Should the unexpected happen and you have a dental emergency, where do you go? Do you call your dentist, or do you head to the emergency room? The answer might seem a simple at first, but there are a few factors you need to take into consideration before you determine where to go.

Where Do I Go?

Where you decide to go in the case of an emergency depends on two things, what happened and what time it is.

When to go to the dentist
First, consult with your primary dental practitioner and make sure they are set up to handle a dental emergency, and what they can do in-house. Most dental practices will be able to handle just about anything thrown at them from broken and chipped teeth, to knocked out teeth, and even fillings that have fallen out.

Depending on how busy a practice is you should be sure to call ahead to ensure there is an open seat for you. If it is after hours, you can’t be sure there is going to be anyone there who will be able to help, in which case a hospital visit would be better suited.

When to go to the emergency room
The ER can be a scary place for a lot of people, but sometimes it’s your only choice. If you find yourself in a dental emergency and you’re either too far from your primary practitioner’s office, or it’s well past hours then you’ll want to head to the ER. Most emergency rooms are prepared to deal with minor dental emergencies but can’t handle the deeper issues.

If you’re hit hard in the face, and you think you may have broken something (your cheekbone, your jaw, etc. ) then definitely head to an emergency room. Even if a tooth is damaged or dislodged at the same time, your top priority should be getting your face fixed. You have 32 teeth (which can be replaced) but only one face!

smile-plan-blog-bannerLingering pain
If the cause of your worry is lingering pain, then you’re going to want to contact your dentist immediately. The unfortunate truth about dental health is that dental pain almost always because worse without treatment. Check out our blog on tooth pain to learn more about the type of pain you have, and the best possible treatment solutions

Wrap Up

Hopefully, this guide will forever serve as a reminder and won’t need to be put into practice, but should you need to, consider reaching out to us at We have a wonderfully trained staff on hand ready at a moments notice to take care of any emergency you may have!