How to Be Prepared for a Dental Emergency in 2024

dental emergency dentist in Salt Lake City

Life is unpredictable, and a dental emergency can happen when we least expect it. Being prepared for such situations can make a significant difference in minimizing pain, damage, and stress. Olympus View Dental provides a comprehensive guide on how to be ready for a dental emergency in 2024, offering insights into the most common scenarios and detailed actions to take before reaching the dentist.


Rinse your mouth with warm water to remove debris and soothe the affected area. Gently floss around the tooth to ensure there’s no trapped food causing discomfort. Take over-the-counter pain relievers following the recommended dosage. Avoid applying aspirin directly to the gums as it may cause irritation.

Knocked-Out Tooth

Retrieve the tooth, holding it by the crown (top part), and gently rinse off any dirt or debris with water. Try to reinsert it into the socket if possible, ensuring it faces the right way. If reinsertion isn’t possible, store the tooth in milk, saline solution, water, or saliva to keep it moist. Seek immediate dental attention for the best chance of successful reattachment.

Cracked or Broken Tooth

Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area. Apply gentle pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth to control any bleeding. Use a cold compress on the outside of the mouth to reduce pain and swelling. Preserve any broken pieces and seek emergency dental care promptly for assessment and appropriate treatment.

Lost Filling or Crown

If a crown is lost, try to clean it and reattach it using dental cement available at most pharmacies. Avoid using glue or any adhesive not meant for oral use. Keep the area clean and visit the dentist as soon as possible for a more permanent solution.

Abscess or Gum Infection

Rinse your mouth with a mild saltwater solution to reduce bacteria and alleviate discomfort. Avoid placing aspirin directly on the gum, as it may cause irritation. Seek emergency dental care promptly to address the infection, which may involve draining the abscess and prescribing antibiotics to prevent further complications.

Object Stuck Between Teeth

Gently attempt to remove the object using dental floss. Move the floss carefully to avoid causing injury. Refrain from using sharp objects, as they can damage the gums or teeth. If unsuccessful, visit the dentist for professional removal to prevent injury or infection.

Broken Jaw

Stabilize the jaw by wrapping a bandage or tie around the head and under the jaw to prevent movement. Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. Seek immediate medical attention at the emergency room, as a broken jaw requires prompt intervention by a healthcare professional. Many hospitals have emergency dentists on-site, but if not or if you still require followup care, come see us as soon as you can afterward.

Creating a Quick-Action Plan for Dental Emergencies

While knowing how to handle a dental emergency at home is essential, having a well-thought-out plan to get to the emergency dentist quickly can make a significant difference in the outcome. Consider the following steps when creating your quick-action plan:


  • Compile Emergency Contacts: Prepare a list of emergency contacts, including your regular dentist and the contact information for an emergency dentist in your area.
  • Know the Route to the Emergency Dentist: Familiarize yourself with the location and route to the emergency dentist’s office.
  • Arrange Transportation in Advance: If you don’t have personal transportation, establish a plan for reaching the emergency dentist.
  • Understand Dental Insurance Coverage: Know the details of your dental insurance coverage, including emergency dental care. Confirm whether your emergency dentist is in-network, and be aware of any out-of-pocket costs.
  • Consider Childcare or Pet Care: If you have children or pets, arrange for childcare or pet care options during a dental emergency.
  • Keep Essentials in a Ready-to-Go Bag: Prepare a small bag with dental essentials, including a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, and any prescribed medications.
  • Stay Calm and Communicate Clearly: In case of a dental emergency, staying calm is crucial. Clearly communicate the situation to your emergency contacts and transportation provider.
  • Practice the Plan: Consider conducting a mock drill of your emergency dental plan with your family or household members.

Preparation Takes a Lot of Stress Out of an Emergency

Being prepared for a dental emergency involves more than just knowing the basics. While these preparations can offer initial relief, seeking professional dental care promptly is crucial for a comprehensive assessment and appropriate treatment. Keep the contact information for Olympus View Dental in Salt Lake City readily available, and don’t hesitate to reach out in case of a dental emergency in 2024. Your proactive approach to dental emergencies can make a significant impact on the outcome of these unexpected events.

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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