What Is Emergency Dentistry?

Just as urgent medical needs require rapid appointments, dental patients may need emergency care. Many problems, including severe toothaches and broken or knocked-out teeth, need prompt attention.

Broken or Cracked Teeth

A cracked or broken tooth may not seem like an emergency, especially if it is not causing discomfort, but it is best to see a dentist as soon as possible. Cracked or broken teeth can allow bacteria, food, and saliva to access your tooth's pulp chamber, leading to pain, infection, and a needed root canal.

Knocked-Out or Dislodged Teeth

If you suffer a fall or blow to the face, you may experience dislodged or knocked-out teeth. We may be able to replant or resettle your tooth. If you have bleeding or other injuries, seek emergency medical attention before dental attention.

Severe Toothache

Call your dentist immediately if a toothache prevents you from eating, sleeping, or relaxing. If you have a dull toothache, you may be able to wait for an appointment during regular office hours.

Root Canals

A root canal can be a useful emergency procedure. Root canals treat infection, relieve pain, and preserve teeth from extraction. You may need a root canal if you have strong sensitivity to heat and cold, aching pain when you bite down on the tooth, or swelling along the gums.


While dentists try to save as many teeth as possible, sometimes extraction becomes necessary. Extracting a problem tooth to make way for a restoration, like a bridge or implant, can relieve pain.

Dental Abscess

You may have an abscess or infection if you have a pimple-like swelling on your gums. Your dentist can treat an abscess and prescribe medications.

Lost Restorations

Losing a crown or filling may be less urgent than other dental emergencies, but these restorations need prompt replacement. A lost crown or filling may allow bacteria to enter and cause new or worsened decay.

Frequently Asked Questions About Emergency Dentistry

Can a lost adult tooth be replanted?

In many cases, yes. If you experience a knocked-out tooth, handle it carefully by the crown. Avoid touching the roots. Rinse it gently with lukewarm water and place it back in the socket or a small cup of saliva or milk. The sooner you arrive at the dentist's office, the better.

Are root canals painful?

Root canals have an undeserved reputation left from decades past. Today, a root canal is a comfortable procedure that relieves dental pain and restores oral health.

Call The Ricco Dental Group

Putting off critical dental care can lead to costly, complex solutions in the future. If you encounter a dental problem that interferes with your daily life to the point where you cannot wait until a regularly scheduled appointment, call us at 516-798-0223 (Massapequa) or 516-931-3999 (Plainview), and we will fit you in as soon as possible.