What to Do in a Dental Emergency

Though accidents and emergencies are an unfortunate part of life, you don’t have to feel unprepared for them! By learning what you need to do for a dental emergency before it happens, you can feel ready to tackle any situation. Here, we’ll explain how to handle the most common dental emergency situations.

Common Dental Emergencies

Knocked-Out Adult Tooth

The first step is to locate the tooth. Don’t pick it up by the root, but by the crown instead. Then, if it’s dirty, rinse it off gently with some water without scrubbing or rubbing the tooth. If you can, put the tooth back in place. If you feel like you’re forcing it, stop what you’re doing and keep the tooth moist in a glass of milk. Get to one of our dental offices within 15-60 minutes after the injury for the best chance of saving your tooth!

knocked out tooth

Lost Filling or Crown

If you find yourself in a situation where your crown falls out of your mouth, attempt to put it back in place using a denture adhesive, temporary dental cement that you can buy over the counter, or even toothpaste. If a filling falls out, use a piece of sugarless gum and stick it into the cavity where the filling used to be. These are both temporary solutions to prevent sensitivity until you can come in so we can permanently fix these problems.

Broken or Chipped Tooth

Similarly to when you knock out a tooth, save any pieces of your broken tooth. Then, rinse your mouth and the tooth with warm water. Use a small piece of gauze to stop any bleeding and apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth where the break occurred to reduce any swelling. Small chips are usually a cosmetic fix, but if you notice any sensitivity, there may be a crack that needs urgent treatment to protect your tooth from infection.


If you have a toothache, the first thing you should do is rinse your mouth out with a cup of warm water mixed with 1 teaspoon salt. If there are any food particles or debris in your teeth, gently floss to dislodge them. If your mouth is swollen, you can put a cold compress to the outside of your mouth. If the pain is mild, you can wait a day or two to visit us, but moderate or severe pain may indicate untreated tooth decay or an infection that requires urgent attention.

emergency dental care dentist


An infection in between the gums and teeth or at the root of a tooth is called an abscess. You should recognize the abscess especially if you see a pimple-like bump in your mouth that’s painful. Call us immediately so we can get you in as soon as possible! In the meantime, rinse your mouth out with salt water a few times every day.

Emergency Dental Care at Hillstream Dental

If you have questions about preparing for or handling any other dental emergencies, ask us! And always remember that if you have a dental emergency you should contact us immediately. Call 248-853-9400 for our Rochester Hills location and 586-296-1140 for our St. Clair Shores location.

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Hillstream Dental

Hillstream Dental