Emergency Dental Care: What You Need to Know


When it comes to dental care, emergencies can happen at any time. Whether it’s a severe toothache, a broken tooth, or any other dental emergency, it’s crucial to know how to handle the situation and seek immediate treatment. In this article, we will explore the importance of emergency dental care, common dental emergencies, and how to find an emergency dentist.

The Importance of Emergency Dental Care

Immediate relief from pain and discomfort

One of the primary reasons why emergency dental care is essential is to provide immediate relief from pain and discomfort. Dental emergencies can be incredibly painful, and seeking prompt treatment can help alleviate the discomfort and prevent further complications.

Preservation of oral health

Emergency dental care is crucial for the preservation of oral health. Ignoring a dental emergency can lead to more severe issues, such as infections, gum disease, or even tooth loss. By addressing the problem promptly, you can minimize the risk of long-term damage and maintain good oral health.

Prevention of complications

Seeking emergency dental care can prevent complications that may arise from untreated dental emergencies. For example, a cracked tooth that is left untreated can become infected, leading to abscess formation. By addressing the issue early on, you can avoid more extensive and costly treatment down the line.

Common Dental Emergencies


A toothache is one of the most common dental emergencies. It can be caused by various factors, including tooth decay, infection, or gum disease. If you experience a severe or persistent toothache, it’s important to seek immediate dental care to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

Broken or chipped tooth

A broken or chipped tooth can occur due to trauma, biting down on a hard object, or dental decay. If you break or chip a tooth, try to save any broken pieces and rinse your mouth with warm water. Seek immediate dental care to assess the damage and determine the best course of treatment.

Knocked-out tooth

A knocked-out tooth is a dental emergency that requires immediate attention. If a tooth is completely knocked out, carefully rinse it with water without scrubbing the root. Try to place the tooth back in its socket if possible. If not, keep the tooth moist by placing it in milk or saliva and seek emergency dental care immediately.

Lost filling or crown

If a filling or crown falls out, it’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can try to temporarily reattach the crown using dental adhesive or dental cement available at most pharmacies. Avoid chewing on the affected tooth until you can see a dentist.

Abscessed tooth

An abscessed tooth is a serious dental infection that requires immediate attention. It is often accompanied by severe tooth pain, swelling, and a foul taste in the mouth. If you suspect you have an abscessed tooth, seek emergency dental care to prevent the infection from spreading and causing further complications.

Finding an Emergency Dentist

Contact your regular dentist

If you experience a dental emergency during regular office hours, contact your regular dentist first. They may be able to accommodate you and provide the necessary treatment. If your regular dentist is not available, they may have an emergency contact number or can provide a referral to an emergency dentist.

Search online directories or platforms

There are several online directories and platforms specifically designed to help you find emergency dentists in your area. These platforms allow you to search based on your location and provide information about the dentists’ availability, services offered, and patient reviews. Some popular online directories include Zocdoc, Healthgrades, and Emergency Dentist USA.

Contact local hospitals or dental schools

Local hospitals or dental schools may have dental clinics or emergency departments that can provide dental care during emergencies. Contact them to inquire about their services and availability. They may be able to offer immediate care or provide recommendations for emergency dental care providers in your area.

Have a dental emergency hotline or contact number on hand

It’s always a good idea to have a dental emergency hotline or contact number saved in your phone or readily available. Many dental associations or organizations have dedicated hotlines that can provide guidance and assistance during dental emergencies. These hotlines can help you find an emergency dentist and provide advice on how to manage the situation until you receive professional care.


Dental emergencies can be stressful and painful, but knowing how to handle them and where to find emergency dental care can make a significant difference. Remember, seeking immediate treatment is vital to relieve pain, preserve oral health, and prevent complications. By being prepared and knowing the steps to take during a dental emergency, you can ensure the best possible outcome for your dental health.

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