Proper Planning for a Dental Emergency

The name, emergency, should hint at the urgency certain dental health situations can create. Since many dental emergencies involve damage to your tooth structure, they also involve varying levels of discomfort. The sooner you act, the sooner you can relieve that discomfort, and the better chance you will have of preventing more extensive dental damage. To help you save your smile in an emergency, we explain how to identify most of them, and the steps you can take until you make it to our office for an emergency visit.

The Nature of Dental Emergencies

Whether it is a cracked tooth, a broken tooth, or a completely knocked-out tooth, a dental emergency can mean different things to different people. In some cases, an emergency can even arise simply from neglecting to treat tooth decay or gum disease in time. Regardless of its exact nature, a dental emergency is usually such because, without immediate treatment, the condition will rapidly grow worse, and may lead to tooth loss and extensive damage to surrounding tissues.

Steps to Save Your Smile

  • If you damage a tooth, rinse your mouth with warm water and carefully inspect the damage. If bleeding occurs, then bite down gently on clean, moist gauze for about 10-15 minutes, or until the bleeding stops.
  • If swelling occurs, then place an ice pack on the side of your jaw/cheek to help reduce it, and to relieve the discomfort.
  • If your tooth is completely knocked out, then collect it and carefully rinse it, as well as your mouth, with warm water. Take care to only handle the crown of the tooth so as not to damage the root’s connective tissues and ligaments.
  • Once you’ve rinsed your mouth and staunched any bleeding, call our office as soon as possible to schedule an emergency visit. For knocked-out teeth, bring the tooth with you; there may be a chance of replanting the tooth if treatment is sought soon enough.


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.