Treating Dental Emergencies

A dental emergency can arise at the most inconvenient and unexpected time. If there is no other health or injury concern that would require an emergency room visit, it is important that you call our dental office as soon as possible in the event of a dental emergency or trauma to the teeth or gums. Prompt care can often avoid further damage and even tooth loss. Dr. Gerald provides emergency dental care in Vienna, VA and our team make every effort to see you the same day when deemed necessary.

What are common dental emergencies?

Dental emergencies can range from a chipped tooth to a knocked-out tooth, with some needing to be addressed immediately and others within a day or two. Here are several common dental emergencies and how to handle them:

  • Chipped tooth: if you chip your tooth it is important to call our office and discuss the extent of the damage. Small chips can often be treated within a few days and do not require immediate care. However, if the chip is significant in size or you are experiencing discomfort in the area you should be seen more quickly.
  • Knocked out tooth: one of the most severe dental emergencies, a tooth that has been knocked out should be addressed immediately. If there is no other trauma to the jaw or face that warrants other emergency healthcare, call our office right away. If possible, locate the tooth and place in warm milk- it is sometimes possible to place the tooth back in the socket and splint into place but this must very quickly. Using a cold compress on the socket until we see you can minimize bleeding and swelling.
  • Toothache: a sudden or throbbing toothache can have several possible causes. Contact our office if this occurs and we can help evaluate your immediate needs. Placing a cold compress outside the mouth where the toothache is located will help reduce your pain until we can see you or provide advice.
  • Broken dental crown: if you have a dental crown that comes off, we recommend calling our office as soon as possible to discuss the situation. In some cases, it is best if we see you the same day and in others, we may be able to provide advice until you can be seen in our office. It will depend on the location, cause of the problem and the level of discomfort you are experiencing. We do not recommend using any over the counter crown adhesives without speaking to Dr. Gerald first to avoid further damage.
  • Tooth abscess: an abscess is an infection that can occur along the gum line which can suddenly become very painful. If you are experiencing sudden pain and can see a small pimple-like spot on your gums, especially near the tooth root, it could be an abscess. Contact our office right away so that we can determine when you need to be seen. The infection can spread without proper and prompt treatment.