Dental Emergency Cheat Sheet: Should I Call My Dentist?

If you’re having a dental emergency, you might wonder if it’s actually an emergency you need to call your dentist in the middle of the night for or something that can wait until tomorrow morning. To help you decide if it’s a dental emergency or not, Oasis Dental Arts in San Diego has created this dental emergency cheat sheet to use in the event of a dental emergency.


One of the most common types of dental emergencies is toothaches. However, unless you’re having the most excruciating toothache of your life, you can probably wait to see the dentist. In the meantime, try rinsing your mouth out with water. Try to brush and floss your teeth to dislodge any objects or food particles from between the teeth. You can also take OTC pain relievers to hold you over until you can visit the dentist.

Tooth, Gum, Cheek Injury

If you take an injury to your tooth, gum or cheek and experience lots of bleeding, first try to stop the bleeding on your own. Hold a seeped black tea bag against the wound or moistened gauze. If the bleeding doesn’t stop in 15 minutes, call the dentist.

Chipped or Broken Tooth

If a piece of your tooth has broken off, don’t swallow it. Rinse out your mouth with warm water and then try to stop the bleeding if you have any. You can also apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth to prevent swelling and help with the pain. If you experience any tooth sensitivity, this is a sign that your tooth suffered severe injury. Please contact our dental office immediately if you experience this. If not, we will squeeze you into our next available appointment.

Loose or Knocked-Out Tooth

If any of your adult teeth become noticeably loose or perhaps one is knocked out, do not panic. If your tooth is knocked out, carefully rinse the tooth and then place it in a cup of milk or saliva. Whether it’s loose or knocked out, call Dr. Goshtasbi immediately and make your way to our dental office. The sooner we see you, the more likely we can place your tooth back in your mouth.

Lost Crown or Filling

If a crown or filling has fallen out, make it an appointment to see us as soon as possible. If you save your crown, we can place it back on your tooth. For fillings, you can use over the counter dental cement as a quick fix until we can see you for an appointment.

Loose Brackets, Bands or Braces Wire

If a wire comes loose or a band or bracket breaks or becomes loose, try to bend your wire to a comfortable position. You can also use dental wax to hold wires, bands, and brackets in place. Make sure to make it an appointment with us immediately so we can resolve these issues.

If you have a dental emergency that requires attention, don’t hesitate to call our San Diego emergency dentist at Oasis Dental Arts. We guarantee that we will call you back within a half-hour.