Toothaches, mouth pain, and other dental emergencies

What should I do in case of a dental emergency?

Most dentists offer some type of answering service so you can reach them past normal office

Experiencing a true dental emergency can be very painful and uncomfortable. Your first step should be to get a hold of your dentist. If you have a regular dentist, give them a call right away. If not, you should start looking for a dentist who offers emergency dental care. Many dentists use a call-forwarding system to give you 24/7 access to the dentist or dental team, even on weekends and holidays. Search the internet or ask your friends and family if they can help you find a dentist nearby.

If you still can’t get a hold of a dentist, then your only option is to take pain killers or go to the emergency room. Pain killers such as Tylenol and Motrin are helpful if you don’t have access to stronger narcotics. Emergency rooms visits are typically counterproductive as most emergency rooms don’t offer any dental care. They will most likely administer you painkillers and antibiotics to temporarily alleviate your pain and refer you back to the dentist.

What are the most common dental emergencies?

Dental pain is among the worse types of pain one can experience. There are several different causes for these types of dental emergencies, which are:


Most toothaches are caused by cavity bugs entering your tooth nerve and causing an infection

Most dental emergencies are the result of a severe toothache that’s caused by dental infection. When cavity bugs enter your tooth nerve, they cause pain and infection. Toothache can also be caused by fracture and trauma. These types of toothaches cause a throbbing, lingering, and severe pain, which typically lasts for 20 minutes or longer. If you’re experiencing a toothache, you need to see a dentist right away. If you can’t see a dentist at this moment, take some painkillers and start searching for a dentist near you.

Broken teeth and dental restorations

Some dental emergencies are the result of broken teeth, dental fillings, and crowns. If you break your tooth but you’re not experiencing any pain, you should have the tooth checked out as soon as possible. You might feel like it’s not a true dental emergency if you aren’t experiencing any pain. Nevertheless, you could develop pain or infection, which will definitely leads to some serious pain! Plan on seeing a dentist as soon as possible to resolve your issue.

Wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth can also cause severe pain which leads to an emergency situation. Your wisdom teeth start coming out around 15 to 16 years of age. If you don’t have enough space in your jaws, your wisdom teeth start pressing on the other teeth, This causes intense pressure pain, and it’s typically far worse for the bottom wisdom teeth. You need to either remove your wisdom teeth or take painkillers and antibiotics until you can see a dentist who can remove your wisdom teeth.

Knocked out teeth

Knocked out teeth can be only be salvaged if replaced within the first few hours

Although rare, sometimes your entire tooth comes out of it socket. Knocked out teeth can be salvaged, but you must replace them immediately in order to save the tooth. If you can’t get to a dentist right away, place the knocked out tooth in a glass of milk and visit an emergency dentist as soon as possible. Ideally, your dentist will transplant the tooth back into its socket, splint it to the adjacent teeth, and allow the tooth to heal by itself. If this fails, you will require a dental implant, bridge, or denture instead.

Pediatric dental emergencies

Children experience dental emergencies for different reasons. The most common problem is when baby or adult teeth start to erupt. Teething emergencies are best managed by applying medication and soothing ointments to help your child get through this process. More serious dental emergencies occur when children develop a dental infection. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to distinguish between these two types of pains. If your child is at teething age, then there’s a good chance that the toothache is related to their teething. However, there’s always the chance that the toothache is a related to an untreated tooth infection. You should contact a dentist or pediatric dentist to have your child’s tooth examined as soon as possible.

Denture emergencies

It’s important for denture wearers to have access to a local dentist in case of an emergency

Denture wearers oftentimes find themselves in a bind when their false teeth breaks or gets lost. As such, it’s important for denture wearers to have access to a local dentist in case of emergencies. If your denture suffers from minor damage, your dentist may be able to fix it on the spot or in a few days. Other times your dentures are irreparable and you’ll need to make a new set.

Miscellaneous dental emergencies

Other dental conditions involve gum disease, oral ulcers, TMJ problems and so forth. Having a established relationship with a local dentist is invaluable in case of dental emergencies. Explain your symptoms the best that you can to help your dentist identify the nature of your dental emergency. Once the source of your pain has been identified, you can start planing an appropriate treatment. Regardless of the nature of your dental emergency, it’s important that you follow-up with your dentist as soon as possible. You should never underestimate pain inside your mouth. Otherwise, you could develop a serious infection that makes treatment more complicated and more costly.

What should I do if I have a dental emergency?

The most common treatment options for fixing emergency toothache is root canal therapy or tooth extraction

Contact your dentist immediately if you’re experiencing a dental emergency. See if you can get in right away to have your condition evaluated. You can always take a few painkillers to temporarily reduce the dental pain in the meantime. However, taking medicine will not reverse a toothache and it only temporarily masks the symptoms. You must go to your dentist for definitive treatment, otherwise your toothache will return sooner or later. The two most common treatment options for fixing an emergency toothache are:

If you’re experiencing a severe toothache then your tooth is most likely infected. At this point, a dental filling alone is not going to fix your tooth. One option is to remove your tooth nerve with a root canal treatment. Performing a root canal removes infection from your tooth while allowing to keep the tooth itself. The other option is to remove the bad tooth, or tooth extraction. If you remove your tooth you may have to invest in replacing your missing tooth with a dental implant (aside from wisdom teeth). Only you and your dentist can determine which treatment option is best for you and your poor tooth!

What happens if I ignore my dental emergency?

Unfortunately, toothaches and dental infections never resolve by themselves. An infected tooth continues to remain infected until it’s treated or removed by your dentist. As such, ignoring a toothache is never a wise idea. Infected teeth will cause continuous pain and discomfort. Plus, the dental infection will gradually spread to the rest of your body. Dental infection spreads through the sinus cavity or bloodstream to the rest of your body. This explains why untreated dental infection can be responsible for headaches, sinus infections, digestive difficulties, heart problems and other serious medical issues.

What should I do in case of a dental emergency if I don’t have a regular dentist?

If you’re experiencing a dental emergency but don’t have access to a dentist, you need to start looking for one right away. Start by looking for a dentist who offers emergency dental treatment near you. Here are a few different ways you can find a dentist to help you out in case of a dental emergency:

Personal referral

One of the best ways to find a good emergency dentist is by talking to people you already know. Start by talking to your friends and family to see if they have any recommendations. Some people post on Facebook, although this is not a very reliable way to find an emergency dentist. Also, be sure to specify the nature of your dental emergency. After all, not all dentists perform root canal therapy or tooth extraction, so it would be helpful to find a dentist that can actually treat your condition.

Online search

Start by searching for “emergency dentist” or “24 hour dentist” on Google, Bing or Yahoo

Searching online is another great way to look for a good emergency dentist. Start by searching keywords such as “emergency dentist“, “24 hour dentist” or “tooth extraction/root canal near me” on Google, Bing or Yahoo. Dentists who offer emergency services usually run online ads so you can easily find them. Another good idea is to call 1-800-Dentist and see if they can refer you to a dentist who offers emergency services nearby. Websites like Yelp, Zocdoc and Realself are not bad for looking up dentists, but finding an emergency dentist through them may challenging. You can also search a list of nearby dentists on Even28, the dentist Search Engine. Ultimately, if you search hard enough you should be able to find a dentist who can help you out with your dental emergency sooner or later.

Contact your dental insurance

If you have dental insurance then you can try calling them or look on their website to find a nearby provider. If you have PPO dental insurance you can go to any dentist you choose, so finding one should be pretty easy. However, if you have an HMO plan, then you must go to your assigned dentist. If you have a state aid plan such as Medicaid or Denti-Cal you need to go to a dentist who accepts your plan. Be prepared to pay cash for your emergency treatment if you end up going to a dentist who doesn’t accept your insurance plan.

Go to the local emergency room

Emergency room offer medication and antibiotics, but you still need to see your dentist to fix the emergency

If you can’t find a dentist after repeated attempts, then your only other option is to rely on pain killers or go to the emergency room. Emergency rooms offer you medication, such as pain killers and antibiotics, to reduce your pain. However, they won’t be able to fix your dental problem and you still have to see your dentist to fix the emergency. Be sure to search for a dentist who can handle your emergency condition. Not all dentists are equipped to treat every emergency. For instance, some dentists don’t perform root canal therapy or tooth extraction. Ideally, you want to find a dentist who offers both root canal therapy and tooth extraction services. This way, you should be able to address your dental emergency one way or another.

Dental emergency treatment in San Clemente, Orange County

We offer emergency dental services including root canal therapy, tooth extraction, denture repair and dental implants

If you’re experiencing a dental emergency in San Clemente we can offer immediate help. Give us a call at (949)481-2540 to schedule your emergency visit today. We’re conveniently located off of the 405 Freeway in downtown San Clemente. We offer emergency dental care to Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, Mission Viejo and the rest of Orange County. Typically, we can see you within 24 hours, sometimes even sooner. Additionally, we offer root canal therapy, tooth extraction, wisdom tooth removal, denture repair and dental implants. For your convenience, we also have 24/7 answering service to handle after hours and emergency calls. To learn more about different dental emergency conditions, click on any of the following links:

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