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4 Common Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them

January 4, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — dentalcentreteam @ 4:39 pm
Digital drawing of a mouth with broken teeth

Having a dental emergency in South Austin can be a scary, stressful and painful experience. When it happens your first thought is usually, “What do I do?!” followed by “Should I call my dentist or go to the hospital?!” During a dental emergency, more than 800,000 people go to the hospital when they should have contacted their dentist. Here are 4 common dental emergencies and where you should go if you should ever experience them.

Chipped, Fractured or Broken Teeth

Chomping on ice, eating nuts or hard candy, or accidents can lead to tooth damage. Chips, breaks or factures can cause intense pain, or you may experience no pain at all. Depending on how severe the problem is, your dentist may need to perform an emergency root canal or even a dental extraction. Because a hospital cannot perform either of these treatments, your first call should be to your dentist in South Austin. A crown, dental bonding or a porcelain veneer may also be used to restore the appearance of your tooth. 

Trauma to the Face or Jawbone

An injury to the face or mouth and the fracture or dislocation to the jawbone can result in oral swelling that makes it hard to breathe or swallow. A cut to the tongue or gums can also cause bleeding that won’t stop. These and any other life-threatening injuries require immediate medical attention. If you experience any of them, you should get to the emergency room right away. 

Loose or Knocked-Out Tooth

If a blow to the mouth causes your tooth to become loose or knocked out, place your tooth in a cup of milk within 5 to 10 minutes and contact your dentist immediately. They may use deep cleaning or other treatments to help tighten your gum’s grip on your tooth, helping to replant it. Your dentist may also choose to splint it by bonding it to surrounding teeth until your gums fully connect with it, but these steps are only possible if they occur within an hour or two of your tooth coming out. If it can’t be saved, your dentist will likely recommend a dental implant to replace it.


An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the root of a tooth or on the gums directly above an infected tooth. If your abscess has recently formed, your dentist will make a small incision to allow the pus to drain and rinse the area with saline to clean it. A dental abscess can carry many symptoms including a severe and constant throbbing toothache, swelling in the cheek or face, fever or tenderness in the neck or under your jaw. If you experience any of these issues or you begin vomiting, it’s time to go to the emergency room.

A hospital can stop bleeding, prescribe antibiotics and help minimize life-threatening issues; but only your dentist in South Austin can perform dental procedures like a root canal, dental extraction or a dental implant. Knowing where to go and what to do in the middle of a dental emergency can help save you time and stress.

About the Author

At The Dental Centre, Dr. Jack Fan is dedicated to helping patients achieve the beautiful, healthy smiles they deserve. With several years of experience, he takes pride in improving one’s oral health and dental appearance. His services include everything from general dentistry to cosmetic dentistry, emergency dentistry and more. If you find yourself dealing with a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to contact the office at (512) 892-7800 or visit the website to schedule an appointment.

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