Emergency Dentistry in San Francisco, CA

Emergency dentistry refers to the specialized branch of dental care that deals with urgent dental issues that require immediate attention. It is a service provided by experienced dentists who are trained to handle various dental emergencies, ensuring prompt relief and treatment.

In emergency dentistry, time is of the essence. Dental emergencies can range from severe toothaches and broken teeth to inflamed or bleeding gums, lost crowns, and even facial or jaw pain. These situations can be extremely painful and may cause significant discomfort if not addressed promptly. In case of any dental emergency, it is crucial to seek professional help immediately. Contact your dentist right away for guidance on how to manage the situation until you receive proper treatment.

smile gallery smile gallery
smile gallery smile gallery

Common Dental Emergencies 

  • Tooth ache

Toothache is one of the most common dental emergencies that people experience. It can range from a dull ache to sharp, throbbing pain, and it can be incredibly uncomfortable. There are several potential causes for toothaches, including tooth decay, gum disease, an abscessed tooth, or even something as simple as food getting stuck between your teeth.

If you're experiencing a toothache, it's important to seek emergency dental care as soon as possible. Ignoring the pain or trying to tough it out could lead to further complications and potentially more extensive treatment down the line.

In the meantime, there are a few things you can do at home to help alleviate some of the discomfort. Start by rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria. You can also try applying a cold compress on the outside of your cheek near the affected tooth to numb the area temporarily.

It's essential not to rely solely on over-the-counter pain relievers for long-term relief without seeking professional help. Pain medication may provide temporary relief but won't address the underlying cause of your toothache.

Remember that everyone's situation is unique when it comes to dental emergencies like toothaches. The best course of action is always to consult with an emergency dentist who can provide personalized advice and treatment options tailored specifically to your needs.

  • Inflamed/ bleeding gums

Inflamed or bleeding gums can be a sign of gum disease, which, if left untreated, can lead to more serious oral health issues. Inflamed gums are often caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar along the gum line. This can irritate the gums, causing them to become red, swollen, and tender. If you notice any bleeding while brushing or flossing, it's important to address this issue promptly.

There are several factors that can contribute to inflamed or bleeding gums. Poor oral hygiene habits, such as infrequent brushing and flossing, can allow bacteria to accumulate in the mouth, leading to gum inflammation. Hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause can also make women more susceptible to gum problems.

To alleviate symptoms and prevent further damage, it's crucial to practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Don't forget to gently brush along your gumline as well! Floss daily to remove any plaque hiding between your teeth.

Additionally, visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings is essential in maintaining healthy gums. They will be able to identify any signs of gum disease early on and provide appropriate treatment options.

Remember that addressing inflamed or bleeding gums promptly not only helps relieve discomfort but also prevents potential complications down the line. So take care of your oral health – your smile will thank you!

  • Broken tooth

A broken tooth can happen due to various reasons such as biting into something hard, trauma or accidents, or even decay, weakening the tooth structure over time. When a tooth breaks, it can be quite painful and alarming. You may experience sharp pain when chewing or sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. In some cases, you might even notice a visible crack or missing portion of your tooth. If you find yourself with a broken tooth, it's important to take immediate action. Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area and remove any debris. If there's bleeding, apply gentle pressure using gauze or a clean cloth until it stops.

To alleviate pain and reduce swelling, apply a cold compress on the affected area from outside your mouth. Avoid eating hard or chewy foods that could further damage the tooth.

It's crucial to seek emergency dental care as soon as possible for evaluation and treatment options. Depending on the severity of the break, your dentist may recommend bonding, veneers, crowns, root canal therapy, or extraction if necessary.

Remember that every situation is unique, and only a professional can provide appropriate advice based on their examination.

  • Broken filling

Fillings are used to repair cavities and restore the function of damaged teeth. However, over time, fillings can become weakened or worn down, leading to cracks or fractures. When a filling breaks, it can cause discomfort and sensitivity. You may experience sharp pain when biting down or chewing on food. In some cases, you may even notice a piece of the filling has come loose.

If you have a broken filling, it's important to seek emergency dental care as soon as possible. Leaving it untreated can lead to further damage and potential infection.

In the meantime, there are a few steps you can take to alleviate any discomfort until you reach your dentist:

  1. Rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater solution to help reduce inflammation.
  2. Avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the broken filling is located.
  3. Use temporary dental cement or sugarless gum as a temporary sealant until you see your dentist.
  4. Take over-the-counter pain relievers if necessary, but avoid placing aspirin directly on the tooth.

Remember that these measures are only temporary solutions and should not replace professional dental care.

When you visit your emergency dentist for a broken filling, they will assess the extent of damage and recommend appropriate treatment options, such as replacing the filling or considering alternative restorative procedures like crowns or inlays/onlays.

It's crucial not to neglect any signs of dental emergencies like broken fillings, as early intervention can prevent further complications down the line.

  • Lost crown

Losing a dental crown can be quite alarming and uncomfortable. A dental crown is a cap that covers and protects a damaged tooth, restoring its appearance and function. So, when it comes loose or falls off completely, it's important to address the issue promptly.

One of the common reasons for a lost crown is decay or damage to the underlying tooth structure. In some cases, the cement holding the crown in place may weaken over time, causing it to become loose or dislodged. Additionally, biting into hard foods or engaging in activities like teeth grinding can also lead to a lost crown.

If you find yourself in this situation, don't panic! Try to locate the missing crown if possible. Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean any debris, and gently brush around the area without applying pressure. Next, call your emergency dentist right away for an appointment. They will assess your situation and determine if immediate treatment is necessary or if you can wait until regular office hours. In most cases, your dentist will examine both your natural tooth and the condition of the lost crown before deciding on suitable options for reattachment or replacement. It's crucial not to attempt any DIY fixes as they may cause further damage.

Remember that losing a dental crown doesn't always require emergency attention unless there are accompanying symptoms such as severe pain or discomfort. However, seeking professional help ensures the proper restoration of your smile while preventing potential complications down the line.

Stay calm during these situations by knowing what steps to take when facing common dental emergencies like a lost dental crown!

  • Dental, facial, and jaw pain

Another most alarming dental emergency that can occur is dental, facial, and jaw pain. This type of pain can be intense and debilitating, making it difficult to eat or even speak. It can also indicate a more serious underlying issue that needs immediate attention.

Dental pain may arise due to various reasons such as tooth decay, gum disease, infected roots, or even an abscessed tooth. Facial and jaw pain could be caused by temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders or other conditions like bruxism (teeth grinding).

When faced with this kind of emergency, it's important not to ignore the symptoms. Ignoring the pain could lead to further complications and worsen your overall oral health.

If you experience dental, facial, or jaw pain unexpectedly:

  1. Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater.
  2. Take over-the-counter pain relievers if necessary.
  3. Apply a cold compress on the affected area for temporary relief.
  4. Avoid hard foods and stick to soft foods until you see a dentist.

Remember that these steps are only temporary measures until you can seek professional assistance from an emergency dentist who will diagnose the root cause of your discomfort.

What To Do In Case of A Dental Emergency?

In case of a dental emergency, it's important to stay calm and take the necessary steps to address the situation promptly. Here are some guidelines on what to do if you find yourself in a dental emergency.

  • If you experience severe tooth pain or have a tooth knocked out, it's crucial to contact your dentist immediately. They will be able to provide guidance over the phone and get you scheduled for an emergency appointment as soon as possible.
  • If your gums are bleeding or inflamed, rinse your mouth gently with warm saltwater. This can help alleviate discomfort and reduce swelling. Applying a cold compress to the outside of your cheek near the affected area may also provide temporary relief.
  • For a broken tooth, try to save any fragments that you can locate. Rinse your mouth with warm water and apply gauze if there is any bleeding. Contacting your dentist right away is essential in order for them to assess the damage and determine the best course of action.
  • Similarly, if you have a broken filling or lost crown, reach out to your dentist as soon as possible for advice on the next steps. Avoid eating sticky or hard foods that could further damage the exposed area until you receive professional care.
  • Dental emergencies can sometimes result in facial or jaw pain. If this occurs, applying an ice pack wrapped in cloth can help reduce swelling and minimize discomfort temporarily while waiting for medical assistance.

Remember, these are general guidelines, and every dental emergency is unique. It's always best practice to consult with your dentist directly for personalized advice tailored specifically to your situation.


Emergency dentistry plays a crucial role in providing immediate care and relief for dental emergencies. From toothaches to broken teeth, inflamed gums to lost crowns, and even dental, facial, or jaw pain, these situations can be distressing and require prompt attention.

In case of a dental emergency, it is important to remain calm and take the necessary steps to alleviate discomfort and prevent further damage. Contacting an emergency dentist should be your first priority. They have the expertise and tools needed to assess the situation accurately and provide appropriate treatment.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to dental emergencies. Maintaining good oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing and flossing, can help prevent many common dental issues. Additionally, avoiding biting on hard objects or using teeth as tools can reduce the risk of accidents that may lead to emergencies.

Don't forget about routine dental check-ups! Regular visits to your dentist allow them to identify any potential problems early on before they escalate into full-blown emergencies.

By being aware of what qualifies as a dental emergency and knowing how to handle such situations effectively, you can minimize pain, preserve your oral health, and ensure peace of mind in times of need.

To learn more, visit Swati Agarwal, DDS, at 500 Sutter St., Suite 615, San Francisco, CA 94102, or call 833-308-1693 to consult with our skilled dentist, who can help you choose the proper procedures for your needs.


500 Sutter St, Suite 615,
San Francisco, CA 94102

Office Hours


TUE - FRI8:00 am - 5:00 pm

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