Dental EmergencyWe hope that you will never experience a dental emergency, but given the slight chance that you might some day, we want you to know that we are available to help you and provide you with the highest quality of care. We are available in any emergency situation. If an emergency should occur during office hours, please call us immediately so that we may schedule the best available time for you. We will do everything possible to treat the tooth that is causing the problem. Our main concern, however, is to relieve you from any pain. We may reschedule you for treatment at a later time.
Click below for your symptoms:
Bleeding After Extraction
Bleeding Around A Single Tooth
Bleeding And/or Pus From One Spot Near A Single Tooth
Broken Or Chipped Tooth
Crown (Permanent) Came Off
Crown (Temporary) Came Off
Jaw Joint Pain
Loose Or Missing Filling/Crown
Tooth Knocked Out
DISCLAIMER These suggestions are of a general nature only, and not intended to apply to every dental emergency situation. If you have specific questions regarding emergency dental care, please consult a dentist at a 24 hour emergency department or local hospital.
BLEEDING AFTER EXTRACTION?
Some light bleeding is common for a day or two after extraction of a tooth. Significant bleeding requires attention. We have given you some cotton gauze to bite on when you leave the office. This applies pressure and helps to promote clotting.
SOLUTION: If bleeding persists longer than 2 hours, fold up a moist tea bag and bite on it at the site of the extraction. If bleeding still does not stop, call our office and go to your nearest hospital. Return to the top
BLEEDING AROUND A SINGLE TOOTH?
Could indicate an impaction of food material and is usually accompanied by inflammation of the gum tissue in the same area. Have you recently eaten popcorn or crunchy chips?
SOLUTION: Probe gently with a toothpick to attempt to dislodge the substance. Rinse with warm salt water. If no improvement within 24 hours, call us for an evaluation, and if the bleeding does not stop go to your nearest hospital. Return to the top
BLEEDING AND/OR PUS FROM ONE SPOT NEAR A SINGLE TOOTH?
May indicate an infection at the root of the tooth that is draining. The infection works its way to the surface of your gums causing the appearance of blood and/or pus.
SOLUTION: Call our office as soon as possible. You will probably need root canal therapy followed by a crown to restore the tooth. If you delay treatment, this type of infection can quickly spread and easily be life threatening. Return to the top
BROKEN OR CHIPPED TOOTH?
A chipped tooth can be repaired and restored to its natural appearance with the cosmetic solutions available today along with a dentist who is skilled and artistic at using them. If the chipped or broken tooth is deep enough to compromise the tooth pulp, you could experience considerable pain.
SOLUTION: Take over-the-counter pain medications and call our office immediately. Emergency dental treatment performed in our office may be the only relief from pain. A root canal will be needed to save the tooth if the fracture has penetrated the nerve area. If you are in no pain, call us as soon as reasonably convenient for a solution. If a large part of a front tooth has broken off, retrieve the broken piece if possible and bring it with you to our office. Return to the top
CROWN (PERMANENT) CAME OFF?
Do not delay in calling us because your adjacent and opposing teeth will begin to shift within a matter of a few hours. This makes it impossible to recement the crown and we'll need to re-prep the tooth and prepare a new crown.
SOLUTION: Save the crown or bridge as it may be able to be cleaned off and recemented. Immediately call us for an appointment to recement the crown. If the tooth or crown is damaged, we will need to do some repair work and fabricate a new crown. Over-the-counter pain medications should ease any discomfort until you can be seen in the office. Out of town and no time to find a dentist? Always try to see a dentist first, but a nearby pharmacy will have temporary cements that could be helpful. Return to the top
CROWN (TEMPORARY) CAME OFF?
Recementation of a temporary is usually quick and easy. The temporary is placed to protect the tooth we're restoring for you during the weeks it takes to create your natural-looking permanent crown. The temporary also serves to "reserve" the space for the precisely fitted permanent. It was cemented with a temporary cement so that it will be easy for us to remove when it's time to replace it with your permanent crown or bridge. Do not delay in calling us because your adjacent and opposing teeth will begin to shift within a matter of a few hours making it impossible for the permanent crown to be fitted in the space.
SOLUTION: Save the temporary until you come to our office because we can often re-cement the same temporary. Take over-the-counter pain medication if necessary and call us. We will need to see you to re-cement the temporary within a few hours so the teeth will not begin to shift into the open space. A 10-minute appointment is usually sufficient and we try to see you at your convenience. Do not try to cement the crown yourself, especially with super-glue. Over-the-counter pain medications should ease any discomfort until you can be seen in the office. Return to the top
An isolated dark tooth is an indication of an injury that has cut off the flow of blood into the tooth; also the nerve of the tooth may have died.
SOLUTION: Root canal treatment may be necessary in order to save the tooth. Cosmetic solutions are available to restore the natural colour of the tooth. Call for an evaluation and cosmetic consultation. Return to the top
JAW JOINT PAIN?
May be caused by chewing, sleeping on your side, or may be chronic. Jaw joint pain is a symptom of Temporo-Mandibular Disorder (TMD), commonly known as TMJ Syndrome. Symptoms can be related to stress, a bad bite, misaligned teeth, arthritis, or missing teeth. A wide range of treatment is available and needs to be customized based on your own individual case.
SOLUTION: For temporary relief, place ice pack 20 minutes on/20 minutes off; take Advil, 2 at each meal and 2 at bedtime. Soft diet. No chewing gum. Sleep on your back. Call our office as soon as possible for a complete diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Return to the top
LOOSE OR MISSING FILLING/CROWN?
Do not delay more than a few days in calling our office if you have loose or missing dental work. This open area of tooth allows decay to quickly spread and attack the nerve of the tooth, which could result in the need for root canal therapy or loss of the tooth. Also, if you delay having a crown replaced, teeth may begin to shift in as little as 24 hours, making it impossible to re-cement the crown.
SOLUTION: If you are in pain, take over-the-counter pain medication. Call us to schedule an appointment ASAP. If over-the-counter pain medication is ineffective, call our office and someone will return your call ASAP. Return to the top
PAIN (CONSTANT) CAUSED BY CRACKS IN YOUR TEETH?
Constant pain means the crack extends beyond the outer surface of the tooth and may already reach into the nerve area of the tooth. A crown will need to be done to restore the tooth. A root canal may or may not be necessary before the crown.
SOLUTION: Take over-the-counter pain medications, and call us ASAP for an evaluation. We will need to take an x-ray for accurate diagnosis, but will be able to remedy your pain almost immediately. If over-the-counter pain medication is ineffective, call our office and someone will return your call ASAP. Return to the top
PAIN (OFF/ON) CAUSED BY CRACKS IN YOUR TEETH?
Off/on pain when chewing is caused by the underlying tooth structure flexing with the crack. A portion of the tooth may be getting ready to break off.
SOLUTION: Call us immediately so you can be seen as soon as possible. Delaying may increase the likelihood the tooth will break off or crack down through the extent of the root. This may result in the need for a root canal or loss of the tooth. Early detection assures minimal treatment. Take over-the-counter pain medication as needed to soothe discomfort. In the meantime, do not chew on that area. Return to the top
Is sensitivity due to hot, cold, or pressure and is it prolonged or off and on? Sensitivity can be an indication of exposed root, broken fillings or teeth, fractures or infection in the nerve.
SOLUTION: Over-the-counter pain medication should help until we can see you in the office. If over-the-counter pain medication is ineffective, call our office and someone will return your call ASAP. Return to the top
TOOTH KNOCKED OUT?
If a tooth becomes loose or is knocked out due to trauma such as a blow to the mouth, it is imperative that you act quickly. If you get to us within one hour, the prognosis is pretty good for successful reimplantation, though a root canal may be necessary.
ADULT SOLUTIONS: If the tooth is loosely dislodged, apply light finger pressure to try to push the tooth back into its position. Do not apply a lot of pressure. If the tooth is completely out, place it between your cheek and gum and get to our office within 1 hour. After-hours, call the office and we will call you back ASAP. If you are afraid you might swallow the tooth, put it in a glass of milk or water and bring it with you. Do no rub or wipe the tooth off. You may only rinse it off with water.
CHILDREN'S SOLUTIONS: Place the tooth in a glass of milk or water or gently wrap in a clean, damp cloth and get to us within one hour. Call ahead so we can expect you. If it's after-hours, call the office and we will return the call ASAP. Delaying more than an hour decreases the likelihood of successful re-implantation. Do no rub or wipe the tooth off. You may only rinse it off with water. Return to the top
Accurate diagnosis of the cause of the problem will direct the best course of effective treatment. A sick tooth will not get better. Symptoms may subside temporarily but the problem still exists and will not go away by itself. Delaying treatment will only allow the condition to worsen, and require more extreme measures for remedy. Progression of treatment for a toothache typically follows the pattern of filling or repair, root canal, extraction, bridge, or implant. Obviously it's more cost effective and easier on the patient if treatment takes place as early in that progression as possible, thus avoiding further decline.
SOLUTION: If trapped food is the source of the toothache, gently flossing the area to dislodge food should give immediate relief. If the pain continues, you may try applying ice wrapped in cloth to the side of your face. Do not apply heat. Do not put aspirin directly on the tooth or gums. Call our office as soon as possible. Return to the top