Restorative Dentistry |4 min read

Types of Dental Emergencies You Should Never Ignore


Dental emergencies can strike when you least expect it and be intensely painful.

If not treated quickly, you may be at risk of severe health complications or even losing your tooth.

Understanding the different types of dental emergencies can help you prepare and act quickly should a disaster strike.

Taking a proactive approach is especially important if you participate in high-risk activities, such as contact sports.

What is considered a dental emergency?

Here are some of the common types of dental emergencies and what you need to know.

Cracked or broken tooth

Your teeth can break for many different reasons, including:

  • Decay
  • Trauma
  • Biting down on something hard
  • Grinding your teeth at night can also weaken your teeth and lead to cracks

If the break extends to the roots of your teeth and exposes the inner nerves, this can lead to unbearable pain.

Luckily, there’s no need to suffer.

If you crack a tooth, visit an emergency dentist immediately to alleviate the pain and prevent further damage.

Severe, constant tooth pain

Any tooth pain, especially if it doesn’t go away, should never be ignored. It could be a sign of bacterial infection or dental abscess.

Your emergency dentist may recommend a same-day root canal to treat the problem.

If the idea of a root canal terrifies you, don’t worry!

The procedure has an unfair reputation for being painful, but the truth is, root canals actually RELIEVE the source of pain.

In some severe cases where the tooth cannot be saved, your dentist may need to extract the tooth.

While we don’t want to resort to removing the tooth, it may be our only choice.

If left untreated, bacteria could spread throughout your bloodstream to other parts of your body. This could make you sick and lead to serious health consequences.

Knocked out tooth

If you knock out a tooth entirely, it’s critical you visit an emergency dentist ASAP.

If you can get to your dentist in less than an hour, they may be able to save the tooth.

While on your way to the dentist, keep your tooth in a small, clean container with either milk or water and a pinch of table salt.

If the dentists cannot save your tooth, all hope is not lost!

Dental implants are a great solution to replace missing teeth that look, feel, and function, just like your real ones.

Lost tooth filling

Tooth fillings typically don’t last forever and can come loose over time with years of chewing.

If the filling falls out, you’ll likely feel pain or sensitivity since the inner nerves are more exposed.

If the pain is severe, get to an emergency dentist right away. They can replace your filling and alleviate your suffering.

Lost dental crown

Dental crowns can fall out if the natural tooth beneath the crown decays.

Cavities can cause your tooth to change shape, meaning your crown may no longer fit properly and become loose.

If you lose a crown but are not in pain, it’s still important to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

If you are in pain, then see an emergency dentist that day.

They can help get you comfortable and may replace your crown.

Abscessed, swollen, or bleeding gums

Any swelling or irritation to your gums, whether mild or severe, is cause for concern. It is likely a sign of infection.

If the swelling is mild, you may not need to seek emergency dentistry, but schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

If the swelling is severe and very painful, get to an emergency dentist immediately.

Drink plenty of fluids and keep in an upright position while on your way to the office.

I’ve got a dental emergency… but I’m scared to visit the dentist!

You are not alone. This is a common problem.

Dental anxiety and fear of pain prevent many people from getting the care they need, even in desperate situations.

However, if you are experiencing any dental issues (and especially an emergency situation!), you must seek care.

Delaying or avoiding treatment will likely only make your problem worse, leading to more pain, higher costs, and potentially severe risks to your overall health.

One way to help make your visit easier is to look for a dentist with a compassionate touch, that is sensitive to the needs of high-anxiety patients.

Dr. Stephen Maloney excels at keeping his patients calm and comfortable, putting their fears at ease.

In addition to emergency services, our dentist in Anchorage offers many conveniences, such as:

  • Soothing office environment
  • Therapy dog on site
  • Open on Fridays
  • Same-day services
  • Easy budget options and financing
  • Accepts most dental insurance plans
  • And more!

Watch our video to learn more about how we make your dental visits fear-free!

Save our number in your phone, and be ready for whatever emergencies may come your way (though we sure hope they don’t!): 907-279-6000.

We proudly serve Anchorage and surrounding communities in the state of Alaska.

Are you currently experiencing any of these types of dental emergencies?

Stay calm and get help. Call our dentist in Anchorage NOW.