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Is it a Dental Emergency? Here's How to Tell...And What You Should Do

Is it a Dental Emergency? Here’s How to Tell…And What You Should Do

the science of smiles best pasadena dentistAccidents happen, and usually at the most inconvenient time too. If you have a dental emergency, THE SCIENCE OF SMILES® wants you to be prepared with the correct way to handle it as calmly as possible.

We’re always a phone call away, but before you make that call it’s important to try to determine the severity of what’s going on, and to see if it’s truly a dental emergency.

First, is it urgent?

A dental emergency constitutes as any dental problem that causes excruciating pain, alter prior dental work, or damages your teeth or gums. There are certain dental emergencies that are more urgent than others. It’s important to recognize the difference if you happen to have an accident over the weekend when most offices are closed.

Here examples of urgent dental emergencies:

  • Persistent bleeding.
  • Knocked out tooth.
  • Jaw injury.
  • Swelling that won’t go down.
  • A severe toothache.

Here examples of non-urgent dental emergencies:

  • Lost dental restorations (dental crown, fillings, or bridges).
  • Cracked tooth (unless it’s causing severe pain).
  • Broken retainers or mouthguards.
  • Moderate toothaches.

Who You Should Call in a Dental Emergency

Of course, we prefer that you call our office first if you can. But, there are certain situations that call for immediate attention from the emergency room. If you are experiencing persistent, unbearable pain or bleeding that will not stop, we encourage you to visit your nearest ER.

If you’re able to bear the pain long enough, we highly recommend that you try to visit our office as soon as possible. It’s very rare that ER’s have dentists on staff. In most cases, the physician there will refer you to a dentist for emergency dentistry in Pasadena or the surrounding area.

How to Handle a Dental Emergency Until You Get Medical Attention

There may be some things that you can do at home to help relieve pain or preserve a tooth. The first thing to remember, however, is to REMAIN CALM.

The following are suggestions that may help you during a dental emergency at home:

  • Use a mixture of salt and water to relieve irritation and cleanse swelling in your mouth.
  • If a tooth is knocked out, retrieve it and preserve it in a glass of milk until you can get to dental attention.
  • Use a cold compress to help reduce swelling, numb a painful area, and apply pressure to stop bleeding.

We’re here to help you!

Dental emergencies always seem to happen when you’re not prepared. Although you may not have all the tools you feel you need to fix it right away, you’re now prepared with how to handle the most common dental accidents. Remember, stay calm and contact the correct sources depending on your level of pain and urgency.


THE SCIENCE OF SMILES® offers affordable cosmetic and laser dentistry and gentle, compassionate general dental care in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®.