Dental emergency Preparedness

Your worst nightmare—you fall and your tooth gets knocked out…your kiddo hits their front teeth on their bike handles and it breaks….a major toothache…dental emergencies are no fun.

When something like this happens, the first step is to not panic! It’s going to be OK. Give us a call, and we’ll help you take the next steps until we can see you in the office. Here’s some quick advice for the most common dental emergencies:

Knocked out tooth

  • Don’t touch the root of the tooth
  • Put the tooth in a clean container, ideally in the patient’s saliva (sounds gross, but their saliva has the tooth’s normal bacterial environment, so its safest there). Don’t use water or any kind of anti-bacterial or alcohol-based solution.
  • Call your dentist! We need to see you as immediately as possible to re-implant the tooth to give it the best chance of re-integrating. We’ll do everything we can to get you taken care of right away.

Broken tooth

  • Keep the broken pieces if you can find them. We might be able to use them.
  • Take a look at the broken edge if you can—do you see blood or pink? Take note so you can tell us over the phone.
  • Give us a call—your pain level, where the tooth is in your mouth, and a few other factors will determine the level of urgency that we would like to get you in.
  • You can use over the counter pain medications to manage discomfort and pain until we can see you.
  • There are temporary covering materials that you can find at drug stores or big box stores—Den Tek, Temparin, and Dentemp are all brands you may find. These products can be helpful for temporarily covering sensitive or sharp areas.
  • If things start swelling or you develop a fever, let us know. Feel free to call back for more advice or if things change after a tooth breaks.


  • Toothaches can range from a minor discomfort to unbearable pain. Give us a call and make an appointment for a limited exam as soon as you feel pain so that we can take care of the problem right away.
  • Use over the counter pain medications to help with pain—take note of what you are using and the frequency—we will usually ask you what you have taken and if it helped. Topical pain medication for your teeth can help too.
  • Ice can be used if it helps provide relief. Heat can spread infection so we don’t recommend heat in case you have an infection causing the pain.
  • Keep a close eye on swelling, blisters on your gums, or puffiness—let us know right away if any of this develops. These symptoms usually mean we need to see you right away.