When To Seek Emergency Dental Care

While you should see a dentist regularly to protect your oral and overall health, some dental issues require emergency dental care, meaning you'll need a same-day appointment with the dentist.

While it's nice to know you can see a dentist whenever you want, not every dental issue or concern constitutes a dental emergency. Here are a few dental situations that may warrant a trip to the emergency dentist.


A toothache can start suddenly and progress from mild to severe in no time. While you can take some painkillers to alleviate the pain, it will not go away until you take deliberate action to stop it.

Several factors can cause toothache. These include decay, bacterial infection, trauma to a tooth, tooth extraction and more. When you visit an emergency dentist, they will determine the underlying cause of the painful tooth before treating it.

Seeking emergency dental care when you have a toothache is essential to save the affected tooth.

Tooth avulsion

If one or more of your teeth are knocked out of their sockets in an assault or accident, your chances of saving them will increase with emergency dental care. However, what you do before getting to the dentist matters.

Ideally, you should find the avulsed tooth, pick it up by the crown, rinse it with cold tap or bottled water and put it back into its socket, root first. 

Dental abscess

Do you have a gum boil, bad breath, painful gums or a foul taste in your mouth? These are common symptoms of a dental abscess, which occurs when you have an infection in the tooth or gum tissue. 

The problem can worsen over time if left untreated. Oftentimes, treatment with antibiotics is adequate, but the affected tooth may sometimes require pulling. 

Loose tooth

While loose teeth may indicate normal development in children, they are a serious dental concern for adults. If you have a loose tooth, be it from trauma or an underlying dental problem, you should seek emergency dental care to better your chances of saving the tooth. 

In most cases, your dentist will put a splint on the tooth to protect it. But they may also perform surgical treatments, such as flap surgery and tissue-guided regeneration if the need arises.

Oftentimes, your self-assessment of the situation will help you decide whether or not you should seek emergency dental care. But if you're unsure, you can call an emergency dentist to address your concern.