What is a Dental Emergency?

Some patients may be confused about what exactly is a dental emergency. When does a problem go from being an inconvenience, or something that can be handled later, to something that is urgent? It is considered a dental emergency if treatment is required immediately to save the tooth, stop bleeding, or deal with intense pain. If your problem fits any of these criteria, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible, or visit the emergency room for care.

What are Some Common Dental Emergencies?

Dental emergencies can include:

  • Knocked-out permanent tooth
  • Cracked or fractured tooth
  • Loose permanent tooth
  • Intense tooth pain
  • Lost or failed dental restoration (crown, filling, etc.)

Can You Do Anything to Help?

If you are facing a dental emergency, there are steps you can take at home to make treatment easier. For example, if you lose a tooth, do not touch the roots. However, you can pick it up by the crown, and after carefully rinsing it, either try to place it back in the socket, or place it in a glass of milk. The dentist may then be able to re-implant it, if you get to the office quickly.

You can also apply a ice or a cold washcloth to any swollen or painful areas. Use gauze to stem any bleeding that may occur in certain situations. You may want to avoid aspirin or ibuprofen, as those can act as blood thinners, and make any bleeding worse.

How Can I Prevent Dental Emergencies?

Although an accident is always possible, you can minimize the risks by following certain guidelines. Don’t bite down on certain hard foods, such as ice or hard candy, as these can crack your teeth, and don’t use your teeth to open packages. In addition, keep your teeth strong by brushing and flossing properly, and attend your regularly scheduled dentist appointments.


As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.