Emergency Dentistry

Dental emergencies can happen at any time, and often when you least expect them. Whether you’re dealing with a toothache, a cracked tooth, or something else entirely, it’s important to know what to do in order to get the best possible care. Below, we’ll give you a few tips on how to handle a dental emergency to ensure the best outcome.

The Importance of Preparation

When an urgent dental situation arises, it can be difficult to think clearly and make decisions about what to do next. This is why it’s so important to be prepared ahead of time by knowing where to go and what steps to take. 

Fortunately, knowing where to go is easy—just give us a call here at 183 Family Dentistry; we prioritize emergency cases and will work you into our schedule as soon as possible.  As for what steps to take, review our emergency management guide below. This will guide you through the most common dental emergencies and what you can do to minimize pain or damage while you wait to be seen.

Emergency Management Guide


A toothache may occur as a result of decay, an infection, or trauma to the tooth. If you’re experiencing a toothache, rinse your mouth with warm water and floss to remove any food particles that may be stuck. You can also take over-the-counter pain medication if necessary. If the pain persists, call us right away.

Cracked Tooth 

A cracked tooth can happen suddenly and is often the result of biting down on hard food. If you think you’ve cracked a tooth, rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek to reduce swelling. Call us as soon as possible, so we can determine the best course of treatment.

Loose Tooth 

A loose tooth is usually the result of decay or trauma. If you have a loose tooth, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth and rinse your mouth with warm water. Bite down on a clean cloth to stabilize the tooth and call us immediately.

Knocked-Out Tooth  

If you’ve lost a tooth, it’s important to act quickly. First, find the tooth and hold it by the crown (the top part). If the tooth is dirty, rinse it off with water, but do not scrub it. Then, try to reinsert the tooth back into its socket. If that’s not possible, place the tooth in a cup of milk or saliva. Call us right away, and we may be able to save the tooth.

Soft Tissue Laceration

Soft tissue lacerations can occur from biting your tongue or cheek. Most commonly, this occurs during an accident or from playing sports. If you have a cut on your gum tissue or tongue, rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth. You may also need to hold gauze on the area to stop the bleeding. If bleeding is heavy or persists for more than 15 minutes, call us for an appointment, so we can suture the wound.

Abscessed Tooth 

An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms around the tooth as a result of an infection. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. If you think you have an abscess, rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek. Call us as soon as possible, so we can drain the abscess and treat the tooth. 

If you have any questions or concerns about what to do in a dental emergency, please don’t hesitate to give our Leander, TX office a call. We’re always happy to help!

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