how to treat dental emergenciesWhile it’s important for your oral health to visit your dentist regularly, some emergencies require you seek dental work before your next appointment.

Seeing your dentist within 24 hours considerably reduces the risk of any further damage to your teeth. Each type of dental emergency requires different care, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the best steps for each situation:


Taking over-the-counter medication may temporarily alleviate discomfort, but the short-term relief won’t get to the root of the problem.

Tooth pain could be a sign of a dental abscess or bacterial infection. Left untreated, it’s possible for the bacteria to spread through your bloodstream, making you sick or even leading to future health complications.

Providing you have a dental infection, your dentist will perform a root canal to remove all traces of the contamination, followed up with a crown to seal and protect the tooth.

It’s alright to wait for a dentist appointment within 24 hours if you have a dull toothache, but if you are experiencing severe pain, swelling, or fever, visit the emergency room for immediate care.

Broken or Cracked Tooth

Cracked teeth are common and often result from teeth grinding, trauma, dental decay, or even biting down on something too hard.

If your broken tooth extends to the roots of your teeth, severe pain may occur. In some cases, untreated cracks may impact your ability to bite and chew food.

Cracked, broken teeth are treated with either composite fillings (bondings) or porcelain veneers to repair the damage and enhance your smile’s appearance. If possible, collect all salvageable pieces of your tooth before your appointment to aid in treatment.  

Lost Crown or Filling

Fillings are not permanent, and after years of chewing they may become loose or fall out. While dental crowns are long-lasting, there are a few situations which may cause them to fall out, such as if a cavity were to develop under your crown and change the shape of your tooth.

A telltale sign of lost or damaged crowns and fillings is sensitivity to temperature and pressure. While treatment is as simple as a filling or crown replacement, you may risk tooth erosion if not replaced in a timely manner.

You may use sugarless gum to fill the space while waiting for a dental appointment temporarily. For a crown, try using toothpaste or over-the-counter dental cement to keep it in place on your tooth. If the crown cannot be placed back, store it in a cool place and bring it to your dentist in a container.  

Knocked-Out Tooth

A knocked-out or avulsed tooth is one of the more severe dental emergencies. Whether the tooth has been wholly or partially knocked-out, your best bet for saving it is to see an emergency dentist within an hour of the incident.

Before seeking treatment, carefully rinse the tooth with warm water, making sure to avoid removing any tissue fragment. When transporting your tooth to the dentist, store it in a small container with some salt and either milk or water.

At Dentistry at East Piedmont, we are prepared to see you today and solve your dental emergency right away, whatever the concern may be. Call us at 770-321-5558 to schedule your appointment now.

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