Dental Emergencies That Can Be Treated by an Emergency Dentist

Dental emergencies can be painful and scary. Luckily, emergency dentists are trained to deal with these kinds of issues.

They can fix a cracked tooth or even restore one that has been knocked out. It is important to know what to do in a dental emergency so you can get immediate treatment.


Toothache is one of the most common reasons people seek emergency dental care. It can range from a dull, constant ache to a sharp, jabbing pain that is often worse when you eat or drink something cold or hot.

This pain is caused by inflammation of the tooth pulp, which contains highly sensitive nerve endings. The pulp can become irritated or inflamed due to dental problems like cavities and infections, or from pain that is being referred to the teeth from other parts of the body, such as sinus pressure.

Over-the-counter painkillers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used to provide temporary relief until you can see an Emergency Dentist in Tucson AZ. Rinsing your mouth with warm or cold water can also help, as can applying an ice pack to the jaw.

Chipped or Broken Tooth

When a tooth breaks, the injury often causes pain and discomfort, especially when biting down or chewing. A chipped tooth can also expose the nerves inside to hot or cold temperatures, causing pain and sensitivity.

It is important to visit a dentist right away to evaluate the severity of a break. Small chips can be treated with bonding and resin, while larger breaks might need a root canal or crown.

Tooth fractures most commonly occur on the molars, or grinding teeth. A cracked tooth is not always painful, but a deep crack can eventually lead to infection in the pulp (the center of the tooth), which requires immediate dental care. While doctors in the emergency room can help stop bleeding and triage health problems, they are not trained to treat or restore broken teeth. In the meantime, take an over-the-counter pain reliever and ice the area to control discomfort. You can also use dental wax or temporary bonding material to cover the jagged edges of the tooth until you get to the dentist.

Knocked-Out Tooth

A knocked out tooth is a dental emergency that can be saved if treated promptly. The longer a tooth is out of its socket, the less chance it will survive.

The most important thing to do is to get to a dentist right away, especially one with emergency hours. Then, gently rinse the tooth with saline solution or salty water to remove any visible debris and blood. It’s also a good idea to put the tooth in milk, which helps keep it moist.

If the tooth is knocked out, try to re-insert it, but don’t force it in. Knocking out a tooth is traumatic for anyone, but it can be much more devastating if the person does not seek immediate dental care. Getting to a dentist within an hour of the accident will greatly improve the chances of saving the tooth. If re-inserting the tooth is not possible, the Emergency Dentist in Tucson AZ can place a composite splint to help stabilize the tooth until it heals.

Abscessed Tooth

An abscessed tooth is a serious dental emergency that can lead to severe complications, including infection spreading from the mouth to other parts of the body. A painful swelling containing pus, usually in the center of the mouth near the root of a tooth, is the main sign of a tooth abscess. Symptoms may also include difficulty swallowing and breathing, fever, swollen gums, pain when tapping on the tooth, and sensitivity to heat and cold.

A dentist treats a tooth abscess by draining it, removing the bacteria. They do this by making a small cut in the abscess to drain the pus. This is followed by cleaning the area with saline solution. If the infected tooth is salvageable, a dentist will do a root canal to clean, shape, and fill the tooth’s pulp chamber and root canals. They may then cap the tooth with a crown to make it stronger. If a tooth can’t be saved, the dentist will pull it.