A dental hygienist in a mask talking to a concerned female patient in the treatment chair about her dental emergency

What You Need to Know About Emergency Dental Service

If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, come to our emergency dentist in Wilmington, NC at Smith Family Dentistry located at 1606 Doctors Circle, or give us a call right away at (910) 762-5235

We set aside time in our daily schedule to handle emergency dental situations and will work quickly to alleviate any pain and perform the necessary service.

Before you schedule your appointment with Dr. Smith, there are a couple of things you can do yourself.

  • If a tooth was dislodged, try to place it back in its socket and hold it there until you arrive at our office. Don’t touch the tooth by the root. You may also hold the tooth in the side of your mouth, under your tongue or in a cup of milk or your own saliva. 
  • Apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth to alleviate any pain.

Types of Dental Emergencies

There are several different types of dental emergencies. These may include:

  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Missing teeth
  • Severe tooth pain
  • Broken fillings
  • Swelling or bleeding of the mouth or gums
  • Abscessed (infected) tooth or gum  
  • Pulpitis, or inflammation of the nerve of the tooth
  • Pericoronitis, or inflammation of the tissue surrounding a wisdom tooth

How Dental Emergencies Can Happen

Just as there are many different types of dental emergencies, there are nearly just as many ways they can happen. 

Dental caries, better known as cavities, are often an underlying cause of severe tooth pain as tooth enamel and tissue can break down and result in a dental emergency when left untreated. 

Injuries to the mouth can knock out or fracture teeth or fillings. And biting down on ice, popcorn kernels, hard candy, or other crunchy foods can crack a tooth and cause a dental emergency. 

Other dental emergencies can result from using your teeth to tear away a piece of tape or open a bag. Dental emergencies can also occur when chewing on toothpicks or other sharp or hard objects. 

Dental Emergency Treatments

If your tooth can be saved, it can be put back into place by our team using a technique known as “splinting.” The tooth will be attached to the other teeth on either side to hold it in its socket and allow the roots to take the tooth back naturally. 

If a tooth is chipped or cracked, a dental crown may be installed. A crown is a cap typically made of metal or ceramic that restores the natural size and shape of a tooth. 

A root canal may be performed for other types of dental emergencies involving infections or decay of a tooth or its root. 

If you need emergency dental services, contact us or come to our office right away so you can get the care you need to restore the health of your mouth.