Dental Emergencies

While most dental problems are rarely actually life threatening, there are certain conditions that can develop that warrant consideration on an emergency basis and should get attention as soon as possible.  Any of the following conditions should be considered a…


Swelling: This is a sure sign of infection if no trauma has occurred.  An antibiotic needs to be prescribed as soon as possible.  DO NOT apply ice to this type of swelling. If swelling is occurring due to recent trauma or injury, ice SHOULD be applied as soon as possible.

Uncontrollable pain: This is usually due to infection or trauma. Ibuprophen (Advil, Nuprin, Datril) should be taken to lessen pain and reduce inflamation as long as you are not allergic to this medication.  Tylenol or aspirin products are good also if you cannot take ibuprophen.  Take as directed on the package.  These products or any other pain medications will not totally eliminate moderate to severe pain.  They are to lessen the pain and make it manageble.  The use of antibiotics is usually also indicated.

Physical trauma: Involves loosened, broken and/or avulsed (knocked out) teeth and/or lacerations (cuts or tears) of the mouth

If a tooth is knocked out-
a. Hold the tooth by the crown, and rinse off the root of the tooth if it is dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments.

b. If it is possible, gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket. If that isn’t possible, put the tooth in a cup of milk or water and get to the dentist as quickly as possible. Don’t forget to take the tooth with you!

In the event of any of the above, please contact my office by calling 432-685-7011.  A voice mail system will answer.  At any time during the message, press 2 and you will be transferred to an emergency mailbox where you need to leave your name and telephone and a detailed message.  I will be paged and return your call as soon as possible.

Other problems that usually do not require emergency attention would include:
– Lost filling with no pain
– Loose or displaced crown or temporary crown

The following products are available at Walgreens and Albertsons Drug and are very user friendly.  Temparin is a very effective temporary filling material when used properly and Thin Set will temporarily cement a loose crown, permanent or temporary.  Use these products only if our office is closed. Please contact our office for an appointment to fix your problem in a more permanent fashion as soon as possible.