What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

Accidents happen to teeth every day. More than a million people go to emergency rooms each year to seek relief from pain and discomfort in their teeth and gums. While many problems are preventable with regular dental care, you can’t always predict where someone’s elbow will swing on the subway. When you have sudden oral pain or other issues, you may have a dental emergency.

Dental emergencies can cause pain, confusion, and panic. And while you may be apprehensive about going to the dentist, getting care if you have a dental emergency is important to your mouth and overall health. Ali Khosrovani, DDS, at A Briter Smile has been treating dental problems for 15 years, and he can provide the care you need if you have a dental emergency.

What constitutes a dental emergency?

There are many situations that can constitute a dental emergency. Oftentimes, a dental emergency can cause extreme pain or affect your ability to eat or speak. Among dental emergencies are the following:

Mouth injuries that don’t stop bleeding

This can happen for a number of reasons. If it does, rinse your mouth with warm saltwater and contact us immediately.

Chipped or broken teeth

Gather any pieces you can, and rinse your mouth with warm water. Rinse the pieces, too. Then call us and come to our office as soon as possible with the pieces. 

Knocked-out teeth

Grab your tooth and rinse it thoroughly. Then place it in a cup of milk. If you don’t have milk, place it in a cup of water with a little salt. Then call us and get here as soon as possible.

Loose teeth

Apply a cold compress. If necessary, take pain medication and give us a call.

Lost fillings

Chew a piece of sugar-free gum until it’s soft enough to mold, and then stick it in and around the place of the missing filling. This is as temporary as it sounds, and you should call our office immediately. 

Crowns that come out

Make sure that you hang on to your crown, and put it in a safe place. If you’re hurting, put a little clove oil where your crown is missing. Then, call us and bring your crown with you.

Broken braces

If you have dental wax, use it to cover the broken area. If you don’t have dental wax, you can cover the broken area with a pencil eraser. Then call your orthodontist right away. 


Rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater mixture several times throughout the day until you can see us. For abscesses, we need to see you as soon as possible. An abscess can indicate an infection.


Rinse your mouth with warm water and gently floss to remove any food particles that may be causing your pain. If this doesn’t alleviate your pain, schedule an appointment with us.

If you ever go through something that’s not listed here and are unsure if it’s a dental emergency, call us, and we’ll give you guidance.

Dental emergencies can be dangerous to your health if they’re not treated right away. If you have a dental emergency, book an appointment online or over the phone with A Briter Smile today.

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