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How to Handle Dental Emergencies
Oct 1, 2021

Dental Care Center Blog | How to Handle Dental Emergencies

Did you know that 2 million people visit the emergency room every year for dental emergencies? And although when people experience abnormal pain, their first thought is typically to go to the ER, when it comes to dental emergencies this can be a waste of time.  Most ER’s don’t have a dentist on-site to provide treatment. It’s actually illegal for anyone other than a dentist to pull a tooth or fill a cavity, so all a physician can do is prescribe pain medication or antibiotics which only temporarily solves the problem.

Sometimes dental injuries are accompanied by other injuries or major pain and swelling in your face or eyes. In these cases, a trip to the ER may be necessary. If you determine that a trip to the dentist is in order, here are some ways to deal with dental emergencies until you can get to your dentist or an emergency dentist.


We do not mean to downplay toothaches, they can be extremely painful, but they are also fairly common. Most of the time, it’s advised to try to hold off on going to the ER. Try to brush and floss the tooth and rinse with warm water to get rid of any excess food that could cause irritation. Next, set an appointment with your dentist so they can assess the situation, determine what’s causing you pain, and get you feeling better.   

Tooth Knocked Out

The primary focus if you knock out your tooth should be saving the tooth. Try to clean off the tooth and avoid touching the root. Do not remove any tissue that’s still attached. Try to put it back into the socket until you get to your dentist, but if you can’t keep it in place store it in a container full of milk. If you don’t have milk, at least keep it in your mouth next to your teeth, so it can stay moist. This will preserve the root, and make it more likely that the tooth can be reattached. Of course, this is only a very short-term solution, keeping a loose tooth in your mouth is a choking hazard and should only be considered by adults if they can immediately get in to see a professional. 

Note: Treat chipped teeth the same way. Save the pieces you can until you get to the dentist.

Facial Trauma

Dental emergencies can often come as a result of facial trauma. First, ice the area to keep the swelling down as much as possible. You may have to visit the emergency room to make sure that you didn’t suffer any severe injuries or broken bones. After this, consult with your dentist to check on any dental issues that may have occurred. 

Try to prevent dental injuries wherever possible. Wear a mouthguard when you play sports, visit your dentist for a check-up every 6 months, avoid chewing ice and other hard foods, don’t open things with your teeth, etc. Be smart and protect your teeth. After all, your adult set is all you’ve got. If you do experience a dental emergency, stay calm and call the Dental Care Center. We’ll be with you every step of the way.