What is a Dental Emergency and How to Deal with One?

From Broken Teeth to Toothaches: How Neighborhood Dental Can Safeguard You During Dental Emergencies

Life can be unpredictable at times, but it’s essential to have a plan when experiencing any emergency, especially a dental emergency. A dental emergency is typically the result of trauma or injury to the face. Knowing what to do during a dental emergency can make the difference between saving and losing a tooth. Most dental emergencies require swift action and an immediate appointment. Our team of South Dakota dentists offers a wide range of comprehensive treatments, including emergency services, and ensures you receive prompt, compassionate, and reliable care when dental emergencies arise.  

Get urgent dental care or advice at Neighborhood Dental.

What is Considered a Dental Emergency?  

Understanding what is considered a dental emergency and the severity of an incident is crucial knowledge in knowing how to respond. Some dental emergencies require immediate attention from a dental professional to stop persistent bleeding, alleviate pain, prevent infections from forming, or even save a tooth. A dental emergency is any unexpected and potentially severe dental issue that requires immediate attention and treatment to alleviate pain, prevent further complications, and preserve oral function.  

What are the Common Dental Emergencies? 

  • Toothache
    — One of the first indications that you may have a dental emergency is having pain or discomfort due from trauma or an accident. If you do experience an injury, you can reduce pain and swelling with a cold compress and rinse your mouth with saltwater. Unexpected tooth pain that seems to appear with no injury may be the result of tooth infection and/or decay. If the pain is severe and not responding to over-the-counter pain relievers, it’s essential to seek dental care promptly. 
  • Chipped or broken tooth or filling
    — When a damaged tooth isn’t addressed, it can let in disease-causing bacteria that will create infection and decay. By being more prone to infections and decay, our dental team may suggest a dental crown, dental bonding, or even root canal therapy to improve the aesthetics and function of the tooth. 
  • Knocked-out tooth
    — If a tooth is knocked out, we recommend seeing a dentist as soon as possible. The sooner you address the tooth, the chances of saving a knocked-out tooth and restoring it in place. 
  • Dental Abscess
    — Infections in the mouth, especially near the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums, are serious and can be painful. If you are feeling discomfort, check your gums for a painful, irritated, pimple-like swollen spot. When abscess are untreated, they can spread to surrounding teeth and gum tissue, and even the rest of the body. If you are experiencing this condition, our team of professionals encourage seeking immediate attention to prevent infection from spreading to other areas of the body.  
  • Swollen or bleeding gums
    — Excessive bleeding is typically the result of injuries with soft-tissue. Injuries to soft-tissue include gums, tongue, cheeks and lips. You will want to rinse your mouth with a salt-water solution and place a damp gauze pad to the bleeding area to help it stop bleeding. If the bleeding becomes uncontrollable, seek urgent dental care.

It is important to remember that  in any dental emergency, time is of the essence. Delaying dental treatment could lead to more severe complications and compromise the health of your teeth and surrounding tissues. Call, text, or convenient locations throughout Sioux Falls, Harrisburg, Tea, Beresford, or Yankton. Our experienced team is always ready to provide the prompt and compassionate care you need to protect your oral health and restore your smile. 

Dental Pain and trauma solutions

How Can I Prevent Dental Emergencies?  

  • Practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing daily to remove plaque between your teeth. This helps prevent tooth decay an gum disease, which can often lead to dental emergencies.  
  • Use a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities to avoid impact to the teeth of soft tissues.
  • Schedule and attend routine dental check-ups and cleanings at any Neighborhood Dental location. Regular exams can catch any potential dental issues early on, preventing them from turning into emergencies. 
  • Refrain from using your teeth to open packages, biting on hard objects like ice or chewing on other items that are not food (pen caps). 
  • Be mindful of your habits – avoid nail-biting and teeth grinding as these habits can form damage on your teeth and gums over time.  

By following these preventive measures recommended by the American Dental Association and seeking regular dental care, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of dental emergencies. As your local dentist, we pride ourselves on offering exceptional dental services with a personal touch. Our experienced dentists and caring staff are always ready to lend a helping hand and provide the necessary care when you need it the most. 

How do Neighborhood Dental Dentists Manage Dental Anxiety with Patients?

Our teams go above and beyond to deliver exceptional care and ensure our patient’s utmost comfort throughout their dental visits. We understand that dental appointments can be daunting for some, so we have curated a unique comfort menu to ease any anxiety and make your experience as pleasant as possible. Our comfort menu boasts an array of amenities, such as complimentary water, coffee, Wi-Fi, and TV. For those seeking tranquility, we offer headphones to drown out  unwanted noises, cozy blankets, and soft pillows to help you feel at ease in the dental chair. Moreover, we also offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for patients who need extra help to relax. With our comprehensive comfort menu, we aim to make every patient’s visit a breeze, ensuring you leave our office with a positive dental experience.

We offer a wide range of services to make your visit more comfortable.

At Neighborhood Dental, patients are our priority. To learn more about emergency care and services contact our team of experts today by booking an appointment  below. 

Or contact your nearest Neighborhood Dental:


Besides these locations, we’re also proud to serve the surrounding areas, including Vermillion, Elk Point, Canton, Parker, Alcester, Hartford, Dell Rapids, Renner, Hartington, Tyndall, Crofton, Worthington, and Lennox.