Which Dental Issues Are Dental Emergencies?

north vancouver family dentistry

Patients are often familiar with medical emergencies and what to do when they arise, but many people don’t think about dental emergencies. Often, the moments immediately following dental trauma are critical for saving your tooth and restoring your dental health. Here, we’ll discuss some of the most common dental emergencies and what you should do if you find yourself in an emergency situation.

3 Common Dental Emergencies

  • Broken or Knocked-Out Adult Tooth


A broken or knocked-out tooth always warrants immediate attention. Call us and bring it to our office immediately! Remember to handle the tooth only by it’s chewing surface (the crown) and never its root. Gently rinse the tooth (and any pieces) with milk or water to remove any debris. When doing so, be careful not to scrub or rub the tooth with soap or a towel, as this can cause further damage. If possible, gently place the tooth back into its socket. If you’re unable to easily reinsert it, use a tooth preservation kit or place the tooth in a small container with milk to preserve it. Although a lost adult tooth may be saved within 30-60 minutes of the injury, the optimal timeframe is within 15 minutes.

  • Severe Toothache


Many toothaches are caused by leftover food particles (e.g. popcorn kernels) getting trapped between your teeth. If you’re experiencing a chronic toothache, gently floss around the affected area and rinse with a cup of warm water mixed with one teaspoon of salt. But if you’ve done so and you’re still experiencing discomfort, this may be a sign of a more severe dental issue, like an untreated cavity. Contact our office as quickly as possible for an emergency dental exam. In the meantime, avoid chewing on that side and consider taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.

  • Lost Restoration


A lost dental restoration, such as a filling or dental crown, is often considered a dental emergency. In most cases, your restoration is covering a natural tooth that is already damaged or compromised. When left uncovered, this damage can cause sensitivity and pain. Schedule a visit as soon as possible at our office for treatment. If possible, retrieve your restorative piece, clean it, and attempt to gently put it back into place with temporary dental cement. If your crown is lost, apply dental cement onto your tooth for protection. Avoid chewing on that side and never use any form of household glue!

Emergency Dental Care in North Vancouver, BC

At Pier Dental Centre, we reserve space in our schedule to accommodate dental emergencies and unexpected visits. Our goal is to get you into our office the very same day you call. If you think you may be in need of urgent dental care, please call to speak with a member of our team. We’ll do everything we can to get you back to your daily routine as quickly as possible!


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