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How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies en Route to Our Office

Sometimes a dental emergency is obvious, like if you accidentally knock out one of your teeth. However, sometimes it’s harder to know the signs of an emergency, and if you have one, what you should do while waiting for treatment.

At South Bay Prosthodontics in Torrance, California, our team specializes in emergency dental treatments, especially those involving cosmetic issues. Here’s what you need to know about identifying the dental issues that require urgent attention and how to prepare for your visit to us when one of those issues arises.

Examples of dental emergencies

When we think of a dental emergency, most incidents involve some sort of trauma to the mouth resulting in a cracked, broken, or knocked-out tooth. However, other symptoms can indicate a serious problem requiring immediate attention, including:

Dental visits that don’t require urgent attention often include cosmetic treatments, like teeth whitening, and comprehensive evaluations to check your oral health.

To find out if your symptoms require emergency dental services, we recommend contacting our office so we can make recommendations and schedule an appointment based on your unique needs. If you’ve had significant trauma to your mouth or face, especially involving broken bones or excessive bleeding, you should get emergency medical care immediately.

Preparing for your emergency dental appointment

After contacting our office, you can take several steps leading up to your visit, depending on your dental emergency.

Cracked or broken tooth

Flush your mouth with warm water and press a cold compress to your face to reduce or prevent swelling.

Knocked-out tooth

When you lose a permanent or “adult” tooth, you should keep it moist. We recommend putting it back in the empty socket, tucking it in your cheek, or placing it in a container filled with milk.

Toothaches, cuts, or bites

If you have a bad toothache or you bite on your tongue, lip, or inside of your cheek, flush your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress. Never put aspirin on your teeth or gums.

Stuck debris

It’s tempting to pick at things lodged between your teeth with something sharp or pointy. However, you should only attempt to remove stuck objects with brushing and flossing. To do otherwise risks causing tissue and enamel damage or infection. 


Having increased sensitivity to temperatures may not seem like a dental emergency, but it can be a sign of decay, receding gums, or a loose filling. While waiting for your appointment, try brushing with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste made for sensitive teeth in an up-and-down motion.

Common treatments for dental emergencies

We develop a personalized treatment strategy for your condition based on the severity of your problem and symptoms. After performing a comprehensive dental exam, we might recommend a variety of solutions, including:

Whether you have a minor dental emergency or require extensive repair, our team also offers sedation dentistry services to keep you comfortable every step of the way.

If you have a dental emergency, call our Torrance, California, office at 310-626-1791 or simply walk-in during our normal business hours. You can also send our team a message here on our website for information about any dental services you might need.

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