of intense tooth pain and sensitivity, foul-smelling drainage, fever, facial swelling, swollen glands and sores on your gums. If you don’t have this serious infection treated promptly, it could progress and cause serious health problems. Call your dental office immediately if your symptoms suggest an abscess.

Broken Crown or Lost Restoration

A broken crown or lost restoration leaves a gap in your mouth and increases the risk of rapid deterioration of the exposed tooth. Contact your dentist immediately. Your dentist can provide a short- or long-term replacement to keep your dental health intact.

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