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Available for Emergencies

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In a recent article by the American Dental Association, there seem to be many types of dental emergencies that should be treated at the emergency dentist’s office rather than the emergency room. However, now we must decipher what dental emergencies require a dentist and which ones require the emergency room. Luckily, we have compiled a list of the five most common dental emergencies that would require you to visit an emergency dentist to help you gain a better idea of what you should do in such situations.


Many dental problems can be associated with tooth pain and should be identified as soon as possible so that they can be taken care of. The two most common causes of tooth pain or toothaches are items lodged between two teeth and pulp infections. If your tooth pain is sudden and is progressively getting worse or more intense, you should see an emergency dentist as soon as possible. A cold compress can help alleviate some pain and discomfort in the meantime.

Chips or Cracks

If your teeth have been chipped or cracked for any reason, you will need to visit an emergency dentist as soon as you can. This occurrence happens most commonly when a person bites down on a hard object or uses their teeth for other reasons than chewing or biting. In addition, those who grind or clench their teeth are increasing their chances of chipping or cracking them. If you are experiencing chipped or cracked teeth, you need to rinse your tooth fragments and preserve them in a glass of water or milk before bringing them to your emergency dental appointment.

Loose or Knocked-Out Teeth

If you have experienced any trauma that causes your teeth to become loose or even fall out, you need to seek immediate emergency dental care. If your tooth has not fallen out yet and is simply loose, try to keep the tooth and its socket and prevent it from falling out. Do this by gently biting down on the tooth to hold it in place and staying calm. If your tooth has already been knocked out, it is crucial to find it and rinse it off.  You can try to preserve the missing tooth by placing it back in the socket and biting down or storing it in a glass of water or milk.

Soft Tissue Injury

If your gums, lips, tongue, or inside of your cheeks have become injured, make sure to call your emergency dentist as they may refer you to the emergency room rather than the emergency dental office. In the meantime, any lacerations, tears, or punctures should be rinsed with warm water before you apply pressure to stop the bleeding.

Loose or Missing Dental Restorations

While both temporary and permanent dental restorations can become loose or fall out, it is much more common to see temporary restoration come undone. If your permanent restoration has come loose or is falling out, you must bring the restoration with you to the emergency dental office. If your temporary restoration has become loose or missing, you might be able to keep the restoration in place by using Chapstick, Vaseline, or denture adhesive before seeing your emergency dentist.

In conclusion, toothaches; chipped, cracked, missing, or loose teeth; soft tissue injuries; and missing dental restorations are all considered dental emergencies and should be seen by a professional immediately. Even though most medical emergencies require you to visit an emergency room first, the emergency room will most likely refer you back to an emergency dentist. So, you can save yourself some time and discomfort by going straight to your local emergency dental office.

If you would like to learn more about other dental emergencies, give North County Dental Care a call today at 760.940.4266!

North County Dental Care brings together a host of dental specialists to provide a full spectrum of dental care for you and your family, all in one convenient location. Our family dentistry office in Vista, California, does not require referrals or running from one specialist’s office to another to receive the care you need. Best of all, we treat patients of all ages so that you can schedule your entire family’s dental appointments all in one place.