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Imagine that you wake up with a throbbing toothache or fall and break a tooth. Now think about the wave of emotions and discomfort you will feel after a dental emergency. Discomfort paired with fear can make these situations seem even more traumatizing. Fortunately, you can turn to Dr. Holloman for gentle and effective emergency dental care. Our practice provides same-day and next-day appointments for patients who have suffered from injuries related to an accident or debilitating pain from infected teeth.

Types of Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies can vary in nature. Some patients may require expedient professional care after developing a debilitating toothache or abscess while others may need treatment for broken teeth after facial trauma caused by an accidental fall, sports injury, or car wreck. The type of treatment administered and quickness with which a patient is seen depends on the unique circumstances of one’s dental emergency.

Common Treatments for Dental Emergencies

If a patient has developed tooth pain due to an infected tooth or abscess, our staff will perform an examination to determine the extent of the problem. In many cases, antibiotics will be prescribed to control the infection and improve one’s symptoms. Once the infection is taken care of, patients might return to our office for endodontic therapy, restorations, or a tooth extraction.

When it comes to treating broken, chipped, or knocked out teeth, individual circumstances are also taken into account. Sometimes, broken pieces of teeth can be bonded back together or held in place by a permanent restoration. If the innermost part of a tooth is damaged, endodontic therapy might be necessary to prevent or treat infected root canals caused by a dental injury exposing the contents of the root canal to oral bacteria.

Tips for Responding to Dental Injuries

Part of handling a dental emergency well is knowing how to respond. In the event of any type of dental emergency (unless ER treatment is necessary), you should call your dentist’s office as soon as possible. If the phone is not answered, be sure to leave a detailed message about the nature of your injury so that when we call back, we can be of assistance. We might be able to provide tips to improve your comfort level and odds of saving your tooth, depending on the nature of your emergency.

If you have a toothache, you can manage discomfort with over the counter medication like Ibuprofen until you are able to see us. Sometimes warm salt water rinses can improve uncomfortable sensations. When it comes to chipped or broken teeth, if you can gather the piece(s) of your tooth, do so and place them in Milk or Save-A-Tooth solution (available at large grocery stores and pharmacies) to keep its structures alive.

We encourage our patients to save our office number on their mobile phones to make calling us that much easier. It’s also a good idea to keep our business cards in your wallet, purse, or work desk.

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Emergency Dentistry FAQs

A dental emergency is any incident where the teeth or gums are injured or diseased so badly that they require immediate (same-day) treatments. Injuries and issues like infected root canals can be incredibly painful on top of requiring professional treatments such as endodontic therapy, restorative care or tooth extraction. Common sources of dental emergencies include debilitating toothaches, broken or chipped teeth, and knocked out teeth. Sports injuries, car wrecks, and accidental falls in addition to untreated oral disease can lead to the need for expedient oral care.

Emergency dental care means that a person requires professional oral care relatively quickly. For example, if you wake up with a throbbing toothache, you might need a same-day or next-day appointment. Infected or abscessed teeth are incredibly painful and can worsen quickly without professional intervention. The same is true for teeth that are cracked or dislodged from their sockets. If a dental injury leads to displaced or broken teeth, be sure to call our office right away. There are steps you can take to help preserve precious tooth structure until you can come to our practice for treatment. Broken and chipped teeth can sometimes be repaired with bonding treatments or held together with restorations like crowns.

If a tooth is broken, be sure not to touch it or remove it from the socket. If your tooth is completely knocked out or broken into pieces, place the tooth and/or its pieces into milk or Save-A-Tooth solution (available at most pharmacies) to help keep it alive. If milk or Save-a-Tooth solution is unavailable, try to keep your tooth inside your mouth between your gums and cheek. Broken and knocked out teeth can be repaired and treated with restorations in many cases. Be sure to call our practice as soon as you can after an incident that breaks a tooth. Calling us promptly is necessary so that we can prepare for your visit.

A few of the most common types of dental emergencies include toothaches, knocked out or dislodged teeth, and cracked or chipped teeth. Other emergencies such as broken restorations are common as well but typically do not require same-day treatment. If you are in moderate to severe discomfort or have suffered a facial injury, call our office as soon as you can. Give our staff information about the nature of your symptoms or injury so that we can accommodate your needs.

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Meet the Doctor

Andrew J. Holloman, DDS

  • Specialized training in implants, cosmetics, and complex restorative at University of Oklahoma AEGD
  • Selected as one of "Americas Top Dentist" by American Consumer Research Council in Implants and Cosmetic dentistry for 7 years in a row