Dental Emergencies

Dental Emergencies

*If you are experiencing a true medical emergency, such as difficulty breathing or swallowing, contact 9-1-1 immediately.*

Most people do not realize that dental problems, if left untreated, have the potential to become much worse over time. While some minor dental problems do not need to be resolved right away, dental emergencies may need immediate attention.  

What Exactly Is A Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies are categorized as dental complications that require immediate treatment.  Generally, dental emergencies involve broken teeth, broken fillings, loose crowns, tooth pain, swelling, abscesses and/or infections.  If dental pain interferes with your lifestyle and/or sleep or if you notice any swelling in your mouth or face then you should contact a dentist immediately.  

How Do You Address Dental Emergencies?

The most regular dental emergencies include the following:

Toothache or Tooth Pain

A toothache can be a symptom of any of a wide range of dental problems, and the cause will need to be examined and diagnosed  by a dentist.   Two common reasons for toothaches are nerve infections (usually caused by decay) and broken teeth. If you are experiencing tooth pain, you should contact a dentist immediately.  There is a chance that if evaluated and treated quickly, the problem may be resolved more comfortably and before more extensive treatment is needed.

Cracks, Fractures, or Chips 

Tooth fractures usually happen from chewing on something hard or when the teeth experience a blow from some type of accident or impact.  People who clench or grind their teeth are also more susceptible to chipping or cracking teeth. If you have a tooth that has become chipped or cracked, you should contact your dentist.. 

Loose or Knocked-Out (Avulsed) Teeth

If a tooth is hit and becomes loose, contact a dentist immediately.  The tooth may be able to be splinted to nearby teeth to maintain the loose tooth and allow it to heal..  

If a tooth is knocked out, contact a dentist immediately.  If the tooth is a baby (primary) tooth, do not re-insert the tooth into the mouth.  If the tooth is an adult (permanent) tooth, the best thing you can do is clean the tooth with your own saliva (not water) and re-insert the tooth into the socket immediately. Handle the tooth by the portion that you normally see, NOT by the root, and contact your dentist immediately. This scenario is very time critical.

Soft Tissue Injury

The lips, gums, inside of the cheeks, and tongue comprise the soft tissues of the mouth and are nature’s way of protecting teeth. If soft tissue is injured, you should contact your dentist immediately to determine if emergency dental care is needed.  Soft tissue injuries such as punctures, tears, and lacerations can be rinsed with warm water before applying pressure to stop bleeding. 

Loose or Missing Dental Restoration

Temporary and permanent restorations can come loose or fall out. In such situations, a patient may require emergency dental care. As first aid to a lost crown or filling you can use denture adhesive or over-the-counter temporary dental cements to re-insert the  restoration until you see your dentist. 

Call us at (928) 774-4412 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists! 


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2222 E Cedar Avenue, Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Email: info@hallbergfamilydentistry.com

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