What is a dental emergency?
A dental emergency is any situation that poses an immediate threat to the health of your teeth and supporting tissues. Dental emergencies are often the result of impact to the mouth, but they also can be caused by infection. To ensure the best possible outcome, any dental emergency should be evaluated by a professional immediately.
How soon should I be seen?
If you are experiencing a dental emergency, we recommend you contact your general dentist first. Your general dentist will be able to advise what your treatment options are and if necessary will refer you to us. If your dentists wants you to be seen in our office, we can offer same-day emergency services for most conditions.
After Hours Emergencies:
For patients that have been already been seen in our office and are experiencing severe dental emergencies after hours, such as significant infection, pain or trauma please call our emergency number: 925-432-2444
What to do if a tooth is knocked out:
For permanent teeth that are knocked out, rinse the tooth and put it back in the socket. If you can’t get the tooth back in the socket, place it in a container of milk, water or saliva to keep it moist. Do not touch the roots (handle the tooth by the crown) and don’t brush the tooth. Contact your general dentists IMMEDIATELY for information and emergency treatment – the sooner you get to us, the more likely your tooth can be saved!
For baby teeth that are unexpectedly knocked out, leave them out and contact the child’s dentist immediately for instructions.
Other Emergency Dental Situations:
- Substantial Toothache
- Significant Sensitivity
- Swollen or Sore Gums
- Jaw Pain
- Broken, Cracked and Chipped Teeth
- Broken Fillings
- Lost Crown
If you can’t get into your dentist’s office immediately, here is a list of effective home remedies to make you more comfortable while you wait for care:
- Warm water rinses for sore teeth and gums.
- Over the counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Ice packs applied to the outside of cheeks.
- Dental anesthetics containing benzocaine may be used as directed on the package for pain.
- Avoid overly hot and cold beverages and foods to reduce sensitivity.
- Heating pads may be used for jaw pain.
- Avoid chewing in the injured area.
- If a broken tooth has a sharp edge, cotton can be placed over it to protect soft tissues in your mouth.
Some dental emergencies may not cause pain initially. For example, a cracked tooth may not hurt, but it may lead to nerve damage in the roots. For this reason, all of the listed conditions need immediate attention, whether or not pain is present.
We are here to help! Please contact your dentist if you have any emergency condition.