A dental emergency can strike at any time, for any number of reasons. Dr. Hines and the staff at Premier Dental Care will try to accommodate any last-minute appointment requests so that you don’t have to live with oral pain. If you have a toothache or a major dental emergency, call (202) 793-7857 right away. We offer extended hours as needed and will do our best to get you treated immediately.

Do I need emergency dentistry? Call us if you experience any of the following:

  • A toothache that persists even after you brush, rinse and floss
  • A tooth that gets knocked out
  • An injury to your gum, cheek or tongue that won’t stop bleeding
  • A break or loss of your braces
  • A chipped tooth that is significant, cracked or your tooth is in pieces
  • A lost filling or crown
  • A loose tooth
  • A dental abscess

Reasons for Needing an Emergency Dental Visit

The American Dental Association reports that the number one cause of adult tooth damage every year is playing sports. And while many adults don’t have the time to play for an organized league, even a backyard game of basketball can lead to a tooth being damaged or knocked out. The same holds true for kids playing sports throughout the 20012 area. There are ways to protect yourself while playing sports, like wearing a mouth guard, but when an emergency strikes call (202) 793-7857.

Car accidents are another leading cause of tooth injury. While the enamel on your teeth is strong, it may not be strong enough to prevent your tooth from breaking when colliding with a steering wheel. We recommend that patients who are involved in an accident first get treated at a local emergency room for any major injuries, and then call Premier Dental Care for an appointment. The emergency room does not treat tooth damage, so you will need to see both types of medical providers.

Severe and sudden toothaches are another reason people end up needing an emergency dentist. Dr. Hines is an expert at finding the cause of tooth pain, whether it’s a little cavity that grew into a big one, or gum disease that’s causing the gum line to recede, leaving the tooth and roots exposed. Both can lead to intense pain and require emergency treatment. We don’t want patients of Premier Dental Care to experience oral pain and will do our best to treat you right away.

If a tooth infection is left untreated for a long period of time, it can lead to a dental abscess, an extremely painful and major tooth infection that can settle into your jawbone and the floor of your mouth. If that happens, oral surgery may be necessary in order to remove the infection. We can let you know if we see an abscess during your dental exam with Dr. Hines.

How can I relieve dental pain while waiting for an emergency dental appointment?
We want our patients to be comfortable and pain-free. If you come into our Premier Dental Care offices in pain, we will work quickly to identify both the cause of the issue and treatment options available for dealing with it. Often, we will also prescribe medication to help with the pain and prevent you from feeling discomfort while your tooth is being treated and at home. You may also want to apply a cold compress or ice pack to the area in order to reduce or prevent swelling.

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Treatment Options

When a tooth has fallen out

If your tooth has been knocked out, try to find it. Once located, rinse the tooth under warm water without scrubbing it. Next, place it in a cup of milk and bring it with you to your dental appointment. We will try to save the tooth, if possible. If not, Dr. Hines will discuss options for replacing the tooth. This may include dentures, a dental bridge or dental implants.

When a tooth is broken

It is common for people to damage a tooth while playing sports or getting into a car accident. A tooth may become cracked or chipped, but as long as the tooth structure remains in place, it can typically be corrected using cosmetic dentistry. There are multiple ways that we restore teeth, including dental veneers and dental crowns. Both are excellent options and can restore your tooth to full functionality while keeping it natural looking. As an emergency dental facility, we can provide you with information on what your options are and the best way to restore your tooth while achieving the goals that you have for your smile. To schedule an appointment, call (202) 793-7857.

When a tooth is infected

As an emergency dentist, we will assess the situation, find the source of the infection and recommend the best way to treat it quickly. Our patients trust us to remove infections and keep their teeth and gums in excellent oral health, all while remaining comfortable and pain-free. Whether fixing a general cavity or treating a dental abscess, we make it possible for a tooth to be free from infection and pain. That’s because Dr. Hines is an expert at resolving the issue in a way that keeps patients comfortable during any necessary procedures.

How can an emergency dentist help me?

We know that most dental emergencies are unplanned and may not happen during normal business hours. If your tooth has been damaged or you are in pain, call (202) 793-7857 right away so that we can schedule your appointment and treat the issue quickly. Our friendly staff will do our best to accommodate your schedule and ensure that you can get back to a life that is free from oral pain. While many dentists require you to schedule appointments far in advance, we understand that emergencies can happen at any time and will do whatever we can to get you treated right away.

Pro tip: You can help avoid dental emergencies by having your teeth cleaned twice a year and maintaining a healthy diet year-round.

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Emergency Dentist FAQs

Q: What should I do if my child’s permanent tooth is knocked out?
A: Find the tooth and rinse it gently in cool water — do not scrub or clean it with soap! If possible, replace the tooth in the socket immediately and hold it there with clean gauze or a washcloth. If you can’t put the tooth back in the socket, place the tooth in a clean container with cold milk, saliva or water. Get to the emergency dentist immediately, or call the emergency number if it’s after hours. The faster you act, the better your chances of saving the tooth.

Q: What should I do if my child’s baby tooth is knocked out?
A: Contact your emergency dental office as soon as possible. Baby teeth should not be replanted because of the potential for subsequent damage to the developing permanent tooth.

Q: What if my child has a toothache?
A: Call our office immediately. Over-the-counter children’s pain medication, dosed according to your child’s weight and age, might ease the symptoms. You may apply a cold compress or ice wrapped in a cloth to the face in the area of the pain, but do not put heat or aspirin on the sore area.

Q: What if a tooth is chipped or fractured?
A: Contact your dentist immediately. Quick action can save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. If your lip was also injured, rinse your mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling. If you can find the broken tooth fragment, place it in cold milk or water and bring it with you to the dental office.

Q: What about a severe blow to the head or jaw fracture?
A: You need immediate medical attention. Keep in mind that an emergency medical team might be able to reach you faster than you can get to the hospital. A severe head injury can be life-threatening.