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When Is It Time to Call for Emergency Dentistry?

Sep 01, 2023
You need a reliable, expert dentist to conduct your biannual exams and cleanings and to assess your oral health. But you also need a reliable, expert dentist to call on for dental emergencies. How do you know when it’s a dental emergency? Read on.

Your dentist takes care of your oral health by conducting your biannual exams, taking X-rays, professionally cleaning your teeth, and administering any treatments you need. But having an established relationship with your dentist comes in handy for emergency situations, too.

If you have a dental emergency, you don’t want to waste time searching the internet for an expert dentist who can make room for you in their schedule. You want to already have us in your phone so you can contact us ASAP and get the care you need:

AB Dental and Oral Surgery 

5515 Tezel Road, Suite 106

San Antonio, Texas 78250


At our clinic in San Antonio, Texas, Anthony Osei, DDS, PhD, and our caring team respond quickly to dental emergencies. You come in immediately, and we work you into our schedule promptly to save your tooth and ease your pain. If you don’t have a phone or can’t call, just show up at our door during office hours.

When might you need to call on our services as emergency dentists? Following are the most common scenarios for emergency dentistry.

Your tooth gets knocked out

The most obvious and time-sensitive dental emergency is when your tooth or multiple teeth get knocked out. This could happen in an auto accident, sports collision, assault, or a fall.

The main thing to keep in mind when your tooth gets knocked out is that you must reach us within 30 minutes, if possible. If you get here in time and you’ve handled your knocked-out tooth correctly, we may be able to save the tooth for you.

As soon as a tooth gets knocked out:

  1. Pick it up by the crown, not the root
  2. Never touch the root
  3. Rinse in COLD water if dirty
  4. Don’t scrub or use soap
  5. Try to put the tooth back in its socket
  6. If you can’t, just hold it in your mouth
  7. If that’s not possible, put it in a jar of milk
  8. Get here ASAP

To save time, ask someone else to call us, or just come in as soon as you can. Saving your tooth will be our priority, and time is of the essence.

Your tooth is shattered, chipped, or cracked

A badly damaged or broken tooth is painful and is at risk for infection. If the tooth has broken, gather the pieces and place them in a jar of milk. Or, if you don’t have that, spit into the jar and cover the pieces with your saliva. Get here ASAP.

You have an excruciating toothache

A toothache isn’t just painful, it can actually be dangerous. If you have an excruciating toothache, your tooth, gums, or both may be infected. Without treatment, that infection can pass in your bloodstream to other organs. You could also lose your tooth and other teeth, too.

If your tooth is badly decayed or damaged, we first try to save it with a root canal procedure. However, in some instances we may need to immediately pull the tooth to save your other teeth. We then discuss tooth-replacement options with you.

Your dental device is damaged

A broken crown or bridge can threaten your oral health. So can a filling that’s broken or that’s fallen out. The damage may threaten the tooth’s health and put it at risk for infection.

Even broken braces can be an emergency because the stray wires or damaged brackets could cause soft-tissue injury. Broken dentures, too, leave you unable to chew properly and must be replaced ASAP.

When you come in, we either repair the damaged device or provide you with a temporary new one. We also treat you for any soft-tissue injuries you sustained due to the breakage.

You have oral pain or bleeding

It’s commonplace, though painful, to accidentally bite your own cheek or tongue. However, if you bite yourself badly enough to cause bleeding, stop the bleeding as much as you can with cool compresses and have someone drive you to our office.

If you have unspecified oral pain, you can take over-the-counter painkillers while on the way to our office. Never ignore oral pain, bleeding, pus, or other unusual symptoms.

You broke your jaw

If you broke your jaw, or if it slipped out of place due to a collision or fall, keep it shut and secure by tying it with a scarf or bandana or whatever’s handy. Create a sling that cradles your jaw, then tie the cloth snugly on the top of your head. Get here ASAP.

Don’t be taken by surprise when you suffer a dental emergency. If you haven’t already met with our team, contact us by phone or through our online form to schedule your first appointment. And keep our number and address handy for emergency dentistry situations.