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Emergency Dentistry – Rancho Bernardo, CA

Don’t Let Your Urgent Issue Go Untreated

When an emergency strikes, you know to call 911 or go to the hospital. However, when a dental emergency appears, it can be hard to know who to call or even if you should. Even if you have the slightest concern that your smile is in trouble, whether you’re experiencing tooth discomfort, oral injury, or something else, call us! Even if you call after business hours, stay on the line to hear our after-hours business number. Our top priority is getting you out of pain and preventing your dental emergency from getting worse! Contact our dental office right away for emergency dentistry in Rancho Bernardo, CA.

Actual patient smiling after emergency dentistry treatment

Why Choose Nelson Y. Howard, D.D.S. for Emergency Dentistry?

Common Dental Emergencies

Man in need of emergency dentistry covering mouth

Dental emergencies generally occur in two different ways. There are long-term dental issues that suddenly cause discomfort (such as a cavity or dental infection) and then there are oral injuries that occur due to physical trauma. Both of them can be treated at our dental office when you call. However, there are certain tips to know to improve your condition before you arrive, which can be read below.

Woman with toothache holding cheek


Use dental floss to check for food debris that may be stuck in between your teeth. If no food is present and discomfort continues, take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen for relief. If swelling occurs, apply a cold compress to your face for 10 minutes at a time, then remove the compress for an additional 10 minutes.

Closeup of smile chipped front tooth

Chipped/Broken Tooth

If you can salvage any pieces of your broken tooth, bring them to our dental office. To protect your oral tissue from being cut from a jagged or sharp tooth, cover the tooth with wax. This is only a temporary solution. Use a cold compress to control swelling and get to our dental office as soon as you can.

Closeup of patient with knocked out tooth

Knocked-Out Tooth

Locate the tooth and pick it up by the crown. Do not touch the root or remove any tissue that’s still attached. After gently rinsing off any debris or dirt, place it back into your open socket for preservation. If not possible, keep it in a container of milk or saltwater and get to our dental office within the hour.

Man with lost filling covering his mouth

Lost Filling/Crown

Loose restorations can lead to discomfort and put your damaged tooth at risk, so do your best to reattach the restoration to your tooth/teeth using denture adhesive, over-the-counter dental cement, or sugar-free chewing gum as a last resort. Do not chew on the side of your mouth where the exposed tooth sits.

Preventing Dental Emergencies

Model tooth and dental tools

While dental emergencies can happen out of nowhere, there are ways to reduce your risk of experiencing them. For example, brushing twice a day and flossing once a day can prevent the majority of dental concerns. However, it’s also important to never use your teeth as a tool (such as for opening packages or bottles), always avoid biting your nails or on pens and pencils, and use caution when chewing certain hard foods. Avoid chewing on ice cubes as well. Finally, if you aren’t already scheduling routine visits at our dental office every six months, doing so can greatly reduce your risk for dental emergencies.

Cost of Treating Dental Emergencies

Circle with emergency cross

Many dental emergencies can come with their own unique costs, which is why the best way to know for sure what your treatment cost will be is by visiting our dental office for care. After all, dental emergencies do not get better on their own anyway, so not seeking treatment will only allow it to worsen, resulting in higher overall costs. Regardless, we’re happy to help you build a treatment that fits within your budget and offer third-party financing if necessary.

Root Canal Therapy

Animated tooth in need of root canal therapy

In some cases, dental emergency treatment may require root canal therapy, a common procedure used to treat infections in the pulp of teeth. Please keep in mind that you will be completely comfortable during the entire procedure after receiving local anesthesia, ensuring your treatment feels hardly any different than receiving a dental filling. If you don’t receive root canal therapy when you need it, the infection inside your tooth will continue to grow, develop, and possibly involve neighboring teeth.

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