Dental Emergencies

Dr. Giglio with patient

We are committed to providing prompt emergency dental care for all of our patients. If you call us during our regular office hours, we will give immediate attention to your situation and make arrangements to have you come in for an appointment as soon as possible. Most likely we will see you on the same day that you call.

If you are faced with a dental emergency during a time when our practice is closed, call our office and follow the prompts provided and we will return your call as soon as we are able. We have a 24 hour answering service that will contact us directly when you indicate that you are having a real dental emergency. We will try our best to return your call within thirty minutes of leaving a message with the service. In cases of serious or life-threatening emergencies, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room for treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Emergencies

Can I go to the ER for dental emergencies?
Yes, but we do not recommend going to the ER. Emergency rooms usually have general dentist residents who are still learning their craft, and in most instances are not specialists. They can help you manage your pain and prescribe antibiotics in cases of infection. The only way to treat a dental emergency is to see a dentist to resolve the underlying problem.

What are some dental emergencies?
The following situations are always dental emergencies

  • Unbearable pain
  • Dental abscesses
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Avulsed (knocked out) or fractured teeth
  • Loose tooth or temporary restoration

There are some other situations which may or may not require emergency treatment, depending on the circumstances. These include dental fillings that have fallen out, crowns or bridges that have broken, and loose dental implants. Call our office and we will determine whether you need emergency dental care.

Can an avulsed tooth be put back in?
While baby teeth that have fallen out cannot be replaced, it is possible to successfully replace adult teeth. It’s important to never touch the root of the tooth—hold it by the crown only. Rinse off any dust or debris with water, then, if you feel comfortable, try to push the tooth back into the socket. If you are not able to do this, place the tooth in a small container of milk, water, or saliva to keep it moist. Call our office for an emergency appointment. We can put the tooth back in the socket, then stabilize it to promote reattachment.

Is a loose dental implant an emergency?
Loose dental implants are usually not a dental emergency; the most common reason a dental implant feels loose is because the restoration attached to it (the crown, bridge, or denture) is loose, not the implant itself. We will want to see you in our office soon so we can secure the restoration, but it does not necessarily require same-day treatment. On the other hand, if the dental implant itself is loose, this is a situation that needs urgent attention. Call our office right away for an emergency appointment.

How urgent is a tooth abscess?
A tooth abscess is an emergency situation that requires prompt treatment. Abscesses are a sign of serious infection. This infection can spread to other teeth, soft tissues, the jaw, and even to other parts of the body via the bloodstream. When infection spreads, it has the potential to be dangerous. 

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