Dental Emergencies

Dental Emergencies

What to Do If You Have a Dental Emergency


If you have ever experienced a dental emergency then you understand how frightening and painful it can be.  Often people are unsure what constitutes a true dental emergency, when they should call their dentist, and what they can do temporarily at home to gain some relief until they can get to a dental office. Gold Coast Smiles has put together the following guidelines for patients to help them determine how to best handle a dental emergency should they ever experience one. 


Is It Urgent?


Certain dental emergencies carry more urgency while others can be attended to at a later time.  It’s especially important to understand the difference between the two if you experience a dental emergency during nighttime or outside of our normal office hours.  

The following are examples of urgent dental emergencies: 

  • Painful toothache that will not subside
  • Any type of swelling regardless of pain
  • A loose or a knocked out tooth
  • Traumatic injury to the lips, cheeks, tongue or jaw
  • Any type of bleeding that will not stop

Urgent dental emergencies should be dealt with right away!  If you are experiencing any of the above problems, call our office right away.  If it is after office hours, you will find Dr. Sami’s personal phone number on the answering machine and you can call him directly.  He will instruct you on how to proceed.  In the rare event you are still unable to reach us, visit the emergency room in the event of an urgent dental emergency.

The following are examples of emergencies that can be addressed with less urgency:

  • Lost fillings, Crown or Bridge
  • Broken or Cracked tooth without any symptoms
  • Food Lodged between teeth
  • Mild tooth sensitivity 
  • Dull mild toothache 
  • Small chips in teeth

Should you experience any of the above non-urgent dental emergencies, it is still advised that you contact us as soon as possible.  While the situation may allow for a short delay, it is still imperative that you notify us so we can arrange to see you at the earliest possible opening.


Who Should I Contact?


Regardless of the situation, we always advice patients to call us and explain the situation over the phone.  If you call during normal office hours, we will arrange to see you that same day and evaluate the situation.  In most instances when you call us outside of normal business hours such as at night or on the weekend, you will be able to speak to Dr. Sami directly over the phone and he will advice you on the proper steps to take next.  Rest assured, in the majority of cases, dental emergencies are not as urgent as they may appear and we will help you get through the situation by providing whatever assistance you may need.


What Can You Do at Home If You Experience a Dental Emergency?


Depending on the type of dental emergency that you experience, there may be steps you can take at home to help ease your discomfort and remedy the situation until you can see us at the office.  Regardless of the emergency, the most important thing to do is stay calm. When you get anxious, your body triggers a number of natural responses that can potentially make the situation worse.  It is important to stay calm in order to make sound rationale decisions and help prevent your body from exaggerating any symptoms you may be experiencing.  

We have compiled a list of some of the most common dental problems for your reference.  Follow the link to the specific dental emergency you may be experiencing to find general guidelines & suggestions you can follow at home to help ease any pain or discomfort:

Preventing Dental Emergencies


The best way to protect yourself from a dental emergency is to create a proper preventative plan and stick to your regular maintenance schedule with our office.  For patients without Periodontal (gum) disease and a low risk of cavities we recommend they come in twice a year for a comprehensive exam and cleaning.  Patients that have been diagnosed with Periodontal disease require a more frequent maintenance schedule.  They are prescribed a comprehensive exam and cleaning every 3 months to maintain the health of their gums and supporting oral structures and prevent any further disease from progressing.  

Other tips for preventing dental emergencies include:

  • Complete whatever treatment recommended in your advised treatment plan.  Dental problems only get worse over time when they are not properly attended to.  If you put off a filling, crown or root canal, you are putting yourself at risk for unexpected complications down the road.  In addition, postponed treatment can evolve into more complex and expensive treatment.
  • Brush and floss daily.  Developing a strong oral hygiene routine will help keep your mouth healthy and your teeth strong, minimizing the risk of developing any unexpected dental emergencies.  
  • Avoid foods that are particularly chewy or tough.  Examples include hard bread, Hard candy or excessively chewy candies.  
  • Try to curb bad habits such as chewing on ice and biting fingernails that can result in chipped and fractured teeth.  Don’t use your teeth to open or rip apart items, which puts unnecessary stress on them.  You should only use your teeth for consuming food.
  • Consider a night-guard if you are conscious of the fact that you may grinding or clenching your teeth.  

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