The Hospital Emergency Room cannot provide the care that should take place in your dentist's office.
What is a Dental Emergency?
An emergency is when a service is needed immediately because of an injury or sudden illness. Some examples are:
What to do if You Have a Dental Emergency
First, contact your dentist. If you are calling after business hours and no one is available to take your call, please call 866.268.9631 to reach an on-call provider.
Do: Go to your dentist for a toothache, cavities and all non-emergent dental problems – these are NOT considered emergencies.
Do: Call your dentist’s office after hours before you go to the hospital. Advice is available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you cannot reach your dentist, call 866.268.9631 for help.
Common Oral Discomforts and Injuries that May Need Emergency Care and How to Handle Them:
- Toothache – Call your dentist or an emergency care dentist as soon as possible after you start feeling any sort of pain or discomfort that cannot be controlled by over-the-counter medication.
- Broken, chipped or cracked tooth – Rinse your mouth out with warm water and apply a cold compress to your face. If there is swelling, call your dentist or an emergency dentist right away. If your tooth was chipped or broken and you have the piece of the tooth that was broken off, wrap it in wet gauze or towel and bring it to the dentist with you.
- Loosened or knocked-out tooth – If your tooth becomes loose due to trauma, call your dentist right away. For a knocked-out tooth, gently insert the tooth back into the socket if possible, without touching the root, using a clean towel or washcloth. This is to give the tooth the best chance at survival. When re-inserted the tooth can re-attach itself to the bone depending on how long the tooth was out of the mouth. If the tooth is dirty, rinse with milk, but do not scrub or remove any tissue that may be attached and try not to touch the roots, this is the most sensitive and easily damaged part of the tooth. If re-insertion into the socket is not possible, put the tooth into a cup of milk or spit to keep it moist and go to the dentist immediately.
- Broken jaw – Apply ice or a cold compress and go to the dentist or emergency room immediately if you suspect a broken jaw.
- Bitten tongue, lip or cheek – Clean the area and place a cold compress on the area to reduce any swelling. If bleeding does not stop or the wound is particularly large, go to the dentist or an emergency room.