Dental emergencies can happen to anyone at any time. Whether you’re at home or away, it’s important to know how to handle different types of dental emergencies. Broken teeth, lost crowns, a root canal, and knocked-out teeth are the most common reasons that require immediate dental attention. 

Although we are not a 24-hour dental practice, we will do our best to get you in for a same-day appointment. If you’re searching for emergency dental care in Denver or an emergency dentist in Denver, call DeWitt Dental Associates at 303-321-5656 or fill out the booking form online.

Emergency Dentistry in Cherry Creek

What Constitutes a Dental Emergency 

A dental emergency occurs when a traumatic injury causes tooth loss or damage. It can also be the result of an infection that has gone untreated. Sudden intense pain or numbness can also constitute a dental emergency as it can indicate an abscessed tooth. 

Some common examples of dental emergencies include:

  • Cracked tooth
  • Jaw swelling or pain
  • Permanent tooth or teeth knocked out
  • Abscessed tooth (dental infection)
  • A chipped tooth with a sharp edge
  • Severe pain
  • Teeth that have suddenly become loose
  • Lost filling or crown
  • Jaw fracture (requires the attention of an Oral or Maxillofacial surgeon)

Urgent vs. Non-urgent Emergencies

It’s important to remember that not all dental problems are considered emergencies. If there’s no pain involved and there’s no risk of losing a tooth, then emergency treatment is likely not required. For example, a chipped tooth with no sharp edges doesn’t pose an immediate threat and can wait for a regular dental appointment.

The same goes for a loose tooth that has been slightly jarred out of place but is still intact. These problems can usually wait a few days or even a week before being seen by a dentist. Although if you’re in a lot of pain, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and make an appointment.

A dental emergency is considered urgent when it poses a threat to your oral health or is causing you a lot of pain. For example, a tooth that has been knocked out needs to be seen immediately as there’s a risk of it not being able to be saved. The same goes for an abscessed tooth, which is a serious infection and can lead to severe bone loss. Severe toothaches can also indicate a more significant problem and should be seen immediately and may require root canal therapy or tooth extraction.

Tips For Dealing With Dental Emergencies At Home

If you have a dental emergency at home, it’s important to stay calm and act quickly. Depending on the type of emergency, there are different things you can do to help ease the pain and prevent further damage;

  • Permanent tooth knocked out. Stay calm and try to find the knocked-out tooth. Pick it up by the crown, careful not to touch the tooth root. If you can, try to put the avulsed tooth back into its socket. If that’s not possible, place the tooth in a glass of milk or water. Stop the bleeding by applying pressure with a cotton swab and placing a cold compress on your cheek to help with any swelling. Then call our office right away. (Note: Children’s primary teeth are not re-implanted)
  • Cracked tooth. Rinse your mouth with warm water. Apply a cold compress to your cheek to help with any swelling. Be careful not to chew on that side of your mouth.
  • Toothache. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water or a hydrogen peroxide rinse as it may help with the pain and inflammation. Try flossing to see if there’s anything stuck between your teeth that could be causing the pain. Take pain medication if the pain persists until you can see the dentist.
  • Object stuck in your tooth. Try to remove the object with floss. If you can’t get it out, don’t try to force it since that could damage your teeth or soft tissue (gums). Wash your mouth with warm water and call our office to make an appointment.

Child tooth pain. If your child is complaining of a toothache, see if there’s anything stuck in the tooth or if their gum is swollen. Depending on the severity of the pain, you can give them ibuprofen or other pain medication for relief. Apply a cold compress or ice pack to their cheek if there’s any swelling. (Note: Never apply an ice pack directly to skin, always wrap it in cloth or dish towel)

Precautions to Avoid Oral Injuries

If you have a dental emergency at home, it’s important to stay calm and act quickly. Depending on the type of emergency, there are different things you can do to help ease the pain and prevent further damage;

  • Permanent tooth knocked out. Stay calm and try to find the knocked-out tooth. Pick it up by the crown, careful not to touch the tooth root. If you can, try to put the avulsed tooth back into its socket. If that’s not possible, place the tooth in a glass of milk or water. Stop the bleeding by applying pressure with a cotton swab and placing a cold compress on your cheek to help with any swelling. Then call our office right away. (Note: Children’s primary teeth are not re-implanted)
  • Cracked tooth. Rinse your mouth with warm water. Apply a cold compress to your cheek to help with any swelling. Be careful not to chew on that side of your mouth.
  • Toothache. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water or a hydrogen peroxide rinse as it may help with the pain and inflammation. Try flossing to see if there’s anything stuck between your teeth that could be causing the pain. Take pain medication if the pain persists until you can see the dentist.
  • Object stuck in your tooth. Try to remove the object with floss. If you can’t get it out, don’t try to force it since that could damage your teeth or soft tissue (gums). Wash your mouth with warm water and call our office to make an appointment.
  • Child Tooth Pain. If your child is complaining of a toothache, see if there’s anything stuck in the tooth or if their gum is swollen. Depending on the severity of the pain, you can give them ibuprofen or other pain medication for relief. Apply a cold compress or ice pack to their cheek if there’s any swelling. (Note: Never apply an ice pack directly to skin, always wrap it in cloth or dish towel)
DeWitt Dental Associates office

Precautions to Avoid Oral Injuries 

There are many things you can do to avoid dental emergencies. First, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly. This will help prevent cavities and gum disease, which can lead to infections.

It’s also important to wear a mouth guard when playing sports or participating in any other activity where there’s a risk of getting hit in the mouth. The mouth guard can help protect your teeth from being chipped or knocked out.

Be careful not to bite your nails or chew on hard objects like ice or hard candy, as this can damage your teeth. Lastly, never use your teeth as tools. For example, don’t open bottles with your teeth or tear open packages. This can put your teeth at risk of being cracked or chipped.

Emergency Dental Care in Denver

Dewitt Dental Associates

When dental problems are left untreated, they may become more serious. Infection from an abscessed tooth or in the gums can spread to other parts of the body. Broken or knocked-out teeth can be a scary thing to experience, but we’ll help restore those teeth and repair any damage that has occurred. You do not have to suffer because of dental problems. Our emergency dentists and staff will work quickly to help you.

Our dental practice is conveniently located in Cherry Creek, near downtown Denver and other metro Denver areas. Although we cannot provide emergency care outside of business hours, our Cherry Creek Dentists will work hard to get you in as soon as possible for your dental treatment. If you need emergency dental care in Denver, call DeWitt Dental Associates at 303-321-5656.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a cavity a dental emergency?

Cavities do not usually require immediate treatment, but you should see a dentist as soon as possible. If the cavity is causing pain, you may need to have it filled right away.

Is a loose dental implant an emergency?

Yes, a loose dental implant is considered a dental emergency because it can cause damage to the surrounding teeth. The implant may need to be removed and replaced.

Is losing a crown a dental emergency?

Losing a crown is considered a dental emergency because it can expose your tooth to bacteria and decay, which can lead to an infection.

Where to go for a dental emergency?

If you need emergency dental care, call DeWitt Dental Associates at 303-321-5656. Although we are not a 24-hour dental practice, we will do our best to set an appointment for you on the day of your emergency. 

Can you call 911 for a dental emergency?

No, you cannot call 911 for a dental emergency unless it’s life-threatening. 911 should only be called for major emergencies.