The following highlights some common dental emergencies. If you experience an injury to your mouth, face or neck it is important to ensure you receive any necessary medical attention first (read Patient Dental Emergency Resource Package). Contact your dentist for any additional questions related to your individual circumstances and dental treatment needs.
NOTE: If you have trouble breathing or your mouth continuously fills with blood, call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest hospital emergency department. Also seek an immediate medical assessment if you suffer a head trauma.
A knocked-out permanent tooth may be saved but time is of the essence. If you knock out your permanent tooth, follow these steps
Please note: Do not try and reinsert a baby tooth. Contact your dentist to discuss the options.
Contact your dentist as soon as possible if an injury has caused your tooth to move. A displaced tooth can interfere with your bite and cause discomfort. If addressed early your dentist may be able to move the tooth back into position.
In most cases a small chip in the tooth does not constitute an emergency, particularly if it’s not causing pain. Speak to your dentist about the injury and treatment options.
Extensive cracks or fractures to a tooth require immediate attention: such injuries usually involve enamel (outer layer of the tooth) as well as the underlying dentin and possibly the pulp (vital structure of the tooth). This may cause pain and could lead to further damage if left untreated.
If you experience trauma to your tooth:
Cuts, lacerations or other wounds can also occur to the lips, tongue, cheeks and other soft tissues of the mouth. If you experience a trauma to the tissue:
It is important to see your dentist if you have an infection in your teeth or gums. Pain will usually be the first sign of an infection but you may also notice redness in the gums or swelling in your mouth. In the case of swelling that affects your ability to swallow or breathe call 911 or visit the nearest hospital emergency.
In most cases, an issue such as a dislodged filling or a displaced crown does not require urgent care. However, call your dentist immediately to discuss your concern and to arrange an appointment for further care. Also ask if there is anything you can do in the interim.