Do Dentists Handle a Dental Emergency?

Dental Emergency Port Charlotte, FL

A dental emergency can be frightening, not to mention painful. While many people assume calling the dentist will get them an automatic appointment, it is important to understand that not all dentists handle dental emergencies.

Ideally, it is a good idea to find a dentist that does take care of emergencies, because they have the experience to deal with urgent problems of the mouth and teeth. However, visiting the emergency room may be the next appropriate option, depending on the situation. Learn what constitutes a dental emergency and what steps to take.

Types of dental emergencies

Some dental emergencies require an immediate visit to the dentist, while others can wait a day or two if it is over a night or weekend. Examples of an urgent emergency include

  • Painful toothache
  • Sudden and painful swelling
  • Constant bleeding
  • Injured or broken jaw
  • Knocked out or loose tooth

Dental emergencies that are considered to be non-urgent are

  • Dull ache in one or more teeth
  • Damaged retainer
  • Cracked or broken tooth
  • Lost bridge, crown or filling

The next steps to take will be determined by the severity of the dental emergency.

What to do in case of an emergency

Experiencing an emergency can be stressful, and it can be hard to think straight. However, following certain steps can be calming and helpful.

Contact help

The first step is to determine whether or not the situation is urgent. If it is, contact a dentist who handles dental emergencies. If one is not available, a trip to the emergency room is necessary, especially with bleeding that will not stop or if the pain is unbearable.

With a non-urgent dental emergency, call the dentist and explain what is going on. Most will do what they can to make an appointment as soon as possible, and they will probably advise on some actions to take at home in the meantime.

Follow at-home remedies

Whether headed to the ER or waiting a day to get into the dentist, there are certain at-home remedies that can aide in temporary relief. For bleeding, pain and swelling, use an ice pack against the affected area. Dissolving salt in hot water can also be used as a mouthwash to help ease swelling and pain.

For a knocked-out permanent tooth, place it in milk to keep on the way to the dentist. For a chipped tooth, place a wad of chewed, sugarless gum over it. This will prevent it from cutting the tongue or cheeks. Toothpaste is a good remedy for a crown that has become loose and fallen off. Apply the paste to the crown and temporarily affix it back on the tooth until the appointment.

If there is pain around one tooth and there is no apparent cause, floss the area. Sometimes food can get caught inside the gum tissue and lead to irritation.


A dental emergency is not comfortable or fun, but it helps to know what to do if you experience one. Be able to identify the emergency so you get the appropriate help.

Request an appointment here: or call Dragonfly Dental of Port Charlotte at (941) 676-9225 for an appointment in our Port Charlotte office.

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