Dental Emergencies

What do I do in a dental emergency?

Dental emergencies of any kind are less than ideal. That’s why at Paloma Dental, we are committed to helping you and your family get treatment quickly and effectively. Whatever your emergency is, Dr. Bassett will do her best to see you as soon as possible to get you back to enjoying life.

Damaged or Missing Teeth

If you have had a tooth that has been damaged or knocked out entirely, you should contact a dentist right away. Unless there are other concerns beyond the teeth, you may be able to avoid a costly emergency bill by going to your dentist directly. Time is of the essence when it comes to saving damaged or knocked out teeth!  In the meantime, make sure you collect as many pieces that you can find and rinse your mouth with warm water. If there is any bleeding, do your best to apply pressure to the area with a piece of gauze.

If you have a tooth that was knocked out completely, it is vital that you rinse off the root gently while keeping any tissue intact. Do not touch the root of the tooth! If at all possible, very gently try to put the tooth back in place. If re-inserting the tooth is not possible you will need to temporarily preserve the tooth. The best place to keep it is soaked in milk. This will help conserve the tooth until you can make it in to see Dr. Bassett.


An abscess is an infection that can happen at the root of the tooth or between teeth. Abscesses can be very serious and cause significant damage to the abscessed tooth, surrounding tissues, and other teeth nearby. It is vital to seek treatment right away to keep the infection from spreading.

If the abscess becomes chronic, it can often resemble a pimple-like bump that is swollen on your gums. Most often, these pimples are not painful until they close up – then the pressure from the abscess can cause a truly unbearable pain. Unfortunately, an abscess never goes away unless the tooth is removed or the infection is treated directly. Antibiotics do not cure abscesses.

Missing Filling, Cusp or Crown

While losing a piece of dental work can be alarming, most of the time it is not an urgent emergency. We invite you to call or text the office if you are concerned with a missing piece of tooth to help ease your mind on how to fix it.

  • Missing filling: It is normal for missing fillings to be sensitive, so for your comfort, it may be helpful to keep the area covered. If you are unable to get in right away, you can try covering the filling with temporary filling material found in your drug store. Try to be gentle and not irritate the gums around the missing filling.
  • Lost cusp: Unless you are in pain, broken cusps are usually not an emergency. However, leaving a tooth broken can lead to further breakdown and pain, so be sure to come in as soon as you notice to ensure the best chance of keeping your tooth.
  • Lost crown: If the crown falls off, if possible, slip the crown back over the tooth. Before doing so, coat the inside with a very small amount of over-the-counter denture adhesive. This is not meant to be a full solution to the problem but it may bring you more comfort until your appointment.

If you have had some damage or have a loose or missing dental piece of dental work, contact Paloma Dental as soon as possible. We will do our best to get you in and feeling better as soon as possible.

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