What to Do in a Dental Emergency

What to Do in a Dental EmergencyDental emergencies come in many forms. Maybe you bit down on a hard piece of food only to hear the cracking sound of a damaged tooth. Or perhaps you fell and knocked out a tooth. You may suddenly be in discomfort or pain after a dental prosthetic, like a dental crown, comes loose or cracks. Regardless of the dental trauma you’re experiencing, you’ll want to address the situation quickly and get the concern remedied. So, what to do in a dental emergency? Remain calm and call your dentist.

Act quickly and get the situation under control

Don’t hesitate to jump into action. Address the immediate concerns of your dental emergency first. Are you bleeding? Gargle and rinse with salt water, then bite down on clean gauze. These simple steps should help stop the bleeding. Did you lose a tooth or dental prosthetic? Get hold of the lost tooth or dental piece for safe keeping.

Call your dentist immediately

Once your immediate concerns are addressed, call your dentist. It’s important to call your dentist in dental emergencies, because they can advise on the best next steps for your ailment. Schedule an emergency dental appointment if need be, or ask your dentist if you can manage the situation on your own at home.

Keep your tooth safe while you wait

While you wait for your emergency dental appointment, carefully rinse off your lost tooth with milk or salt water and store it in a sealed container with milk or saline. Try to avoid touching the root as you handle your tooth. You can try to place the tooth back in its socket. Don’t force it, but see if it naturally takes root back in its space.

Manage your pain

Take over-the-counter pain reliever if you’re experiencing discomfort. You can also ice the outside of your face if you have swelling.


With a dedication to helping patients achieve the beautiful, healthy smiles they deserve, Dr. Burds and his team at Gateway Dental Group focus the care they provide on enhancing every aspect of your dental health. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (515) 244-9565. Located in Des Moines, IA, we proudly welcome patients from the Des Moines metro area and surrounding communities.