Dental Emergencies And How To Address Them

Dental emergencies are widespread in America. While preserving one’s oral health is best achieved through prevention, knowing what to do in an emergency is necessary. Can you describe the most common dental emergencies, and how do you handle them? It is possible to prevent long-term damage to your oral health and restore it with a quick, immediate response and the proper first aid treatment. Regular dental care and measures to minimize oral trauma risks can prevent most dental problems.

Dental Emergencies And How To Address Them

What is a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency is one that needs prompt attention to stop bleeding, lessen excruciating pain, or save a tooth. It also applies to severe infections that can be life-threatening. Despite not being considered life-threatening, some dental emergencies still require immediate attention.

Let’s say you crack or break a tooth (like while eating something crunchy), get your tooth knocked out unless there is much bleeding, or the injury is violent (like being punched). The dentist can probably handle those in that case.

What is Considered a Dental Emergency?

Some dental problems do not require emergency dental care. However, it may be necessary to see a dentist immediately if your teeth have fallen out, your mouth has suffered an injury, or a tooth abscess is causing pain.

Without immediate attention, serious dental injuries or problems can worsen. However, a broken wire in braces, a filling that has fallen out, or a minor chipped tooth could wait until your dentist has an appointment. You should always seek advice from your dentist.

  • Toothache

Pain, whether sharp, throbbing, or constant, can indicate several conditions, including tooth decay. A person may only experience tooth pain if they bite down on something. And while toothaches can usually subside without emergency treatment, certain symptoms – such as swelling – require immediate attention. It is best to avoid common painkillers like aspirin because contact with the gums can burn the tissue. Instead, consult a dental clinic in case of an emergency.

  • Chipped or broken teeth

Were you a little too aggressive when you bit down on something? If one of your teeth is broken, chipped, or fractured, you must seek medical attention immediately. Otherwise, you could lose your tooth due to further damage or infection. Broken or chipped teeth can ruin your smile as well as hurt badly. While getting emergency dental care, stay away from tough, crunchy foods, sports, and other activities that could damage your teeth. [1]

  • Knocked-out tooth

It can be dreadful to have your tooth knocked out. Getting one knocked out is considered a dental emergency. Unless you’re too severely stunned by it, you should take action right away. Fortunately, losing a tooth doesn’t mean losing it forever. Nevertheless, if you act quickly and, better yet, find your missing tooth on the ground, you might be able to get your knocked-out tooth restored by your dentist. However, if it is not possible to restore the original tooth, in that case, other dental options ensure a healthy, natural-looking smile.

  • Lost filling or crown

A filling or crown restores the appearance and function of a tooth that has previously suffered damage. Therefore, if these break, you should get them treated right away to avoid further damage or reinfection.

  • Broken orthodontics

You can chew, eat, talk, and even wear off metal wires and brackets from everyday activities with braces. Even then, they can still break or stick out and poke your cheeks and gums. In addition to causing discomfort, this can slow down or even reverse the process of aligning and straightening teeth. The broken wire can be pushed into a more comfortable position when this occurs. To avoid swallowing, don’t cut the wire, no matter how bothersome it may be.

  •  Abscess

There are many serious infections that can occur in the mouth, especially around the roots of teeth or in the spaces between the teeth and gums. If left untreated, these diseases can spread to surrounding teeth, gum tissue, and even other body parts. Not sure if you have an abscess? Check your gums for a painful, pimple-like swollen spot. Contact a dental clinic to prevent worsening oral health problems as soon as possible.

  • Bleeding and pain after a tooth extraction

In an hour or so following your operation, you may experience some discomfort and bleeding. Still, if these persist, you should call your dentist. While you wait, place a thick gauze pad over the extraction site and bite down on it. You should avoid drinking, eating, chewing, sucking, spitting, and smoking.

Where to go for Dental Emergency?

When a dental emergency arises, it is usually necessary to seek immediate treatment. Certain injuries to your teeth and gums can cause further damage. When you experience a dental emergency, contact your dentist or go to the emergency room immediately. 

Whenever you experience a dental emergency, you should contact your dentist for further instructions. If you need dental care after regular business hours, many dentists have emergency numbers you can call. If your dentist is unavailable, you can go to an emergency room or seek urgent care at a medical center instead.

Your dentist will usually treat you in the office if you have a dental emergency, such as a broken or knocked-out tooth. It would help if you went straight to the emergency room for more severe injuries, such as broken facial bones.

Unless you are in excruciating pain, you should call your dentist and explain the situation. Don’t worry if your dentist can’t see you right away. Most will try to do so as soon as possible. Despite what may seem urgent, many dental emergencies are not.

Dental Emergency with No Insurance

Have you got dental emergency no insurance? The costs can undoubtedly put a strain on your wallet. You can still see a dentist even if you don’t have dental insurance![2]

When you experience dental pain, you should seek help as soon as possible to prevent it from worsening. Some dental clinics offer options like dental memberships and flexible financing for patients without insurance.

Not having dental insurance doesn’t mean you can’t see a dentist! Many affordable dentists can make it possible for you to get cleanings, preventative care, and care tips. Preventive care can almost stop minor dental issues from becoming more significant problems that can affect your overall health.[3]

Preventing Dental Emergencies

Avoiding dental emergencies is the best course of action. Visiting your dentist twice a year for comprehensive hygiene visits is the best way to prevent dental emergencies. If you keep these appointments, your mouth is much less likely to get infected with something painful and unexpected.

Depending on the dental emergency you experience, you might be able to relieve your pain and remedy the situation at home. In any emergency, it is important to remain calm. In times of emergency, your body triggers several responses that may worsen your condition, so stay calm while seeking assistance.


[1] Facts About Adult Oral Health. “Adult Oral Health.” National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2020

[2] Can I go to the ER? “If I have a dental emergency but do not have dental insurance, can I go to the ER?” New Hampshire Insurance Department, 2018

[3] How to Find Affordable Care. “Dental Emergency, No Insurance: How to Find Affordable Care” NewMouth, 2022