WHAT IS A dental emergency?

If you are experiencing significant oral pain, bleeding in the mouth, or have broken a tooth or existing dental work, you have a dental emergency. There are various treatment options depending on your specific situation and the severity, so calling the office as soon as possible is important. There are many factors in determining which is the best solution, so we will always discuss your options and help recommend the right treatment for you.

What Dental Emergencies Do You Treat?


When you have had a tooth knocked out, fast action is crucial. Teeth that have been out of the gums for more than two hours cannot be replaced.

First, collect the tooth and lightly rinse away any debris, but do not touch the root or scrub the tooth. If possible, place the missing tooth back in its empty socket or in the cheek. If neither option is possible, store it in a cup of milk or water until you can reach the dental office.


Toothaches are one of the most common dental emergencies, and you should visit your dentist if you ever experience discomfort in one of your teeth. 

Discomfort may first be triggered by eating sweets or cold liquids and air, but as an infection progresses the tooth will eventually experience severe pain without any type of stimulus. If this occurs, take an over-the-counter pain medication as directed and call your dentist as soon as possible.

Know that children may sometimes complain of a toothache when they have something stuck between their teeth, like a large food particle. To help determine whether or not your child truly has a problem tooth, help him or her brush, floss, and rinse their mouth. If the pain persists, you should call your dentist.


If your dental emergency results in bleeding from the gums, tongue, cheek, or lips, do your best to stop or slow the bleeding. Apply firm, constant pressure with a clean gauze or cloth. If bleeding does not stop or slow within 10 minutes, head straight to the emergency room for urgent medical attention.


Swelling is a likely side effect of most dental emergencies. You can help reduce inflammation by applying a cold compress (like an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas) to the affected area. Hold it against the cheek for 10 minutes, then remove for 10 minutes. Repeat until you reach your dentist’s office or the emergency room.


Dental emergencies happen, and we’re here to help. We will always try to perform same-day treatment whenever possible, but if we are unable to see you or the issue does not require same-day care, we will take the time to explain some first aid methods over the phone until we can see you in the office. There is no way to fully plan for an emergency, but educating yourself on what to do can help. 

21st Century Dentistry Is here to Help with Your Nashville Dental Emergency

Taking the proper steps after a dental emergency occurs can mean the difference in saving or losing your tooth. Regardless of the specific emergency, stabilize the situation the best you can, and then call 21st Century Dentistry. We’ll get you or your loved one taken care of and on with life as soon as possible!

What should I do in a dental emergency?

If you are facing a dental emergency in Nashville, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible. Our team at 21st Century Dentistry will do our best to see you quickly.

When you call us you’ll get a real, live person who can answer your questions and help you understand your options and the next steps you should take. If you have experienced trauma to the head or neck, we encourage you to visit the emergency room as soon as possible. For dental emergencies, please call now at (615) 383-4747. We can help you during this stressful time.

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