Don’t Ignore A Potential Dental Emergency

When you experience a dental emergency, you need treatment to avoid major complications, such as a decayed or an infected tooth. In today’s blog, your Des Moines, IA, dentist discusses our emergency treatment options to repair teeth and help return smiles to full function and beauty. But what constitutes a dental emergency?

What Is a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency is simply any non-life-threatening damage or injury to your teeth or gums. If the issue is life threatening, then call 911 or proceed to the nearest emergency room. Otherwise, contact our office and we will schedule a time to see you and offer treatment to address the damage and protect your smile further discomfort. When you damage teeth, this could expose sensitive inner structure and increase the risk of cavities and infection. Injury to the gums could also lead to infection unless addressed.

Preventing Further Discomfort

Responding quickly can limit further damage and help ease discomfort until we can see you and render treatment. For example, if you chip a tooth, rinse with warm water and take a pain reliever. Bring any pieces of your tooth with you that you can recover. Cloth or gauze will stem any bleeding, and a cold compress or ice pack can reduce swelling.

If you have an unexamined toothache, rinse with water and let us know. If something is caught between your teeth and you cannot remove it with floss, let us know and don’t use anything other than floss, as you could damage your smile. If a filling or crown is loose or lost, avoiding hot or cold foods and drinks, or items high in sugar, until we can see you. These items could use severe sensitivity in the exposed tooth.

If you knock a tooth out completely, pick it up by the crown only, never touch the root. Place it in a glass of milk or salt water and bring it to the office with you. Again, try to stem any bleeding with cloth/gauze and reduce swelling with a cold compress or ice pack.

Repairing Your Tooth

For minor damage, we may be able to repair your tooth in one visit with dental bonding, which uses the same lifelike and metal-free material our tooth-colored fillings do. A crown could repair more advanced cases of damage too. If you have any questions about responding to a dental emergency, or if you have injured one or more of your teeth, then please contact our team today.


Our team wants to protect the health and stability of your smile with restorative treatment options. To learn more about our general dental procedures, then schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in downtown Des Moines, IA, at (515) 244-9565.