Accidents can happen at any time, and when it comes to dental injuries, knowing what to do in the heat of the moment can make a significant difference in the outcome. At DiGrazia Dentistry, we understand that dental emergencies can be distressing, and that’s why we’re here to provide guidance on how to handle common dental injuries and when immediate action is needed.

Types of Dental Injuries

Dental injuries can range from minor chips to severe fractures. Understanding the severity of the injury is crucial for determining the appropriate course of action. Here are some common dental injuries and their recommended responses:

Chipped Tooth

A chipped tooth is one of the most common dental injuries. If you’ve chipped a small piece off your tooth, it’s generally not considered a dental emergency, but it should still be addressed promptly. Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area and save any broken pieces if possible. Contact your dentist to schedule an appointment for a cosmetic repair, which may include dental bonding or veneers.

Broken Tooth

A broken tooth, especially if it’s painful, warrants immediate attention. Rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to the affected area to reduce swelling. Save any broken pieces if you can. Contact your dentist right away, as a broken tooth may require more extensive treatment, such as a dental crown or root canal.

Knocked-Out Tooth

A knocked-out tooth is a dental emergency that demands immediate action. Time is of the essence in this case. Pick up the tooth by the crown (not the root), gently rinse it with clean water (do not scrub it), and try to reinsert it into the socket. If that’s not possible, keep the tooth moist by placing it in a container with milk or a tooth preservation solution. Contact your dentist immediately. The chances of saving a knocked-out tooth decrease with each passing minute.


A severe toothache can indicate an underlying issue that needs attention, but it may not always be an immediate emergency. Rinse your mouth with warm water and floss to remove any potential debris causing the pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help, but don’t apply them directly to the gum or tooth. Contact your dentist to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

When to Act Immediately

Certain dental emergencies require immediate attention, as delaying treatment can lead to more severe complications. Here are the situations that demand immediate action:

  • Knocked-Out Tooth: As mentioned earlier, a knocked-out tooth should be reinserted or preserved in milk or a tooth preservation solution and brought to the dentist immediately.
  • Severe Pain: Unbearable pain, especially if accompanied by swelling and fever, could indicate an infection or abscess that requires prompt treatment.
  • Severe Bleeding: Profuse bleeding that doesn’t stop within a few minutes or severe trauma to the face should be treated as an emergency.
  • Fractured Jaw: A fractured jaw requires immediate medical attention and should be handled at an emergency room.

When It Can Wait

Not all dental issues require immediate treatment. Some injuries can be managed with home care until you can schedule a dental appointment. These include:

  • Minor Chipped Tooth: If it’s a small chip without pain, it can typically wait for a regular dental appointment.
  • Cracked Tooth: A cracked tooth that doesn’t cause significant pain or bleeding can usually be addressed during normal office hours.
  • Loose or Lost Filling or Crown: While uncomfortable, this can often wait for a scheduled visit.

In any case, it’s best to contact your dentist for guidance. They can provide instructions and assess the situation over the phone to determine whether immediate action is needed.

DiGrazia Dentistry in Reno, NV Can Help With Dental Emergencies

At DiGrazia Dentistry, we are here to help with your dental emergencies. Whether you’ve experienced a minor chip or a more severe dental injury, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our team is dedicated to providing the care and expertise you need to ensure your oral health remains intact, even in the face of unexpected accidents. Remember, prompt action can make all the difference in preserving your smile and overall well-being.

Contact DiGrazia Dentistry in Reno, NV.