Posted by Jack Fan Dec 27, 2019

This is a thumbnail image of blog SHOULD I GO TO THE ER OR EMERGENCY DENTIST?

If you’re like many Americans, you probably don’t expect a dental emergency to happen to you. Believe it or not, they are quite common. In fact, 1 in every 6 people this year will experience an oral health issue that requires immediate care. Whether a sudden toothache wakes you up at night or you experience a blow to the face, do you know what to do? You might think you need to head to the ER, but that’s not always the right answer. Instead, it might be better to call your emergency dentist in South Austin. Here’s what you need to know if the unexpected strikes.


Dental emergencies can take many forms and often occur at the worst time. No matter if a damaged tooth breaks or you take a fall, you need immediate care. As with any emergency, time is of the utmost importance to stop your pain and save your tooth. You don’t want to lose valuable minutes trying to figure out who to call or where to go. Depending on the situation you’re having, you will need to go to the hospital or your dentist in South Austin.


Most hospital emergency departments aren’t equipped to handle oral health issues. Often, the most they can do is prescribe antibiotics or painkillers; however, there are some situations that require a trip to the hospital. If you’ve experienced any trauma to the face or mouth, you’ll need to go to the ER to treat:

  • Jaw fractures
  • Jaw dislocations
  • Serious cut or lesions
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing.


Dental emergencies often occur without any warning. As a result, they don’t always happen during your dentist’s regular office hours. Don’t worry, many dentists have an after-hours number you can call. If you’re not having a life-threatening emergency and don’t have any of the previously mentioned issues, it’s best to call your dentist for all other oral health problems, including:

  • Chipped or fractured tooth.
  • Dislodged tooth.
  • Knocked-out tooth.
  • Lost crown or filling.
  • Pimple-like bump on the gum tissue.
  • Broken oral device.


You can’t always prevent a dental emergency, but there are several things you can do to reduce your risk of one, including:

  • Maintain your oral hygiene at home.
  • Wear an athletic mouthguard if you play sports.
  • Don’t use your teeth as tools.
  • Don’t chew on inedible objects.
  • Don’t chew overly hard foods, like ice.
  • Visit your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.


If you’re experiencing a dental problem and aren’t sure if you need immediate care, don’t wait to contact your dentist. They’ll help you through the difficult time, so you can get back to enjoying your day.

About Dr. Jack Fan

Dr. Jack Fan is committed to providing comprehensive dental care to the community to create healthy smiles that last. Besides routine services, Dr. Fan is always there for his patients, even during times of emergency. If you have a dental issue that needs immediate care, don’t wait. Contact our office for a same-day appointment.

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