Emergency Dentistry Columbia, MD

If you are experiencing a dental emergency, it is important to remain calm and contact your dentist immediately. A dental emergency is any time you are experiencing sudden or unexplained tooth pain. Columbia Family Dentist is here to help you resolve your dental emergency and promptly restore your peace of mind.

We provide compassionate emergency dental care as a part of general dentistry services to all of our patients, so don’t hesitate to contact us even if you’re unsure if what you are experiencing constitutes an emergency. As your trusted dentist in Columbia, Maryland, our doctors are always willing to see a patient needing dental healthcare.

Treating Dental Emergencies in Columbia, MD

We treat various dental emergencies in our office. They include the following:

Knocked-Out Teeth

It’s easy to panic when something knocks out a permanent tooth. However, do your best to remain calm and retrieve the tooth if possible. Gently rinse it off and place it in a cup of saliva or milk to preserve the tooth as much as possible. Sometimes, we can reinsert the tooth into the socket again. If not, our office offers various restorations to replace missing teeth. For instance, dental implants are the gold standard for replacing your missing teeth.

If it’s a children’s primary tooth, it’s still considered a dental emergency. Primary teeth serve as placeholders for permanent teeth. If one gets knocked out prematurely, it can impact how the permanent teeth come in. It’s more likely to erupt and be crooked, or other teeth may try to fill the gap and make it difficult for the permanent teeth.

Broken Dental Restorations

A broken dental restoration is no longer usable. If you can, gather the pieces of the restoration. Dental bridges and dentures often have large pieces that are easier to find than those of a dental crown. Never try to put the restoration back in your mouth. If a dental crown falls out, never use any kind of over-the-counter cement to try and place it back in the mouth. Bring the pieces to the office, and we’ll determine if we need to repair or replace your restoration.


Tooth pain is never something you should brush off or ignore. It can range from a dull ache to a sharp, stabbing pain. It’s especially concerning if the pain comes on or increases suddenly. A toothache can have many causes, so it’s important to come into our office and get a proper diagnosis. If you ignore the pain, it’s likely to worsen and cause more severe dental problems.

Common causes of tooth pain include infection, tooth decay, trauma, wisdom teeth growing in, and tooth erosion. It can be hard to determine the cause without training and expertise. Many causes of tooth pain are invisible to the naked eye, requiring dental technology to determine the actual cause.

Broken or Cracked Teeth

While a small cosmetic chip isn’t an emergency, a larger break or crack is. Be gentle with the broken tooth, as the dental nerves are likely exposed. Rinse the tooth, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, and use a cold compress to assist with pain and swelling. If there are sharp edges, move your mouth delicately so that you don’t cut the soft tissues in your mouth.

There are multiple methods we can use to treat broken teeth. Dental bonding is a malleable resin that we can shape to replace the part of your tooth that broke off. For severe breaks and cracks, dental crowns are usually able to save the more severe cases of broken teeth.

Tips for Common Dental Emergencies

Our best tip for dealing with a dental emergency is to contact us immediately at 410-670-8211. Do not procrastinate on resolving a dental emergency; dental concerns worsen if left untreated and can lead to even more issues. Otherwise, you can do some minor things to help relieve your pain and discomfort or prevent permanent tooth loss.

Locate any knocked-out teeth or chips.

If your tooth becomes dislodged or you lose a significant portion, try to recover it and bring it to your next appointment. For a knocked-out tooth, pick it up gently by the crown and avoid touching the root. Attempt to place it back into its original socket and hold it there until you can see a dentist. Otherwise, a glass of warm milk is a good alternative to keep the tooth moist and viable.

Use over-the-counter pain relievers.

Most tooth pain can be relieved with over-the-counter pain relievers. However, it is important not to place aspirin directly onto an affected area or tooth. This can cause further inflammation and discomfort. Cold compresses outside the mouth and cheeks can also help reduce facial swelling.

Keep affected areas clean.

Rinsing with a saltwater solution can help keep the area clean and encourage fast healing for mouth injuries, such as mouth sores or cuts on your gum line. To make an at-home saltwater rinse, add half a teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water. Swish the rinse in your mouth for ten to twelve seconds, then spit it out. You can do this several times throughout the day if needed.

Dental Emergency FAQs

Emergency dentistry is here when you experience dental problems that need immediate attention. Learn more by reading the answers to these commonly asked questions.

Will the ER pull a tooth?

It is illegal for anyone but a certified and educated dentist to pull teeth. If you are experiencing a dental emergency, the emergency room can only offer pain medication or antibiotics.

How long does a toothache last without treatment?

In most cases, a toothache will go away on its own at some point throughout the day. If you have experienced a toothache for over 1 or 2 days, you should seek dental treatment soon. This could signify a cavity or a more serious dental concern. Your dentist can address and treat whatever is causing your toothache.

What counts as a dental emergency?

A dental emergency can be categorized as any dental concern that needs immediate attention. This may be due to excessive bleeding, extreme pain, or a loss of a broken tooth. If you are experiencing a dental emergency, see your dentist immediately.