Friday, January 23, 2015

When the Pain is too Much... Knowing What to Do in a Dental Emergency

Mouth pain might be slow to begin and get worse until the level of pain becomes unbearable, as can happen with an infection or worsening condition with a tooth or its root. It can also be sudden onset as is often the case with an injury. As is with most things in life, it is better to have a plan in place for what to do should you find yourself in need of relief from mouth pain.

In our house, we keep a list with phone numbers for emergencies of all kinds. ‘Be prepared’ is the motto and the best way to do that is to know what your options are in the event of an emergency. We know the process for off-hours calls to our children’s pediatrician, where we can get care if our doctors’ practices are closed, even who to call if the dog is under the weather on the weekend. But most people have little or no idea where to turn if they are in dealing with mouth pain and their dentist’s office is closed.  Our best suggestion, don’t wait until an emergency happens; add a number onto that list today. Contact your dentist and ask what their policy is for emergency situations. They may have a plan in place for patients or another practice to which they refer when closed. “Go to the emergency room”, however, is the answer you do not want to hear. If that is the case, I would put another plan in place.

Be sure to have some dental emergency supplies on hand. You will need ibuprofen (please do not take aspirin), saline solution, gauze, ice pack, and either a small container or a zip tight bag (if your emergency is a knocked out tooth, braces, bridge, etc. place it in the container or bag for transporting to the dentist without further damage. If the tooth is completely knocked out, be sure to handle it only from the tooth, not the root. Any chance of saving the tooth may be lost by handling the root directly).

If your emergency involves the knocking out or loosening of a tooth, bridge, crown or veneer, be sure to call for an appointment right away. Rinse with warm water and take ibuprofen to reduce any pain. Injuries involving the inside of the mouth should also be tended to immediately, preferably by an oral surgeon. Again, warm water and ibuprofen are the first order of business, followed by a swift departure to the dentist’s office.

At, help is only a phone call away. With locations in New York City and on Long Island, our team will see you and work to get you out of pain as quickly as possible. Our professionals include dentists, oral surgeons, dental anesthesiologists, and dental technicians – all of whom prescribe to our motto of Dental Care When You Need Us Most.

As with any relationship, having trust in your dentist is critical. When you are in pain, having a professional with whom you have a relationship can help you relax so that the team can do their best to help get you out of pain. We take that trust very seriously, and do everything possible to help reduce your stress, lesson or eliminate your pain, and get you back to your busy life. 

Learn more about emergency dental needs and how can help you by visiting If you have specific questions about emergency dental care, email us at – we are here to help.

Wishing you bright smiles to fill your day.