Help! I have a dental emergency!

Dental emergencies involving extreme pain or swelling should be treated as quickly as possible.  During our business hours Monday-Thursday, please call the office and we can typically see you quickly depending on your situation.  For after-hours emergencies, you can obtain the contact information for the emergency line by calling our office and listening to the message.    If it is not a true emergency, we will always respond to messages the next business day at 8am.

Things that can be done at home to help you:

Severe face or head trauma- Do not call our office.  Call 911 or head directly to the Emergency Room.

Severe Pain/Toothache – A toothache can start at any time and become extremely painful.  If the pain is mild to moderate, over-the-counter pain medication can be used to alleviate the discomfort until you can get in to see us.  If the pain is extreme, call us immediately. 

Swelling- This typically indicates an infection, and you should call for an appointment.  Ice packs (10 minutes on, 10 minutes off) placed over the area of swelling can sometimes help reduce pain.

Tooth knocked outNote: If there is a suspected concussion, the patient should head to the ER first, the dentist second.  Teeth can become avulsed (knocked out) from intense trauma to the mouth such as a punch, a fall, or a sports injury.  The tooth should NOT be cleaned or rinsed with water, as this can ruin the ligaments on the tooth.  The tooth can be placed in a special vial of liquid that sports trainers often have on hand called Save-a-Tooth.  If this is not available, place the tooth in a container of milk.  If that is not  available, the patient can place the tooth in their mouth, holding it inside of their cheek (saliva and/or blood are ok and will not harm the tooth).  Call our office or the emergency line immediately.  The tooth or teeth will need to be re-implanted in the gums as quickly as possible.

Crown (Cap) came off – This is not a true dental emergency, unless it is a front tooth and it creates a major esthetic issue!  In many cases, a loose crown can be recemented at our office.  Some patients do place the crown back on their tooth while waiting for their appointment, either with over the counter temporary cements (this can be difficult to do properly) or simply just pressing it into place.  If the crown is at all loose, do not leave it in your mouth since there is a risk of swallowing it. 

Lost filling – In the absence of pain, this is not a true emergency unless it is on a front tooth, and is deemed an “esthetic emergency.”