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Your Dentist Explains What to Do in the Event of an Emergency

March 15, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — tntadmin @ 5:37 pm
Woman with tooth pain

Unfortunately, dental emergencies can happen out of nowhere. Whether it’s an accident during your son or daughter’s sporting event or biting down on a hard object, dental emergencies can be extremely painful. While they can never be planned for, knowing what to do in the event of an emergency will help ease pain and save your smile. Keep reading to learn the best ways to handle some of the most common dental emergencies from your dentist.

What is a True Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies are typically caused by pain, swelling, or discomfort. Unlike other medical conditions that get better with time, dental issues will typically become worse if left untreated. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort that won’t subside, you’re having a dental emergency. 

The Most Common Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them

Although it’s impossible to plan for emergencies, it can help to know what to do when these dental problems occur:

Knocked-Out Tooth

If your tooth gets knocked out, pick it up by the crown to avoid damaging the roots. Rinse it off and try to put it back in your socket. If this isn’t possible, keep it moist in milk or water until you can visit your dentist. The sooner you can see a dentist, the higher your chances are of your tooth being successfully replanted.

Lost Filling or Crown

Fillings and crowns are dental restorations that protect and strengthen the decayed or damaged part of your tooth. When you lose them, it exposes the much more sensitive inner portion of your tooth. This can be extremely painful and sensitive, especially to hot or cold temperatures. You can try to reattach your crown with dental cement or even cover the decayed area with a sugarless piece of gum. After you have it protected, contact your dentist right away.


If your tooth starts hurting, try to floss around the area and rinse your mouth out with warm water. If the discomfort persists, contact your dentist because you may have an infection. You could need a root canal or antibiotics, but dental infections can be serious so you should always seek treatment.

Broken or Cracked Tooth

If you break or crack your tooth, try to save any pieces that you can and keep them in a safe place. Rinse your mouth out with warm water and apply gauze to the affected area to stop bleeding. You can also apply a cold compress to your face to reduce pain and swelling.

It’s important to see an emergency dentist if you’re in pain or notice a change in your mouth. In the meantime, use these tips to reduce your pain and stay healthy.

Meet the Dentist

Dr. Tim Stirneman is an experienced dentist who keeps his office open on Saturdays to accommodate patients with emergencies and busy schedules in Lake in the Hills. He currently practices at Compassionate Dental Care, and he can be reached through his website or by phone at (847) 854-7645 for any questions.

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