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How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies

The moment a dental emergency occurs, you should get in touch with our office. This gives you a chance to schedule an appointment (ideally the same day) as well as get helpful advice on how to manage your dental emergency better ahead of your visit. Until you do arrive, you can find tips on making the most of your emergency situation before you get professional treatment. These tips will vary depending on the emergency issue you’re experiencing.


Use floss to remove any loose food debris from in between teeth. If this does not help, you can take an over-the-counter painkiller to resolve discomfort ahead of your appointment. Treatment for your dental pain could be a dental filling, crown, or root canal depending on the extent of the damage and cause.

Chipped/Broken Tooth

Collect any pieces of the tooth that you can and bring them to the office. Apply a cold compress to your face to reduce swelling. Just make sure to remove the compress every 10 minutes to avoid damaging your facial tissue. In most cases, we may recommend a dental crown to cover the damaged tooth.

Knocked-Out Tooth

Locate the tooth and pick it up by the top portion (crown) only. Do not touch the root or remove any tissue still attached. Gently rinse the tooth with water to remove any dirt or debris. Place the tooth back into your open socket if possible. Otherwise, keep it contained in milk or saltwater for up to one hour for preservation.

Lost Filling/Crown

If a filling is lost, you may be able to temporarily fill the cavity with dental cement. You can also use the common store-bought item to reseat crowns if they come off. However, this is only a temporary solution and you will likely need to have the restoration replaced.


How to Prevent Dental Emergencies

While dental emergencies are unpredictable, you can still reduce your risk of experiencing one by doing the following:

  • Brushing twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste
  • Flossing at least once a day
  • Never using your teeth to open packages, bottles, or perform tasks better suited for a tool
  • Always wearing a mouthguard when playing sports
  • Wearing a nightguard if you grind your teeth at night
  • Visiting our office once every six months to complete a checkup and cleaning

The Cost of Treating Dental Emergencies

While the only way to know for sure how much you’ll pay for a dental emergency is to visit our office in-person, the last thing you should do is put off necessary treatment. With that said, emergency treatment costs can vary depending on the severity and type of dental issue. A dental filling is less expensive to place than a crown, which costs less than root canal therapy, and so on. Of course, our office will always try to create a treatment plan that better fits within your budget.

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