What to do in a Dental Emergency
If you are having a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1. In case of a true dental emergency, call our office number at 858-759-7658 and follow the instructions given by the answering service which include calling the emergency contact number and leaving a detailed message as to the nature of your condition. We will return the call and arrange to see you in person as soon as possible.
The most common causes of tooth pain are debris lodged under the gum line, a lost filling or crown, and/or a cracked or broken tooth. Only a thorough examination by your dentist can determine the underlying cause of your pain. Apply ice to the painful area for 10-20 minutes every hour. To reduce the pain, you can take Acetaminophen as directed by product labeling.
Crown came off
Don’t panic, we can usually fix it. Please call us right away so we can determine if you need to come in for emergency dental treatment or if you can wait until the next business day. Most patients, after talking to us, are instructed to re-adhere the piece onto the tooth with a little bit of toothpaste or Vaseline. You can try using an over-the-counter dental cement found in most drugstores to place the crown temporarily back onto your tooth.
Loosened or knocked out tooth
Remain calm. If your tooth is knocked out but there is no imminent medical emergency such as uncontrolled bleeding, unconsciousness, or other bodily injury for which you’d call 9-1-1, please contact us immediately. Do not scrub or wash the tooth; simply place it in a container of milk, saline, or a tooth preservative (obtained from a pharmacy or emergency room). See a dentist as soon as possible, preferably within 30 minutes. With prompt attention, a permanent tooth may be re-implanted into the tooth socket and may remain normal and healthy.
Chipped or Broken Tooth
If a tooth has a very small chip and doesn’t hurt, this usually does not constitute a dental emergency and you may be able to wait a few days to see a dentist. However, it is important to be careful while chewing so as not to chip it more and to call us to get further instructions.
If you have a fractured or broken tooth, you may or may not be experiencing discomfort. Even if pain is not present, it is important to see a dentist right away. Delaying dental treatment can increase the chance of losing the tooth.
If you have a broken tooth, follow the steps below and call us immediately:
- If possible save the fractured piece in a wet tissue as sometimes the piece can be bonded back on.
- Clean your mouth out by gently rinsing thoroughly with warm salt water.
- If the fracture is caused by facial trauma, apply a cold compress to the area to minimize any swelling.
- Take Acetaminophen (not Aspirin) as directed by product labeling in order to alleviate pain.