Emergency Dentist in Chula Vista, CA

Dental emergencies can be scary. Unfortunately, they can and do happen. Knowing what to do during a dental emergency before one happens can make a huge difference. Keep reading for an in-depth look at different types of dental emergencies, their causes and treatments, and what to do if you have one.

If you think you are currently experiencing a dental emergency, don’t wait. Please give us a call at (619) 279-5334.

Dental Emergencies


What should I do if I have a dental emergency?

The best thing you can do during a dental emergency is to remain calm and give us a call. Whether the dental emergency is happening to you or a loved one, a successful outcome often depends on quick and decisive action. There’s a lot you can do yourself (more on this below), but the primary takeaway should be to see us as soon as possible. Give us a call and we will do our best to see you quickly.

How do I know if I need a dentist or should visit the emergency room?

The line between a dental emergency and a medical emergency can sometimes feel blurry. After all, dental care is healthcare, and the best dental care considers your overall health and wellbeing. That being said, if you or a loved one are experiencing intense bleeding that cannot be controlled with pressure, please contact emergency services. If an injury seems at all like it has the potential to be life threatening, please contact emergency services. If we are not open or available when you call, please contact your nearest emergency room. See our disclaimer on dental emergencies below for more information.

Why seeking emergency dental care quickly matters

A lot of dental emergencies are inconvenient, but fall well short of anything life threatening. However, delaying treatment can sometimes make the situation more complicated. While it may not seem like an emergency in the sense that it needs urgent attention, further injuries can develop, especially in the case of broken or damaged dental hardware. When in doubt, play it safe and see a dentist as soon as possible. Certainly, there is no harm done in seeking treatment sooner, whereas waiting could introduce additional risk.

Benefits of seeking emergency dental care

Quick action can help us:

  • Save broken, damaged, or knocked-out teeth. We’d much rather save your tooth than have to extract it or fill the gap with an implant. This can be possible, even if the tooth is badly damaged or knocked out. However, teeth in this condition are on a timeline; see us as quickly as you can.
  • Alleviate pain and discomfort. Topical remedies can help mask or reduce pain, but they often can’t treat the source of your pain. Don’t try to tough it out. If your pain is stemming from an underlying issue, it likely won’t go away on its own.
  • Save and repair dental appliances and hardware. Damaged dental hardware (including braces,bridges, implants, and crowns) need to be addressed quickly. Leaving them in a damaged state can cause other issues, including cuts, puncture wounds, or further degradation of the appliances themselves. Damaged hardware should be repaired or replaced in a timely manner.
  • Correct problems and prevent them from getting worse. Some dental emergencies get worse the longer they are left untreated. It’s not uncommon for a seemingly minor dental issue to develop into multiple, much larger problems. For example, a cracked tooth may not look serious, but can break if chewing something crunchy or tough.

How to know if you’re having a dental emergency

While we stress the importance of seeking dental care quickly in an emergency, it’s important to try and recognize what is and what isn’t a true emergency. In other words, not every dental issue is an emergency. When in doubt, give us a call – but don’t be surprised if we schedule you for a time that isn’t immediate. It doesn’t mean we aren’t taking your situation seriously. Rather, your situation may not need immediate attention.

In order to help determine if you’re experiencing a true emergency, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I bleeding and can’t get it to stop? Minor bleed stops when pressure is applied. If you can’t stop bleeding on your own, it’s time to see a dentist or seek emergency medical services. If you have dental gauze on hand, this can help until you’re able to see additional help. It’s handy in general, so we recommend picking up some just in case!
  • Am I experiencing severe pain? Pain ranges from mild discomfort to severe and disruptive. Pain that doesn’t subside over time can be a sign of a dental emergency.
  • Have I lost, cracked, or otherwise damaged a tooth? Damaged or lost teeth should be considered a dental emergency for two reasons. First, because timely action save a damaged or missing tooth. Second, because damage that seems stable can get worse if not fixed early. Teeth don’t always come out cleanly; it’s possible that your knocked out tooth will be broken. If you’re able to find the tooth or its parts, keep them moist using water, saliva, or milk. If your tooth is whole and it’s possible to do so, place the tooth back in its socket. If that’s not an option, you can also keep the tooth between your cheek and gums. This will help keep the tooth alive while you seek treatment.
  • Is my tooth loose? Adult teeth are permanent. This means that a loose tooth may be sign of another undiagnosed condition.
  • Do I have an infection in my tooth or mouth? Infections aren’t always caused by cuts that haven’t healed properly; sometimes, infections take hold inside of teeth. If left untreated, minor infection can turn into a much larger problem.

How much does emergency dental care cost?

Many put off treatment of dental emergencies because they worry about what it will cost. While it’s natural to consider our wallets, even during emergencies, it’s important to keep our overall health and wellbeing in mind.

Unfortunately, dental emergencies don’t just go away given enough time. As we’ve stressed, early treatment can lead to a speedy recover that completely fixes the problem. Waiting can create additional damage that could have been avoided.

When in doubt, seek treatment for your dental emergency. Worried about payment or insurance? Our team will work with you to understand your insurance coverage and financing options.

Walk-in dental emergencies in Chula Vista

Do not try to ride out a dental emergency in the hopes it will improve or resolve itself. Dental emergencies can go turn from mild to moderate, and moderate to major quickly if not dealt with in a timely manner by a professional. Here is a list of common dental emergencies we can treat:
  • Toothaches
  • Swollen/sore jaw
  • Swollen/sore gums
  • Cut tongue or lip
  • Tooth infections
  • Cracked, chipped, or broken teeth
  • Knocked-out teeth
  • Loose or lost fillings
  • Damaged crown, implant, or bridge
Dental emergencies don’t always wait for your next scheduled appointment. If you think you’re experiencing a dental emergency, please call us right away. We will do everything we can to assist you.

Important disclaimer about dental emergencies

We are not an emergency room. While we can diagnosis and treat dental emergencies, serious life-threatening injuries require advanced medical attention. In these cases, you should contact emergency services and/or go to the emergency room immediately.

If we are unable to take your call or see you immediately, you may also consider a visit the emergency room.

Scenarios in which you should visit your local emergency room include, but are not limited to, if you experience swelling from a toothache that has spread to other parts of your face (especially your eye or below your jaw line), have bleeding that can’t be controlled with moderate pressure, or have a high fever. For most people, a high temperature is equal or higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit.

Call us if you are experiencing a dental emergency.
Don’t wait.