What Is Considered A Dental Emergency?

What is considered a dental emergency? You have a mild toothache, but can you wait a few days to call your dentist? What about a chipped tooth? Should you make an appointment right away? Sometimes it is difficult to decide. Let’s pinpoint exactly what is considered a dental emergency.

Think Severe Pain, Blood, And Infection

Certain criteria like bleeding that does not stop, severe pain from a toothache or broken tooth, or an infection like an abscess are all times you should see a dentist immediately.

If you aren’t quite sure how serious an issue might be, call Manhattan Dental Arts in Manhattan’s Upper West Side and put your mind at ease.

There are a number of common occurrences which require a timely visit to the dentist.

woman experiencing severe tooth pain


A slip and fall, playing sports, or a motor accident can knock out one tooth or several. Don’t delay making an emergency appointment. If possible, keep the tooth and the root moist in a plastic bag filled with some milk until you can get care. Your dentist may be able to save the tooth.

Chipped Or Broken Tooth

Chipped teeth can occur from accidents like the above topic, but many times it occurs when you try to use your teeth for something other than eating. Don’t open packages with your teeth, chew on ice, or bite into something like hard candy. This can lead to fractures and cracks in your teeth. If the pain is severe or if there is a sharp edge left, contact your dentist immediately for an appointment.

Signs Of An Infection

If your gums or face are swollen, you can feel or see an abscess, and you are in severe pain, you most likely have an infection. This should be tended to immediately by your dentist. In the interim use an ice pack for a swollen face or jaw and rinse your mouth with warm salt water to draw out the pus from the abscess. This can be a life threatening event which can spread to your jaw or other areas of your body.

Severe Pain

Pain from moderate to severe which does not respond to OTC meds should be treated by Manhattan Dental Arts. A toothache could indicate decay or an infection.

When in doubt about whether you are experiencing a dental emergency, always contact Manhattan Dental Arts at (212) 247-2330.

Read Our Emergency Dental FAQs