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Dental Emergencies in Hamilton

Emergencies happen, which is why Barton Dental offers emergency dental care. Call us to receive first aid advice over the phone and determine your next steps.
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What is a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency is any problem that requires immediate treatment to stop bleeding, alleviate severe pain, or save a tooth. These situations can arise from accidents, fights, or a cavity that has reached the nerve. This also includes severe infections that can be life-threatening.

What Do I Do If I Have a Dental Emergency?

During a dental emergency, the first step is to stay calm. Panicking will only make the situation worse. Depending on the nature of your emergency, follow one of the first aid steps listed below.

Once the situation is under control, call our Hamilton dental office and explain the nature of your emergency to a staff member. Calling ahead helps our doctor prepare for your visit so that they can treat you as quickly as possible.


Apply a cold compress or ice pack to the affected area. You can also take a pain reliever like acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or ibuprofen (e.g., Advil). Avoid aspirin, as it is an anticoagulant and can worsen bleeding if surgery is needed. Always follow your doctor’s advice and the instructions on the medication package.

Knocked-Out Teeth

If a whole natural tooth is knocked out and is reasonably clean, handle it by the crown, not the root, and immediately try to reinsert it into the socket. This helps preserve the reattachment cells. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it gently without scrubbing. If reinsertion is not possible, place the tooth in a cup of warm milk. A knocked-out tooth is more likely to be saved if treated within an hour, so call us immediately.

Broken Teeth

If part of your tooth breaks off, save any broken pieces and rinse your mouth with warm water to clear smaller fragments. If there is bleeding, apply sterile gauze until it stops. Use a cold compress or ice pack to alleviate pain and reduce swelling. Contact us immediately to restore the tooth and prevent further damage.


Rinse your mouth with a mild saltwater solution (half a teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of water) two to three times a day. This helps relieve pain and draw pus to the surface. An untreated abscess can damage tissue and spread to other parts of your body. Contact our office as soon as possible to avoid complications.

Fallen-Out Filling

As a temporary solution, apply orthodontic wax to the hole left by the fallen-out filling. Orthodontic wax is soft and can be molded to cover and protect the hole until you see a dentist. It is available at most drug stores. This is only a temporary measure, so see a dentist as soon as possible to permanently fix the filling.

Jaw Injury

Avoid eating solid foods, apply an ice pack to your face, and call us to determine the next step. If you suspect your jaw may be broken, schedule an emergency dental visit immediately.

Do I Need Emergency Dental Care?

While uncommon, dental emergencies can happen. In certain instances, getting emergency dental care as quickly as possible can save natural teeth and prevent dangerous infections from spreading. While it’s impossible to list every emergency dental issue, here are a few of the most common problems we see in our office.

    You should seek emergency dental care if you experience any of the following:

  • Tooth pain that prevents you from eating or sleeping
  • Knocked-out teeth
  • Broken or loose braces
  • Chipped, cracked, or broken teeth
  • Lost dental filling or crown
  • Abscess on the gum

If you experience any of these issues, please contact us immediately for guidance and treatment.

Contact us today

to schedule an initial consultation & exam.

Your consultation will include an examination of everything from your teeth, gums and soft tissues to the shape and condition of your bite. Generally, we want to see how your whole mouth looks and functions. Before we plan your treatment we want to know everything about the health and aesthetic of your smile, and, most importantly, what you want to achieve so we can help you get there.

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Frequently Asked Questions

While the dental first aid tips above can be helpful, the best first step is always to give us a call! We can provide guidance over the phone to help alleviate your pain, save your tooth, and get you into our office as quickly as possible.

Always follow your doctor’s advice and read the directions on the medication bottle before taking any pain relievers. If it is safe for you, you may take a pain reliever like Tylenol, Advil, or Aspirin to alleviate the pain temporarily. However, this is not a permanent or perfect solution. Dental pain is often nerve-related, and substantial relief can only come from treatment provided by a doctor. If you do take medication, write down what you took, the dosage, and the time you took it, and let us know when you come in.

Yes, if you need emergency dental care and go to the Emergency Room (ER), they will treat you and bill your health insurance. However, the ER is not typically equipped to handle dental problems unless it is a health emergency. They may use temporary measures to relieve pain until you can see a dentist.

If left untreated, a broken tooth can collect bacteria, risking infection or abscess. A broken tooth also risks nerve damage and may lead to needing a root canal.

If the abscess ruptures, the pain may decrease significantly but you still need dental treatment. If the abscess doesn’t drain, the infection may spread to your jaw and to other areas of your head and neck. You might even develop sepsis, a life-threatening infection that spreads throughout your body.

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