During office hours, immediate attention will be given to your situation, and you will be seen as soon as possible. After office hours, please give the office a call and follow the instructions provided. Your call will be returned as soon as possible. If you are experiencing a serious or life threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
Below are instructions for handling some minor common dental emergencies.
In the case of a toothache…
Gently clean the area around the tooth by rinsing the mouth with warm water and gently flossing to remove any particles that may be lodged in the tissue around the tooth. If the pain continues, or if the area around the affected tooth is warm, please call our office to schedule an appointment.
If a lip, gum, cheek, or tongue gets cut…
Apply ice to help reduce swelling and apply pressure with a clean cloth or sterile gauze to stop any bleeding. If the bleeding continues, call your physician or visit your local emergency room.
If a baby tooth gets knocked out…
Please call our office to schedule an appointment.
If a permanent tooth gets knocked out…
Call our office right away and take these steps. 1) Do not touch the tooth root, but hold the tooth by the crown and gently rinse the tooth with water. 2) Place the tooth back into the socket as quickly as possible and bite down on clean gauze to hold it in place. 3) If the tooth cannot be placed in the socket, put the tooth in a small container of milk or saliva and bring it with you to your appointment.
If a tooth gets chipped or broken…
Gently rinse the area with lukewarm water and place a cold compress on the face to reduce swelling. If you can locate the piece of broken tooth, place the piece in milk, and bring it with you to the office. If more than half of the tooth is broken off, please call us immediately.
Emergency Pain Questions
Can the ER Help for Tooth Pain?
Few Emergency Rooms have dentists on staff, and even fewer have dental x-ray machines. Usually, the most they can do is prescribe medicine to relieve pain. They may also be able to administer or prescribe antibiotics as needed.
Can the ER Help for a Dental Abscess?
The Emergency Room usually can only do limited treatments regarding dental abscesses. Keep in mind, the only way to eliminate a dental abscess is through treating the tooth, either with a Root Canal or extraction. To help reduce the size of an abscess, the ER can prescribe antibiotics. If an infection is severe enough they can also administer IV antibiotics. If there is a breathing or airway issue, the ER can also perform an incision in the infected area to help drain the abscess. It is also crucial to ensure the abscess is odontogenic, or dental, in its origin, and not being caused by something else.
Does the ER Treat Dental Emergencies?
Yes, the ER can treat Dental Emergencies. However, emergencies can vary from person to person, so it depends on what the emergency is. If it is tooth pain, they can offer pain medications. However, if the dental emergency is an infection creating difficulty breathing, the ER can help to open airways. The ER can also help to reduce swelling and provide oral and/or IV antibiotics. You should first contact your dentist to triage your emergency. If it is life-threatening you should contact the ER immediately.
Can I get Emergency Dental Care?
Many dental offices offer emergency care. Some do it through walk-ins, others have on-call Dentists or Oral Surgeons that can come in if needed. Also, some dentists offer “TELE-MEDICINE” to help with emergency care.
What is considered a Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency can vary anywhere from a jaw fracture (trauma), to pain or infection. If you’re unsure, call your dentist. If you can not get in touch with a dentist, then call 911 or go the ER immediately.
Will peroxide help with nerve infection?
Unfortunately, peroxide will not help if a tooth nerve is exposed. However, it may help with gingival inflammation by reducing the amount of bacteria in your mouth. If you think you have an exposed tooth nerve, it is best to call your dentist immediately, as they are best equipped to handle that situation.
How do I relieve tooth pain?
You can relieve tooth pain by keeping your head elevated, minimize hard biting, and not drinking or eating any extreme hold or cold foods or drinks. If your pain continues, or is spontaneous and throbbing in nature, you can take oral Ibuprofen, and alternate with acetaminophen.
How do I relieve Cold Sensitivity?
If you are experiencing a general sensitivity to cold food or drinks, products like Sensodyne and Act mouth rinse can help to relieve cold sensitivity. These products often take about 2 weeks before you feel a decrease in sensitivity. Cold sensitivity can also be caused by gum recession or tooth decay. Depending on the extent, this can lead to more serious issues. It is best to see your dentist at least twice a year, and in addition, at the first sign of sensitivity.
Is it OK if Tooth Pain Goes Away, or Disappears?
If your tooth pain “disappears,” this can lead to more serious complications, such as nerve necrosis, or tooth death. This can ultimately lead to an abscess, a Root Canal, or an extraction or removal of your tooth. Just because the pain may have gone away, does not mean that the source of the pain is gone, and you should have your dentist evaluate you immediately.
What if the Dental X-Ray doesn’t show anything?
Sometimes, dental X-Rays can be inconclusive. For an X-ray, or radiograph, to show an abscess or tooth decay, there must be enough de-mineralization to occur. This may not occur immediately. For an accurate diagnosis, being a good historian is very important. Keeping an accurate timeline of events, trigger-points (what makes the pain worse, or better, will help in diagnosis. Do not be alarmed if the doctor may recommend waiting a certain amount of time to re-evaluate. In many situations, this will help to more accurately diagnose.
How Do I Prevent Tooth pain?
The best way to prevent tooth pain is brushing after meals, or at least twice a day. Flossing and using Flouride rinses can also help. Going to your dentist twice a year for professional cleaning will also help to prevent tooth pain.
How Do I Prevent Gum or Gingival pain?
To prevent gum pain, brushing and flossing at least twice a day is very helpful. But it is also important not to brush or floss excessively, or too hard, as you can irritate and exacerbate your gum tissue. For proper techniques, ask your dentist and hygienist. It is also recommended to use a soft-bristled toothbrush.