What to do in a Dental Emergency

sign at the hospital points towards the emergency room entrance.Accidents happen when you’re busy living life. For most injuries, you can go to the emergency room, but what about with teeth? The answer depends on the severity of the injury and the circumstances around it.


What Qualifies as a Dental Emergency?


When a mouth injury happens, the bleeding is usually a lot worse than the injury. It’s important to get a clear look at where the blood is coming from and see if the teeth have been hurt. An emergency is usually obvious with teeth being:


  • Knocked out
  • Fractured
  • Loose
  • Forced out of position

The first things you’re looking for is any obvious injuries that show anything different in the mouth. Cuts to the surrounding tissue like the gums, cheeks, and lips are painful too, but will usually heal quickly. Look mainly at the teeth.

Not all emergencies happen in a single incident. There are other reasons to call us for emergency care, including:

  • Extreme tooth pain
  • Swollen jaw or face from a sore tooth

What to do During an Emergency?

Call the dental office immediately. We want to see you or your child as soon as possible after the injury has happened. Getting the right treatment in a reasonable amount of time can save your teeth and a lot of work in the future.


If your tooth is knocked out: it is very important that you handle it as little as possible, and avoid touching the roots. Without meaning to, you can remove important enzymes that are vital for reattachment. In many situations, you can put the tooth right back in the socket and bite down on some wet gauze. With children, we prefer to help because there is a risk of swallowing the tooth. Keeping the tooth in a glass of milk can also help to prevent it from drying out until you can come in to the office.


If your tooth is fractured or broken: Rinse your mouth out with warm water to get any extra bits of tooth out. Call our office to let us know so we can inspect for nerve damage or any major problems. Usually what we do is restorative dentistry such as putting on a veneer, placing an implant, or consider pulling it altogether if it’s a baby tooth that will come out soon. Call the office immediately so we can plan a course of action and treat the pain that comes along with broken teeth.


If you knocked your tooth loose or out of place: Again, we want to see you as soon as possible. Teeth can become temporarily loose and then become more secure over time. We also like to check the surrounding teeth to make sure no damage was done to them, especially when teeth are knocked out of place.


In cases of extreme tooth pain or swollen facial areas: Pain from an abscess tooth can be extreme. Call us immediately so we can take some x-rays. You might need a root canal or have an extraction to help ease the pain. The swelling needs to come down before we can do the work in some cases, so we may set an appointment for the future. In the meantime, we can give you pain medicine to bring you some relief.


With any of these situations, please call the office. We keep time slots open for dental emergencies in Bryan, TX and will give you information on what to do outside of office hours. If you cannot reach us or one of our staff and are in terrible pain, please go to the emergency room to get the pain taken care of.