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Dental Emergencies

Dental Emergencies

Experiencing a dental emergency? Santa Rosa Dental aims to accommodate all emergency dental appointments. Our dentistry office prioritizes all emergency appointments and we aim to fit in patients as soon as possible. The following are  guidelines to follow prior to getting into the Santa Rose Dental office for emergency care.

What type of first aid should I do for a broken tooth?

A common mistake of dental patients is not bothering to retrieve a broken tooth after it has become dislodged. Stop bleeding by applying pressure to the area using a clean and moist piece of gauze. Once bleeding is under control, retrieve the tooth by touching only the crown. Avoid placing your fingers on the root. Store tooth in a container of milk until you’re able to arrive at our office.

What if the tooth is chipped?

A dentist may still be able to perform restorative work on the broken tooth. However, still store the tooth until you’re able to get into our Santa Rosa office. Even if the tooth has shattered into fragment, you still should bring them for your appointment. The dentistry office may recommend bonding as a way to fix the chipped tooth.


What if there are additional injuries besides a broken tooth?

Go to an emergency room immediately for urgent care if the broken tooth resulted from some form of trauma. You may need to be evaluated for other injuries like a concussion. An emergency doctor will refer you to a dentist to treat the broken tooth once your other injuries are evaluated.


What can I do about a toothache?


A dentist needs to determine the underlying cause of the pain associated with a toothache. The dentistry office will examine your mouth and ask for you to describe your symptoms. Imaging studies may be done. For a child with a toothache, a pediatric dentist will evaluate the cause of the pain. For relief until you can see a dentist, gargle with warm water mixed with salt. You can also use an over-the-counter pain reliever as needed.

What should I do if I notice any bruising or swelling from the dental injury?

Use ice as needed to relieve any bruising or swelling associated with your dental injury. Wrap an ice pack in a clean cloth and leave on for 10-minute intervals onto the injured area. If the swelling worsens and you have difficulty breathing or swallowing, go to an emergency room immediately. Any excessive bleeding related to a dental injury may also require evaluation by a medical professional.

What should I do to treat a cold or canker sore?

Cold and canker sores are a common ailment and usually don’t require an emergency visit to a dentist. Use over-the-counter medications for pain relief and speak to a provider if the sores persist.

Santa Rose Dental is here to help with emergency and routine dental needs. Contact us today to schedule your office appointment.


Santa Rosa emergency dentist Dr. Michael Rice provides the following emergency dental services:

  • When you visit our Santa Rosa dental office for a dental emergency, we will immediately diagnose your problem

  • Our Santa Rosa emergency dentist will thoroughly explain your treatment options

  • For some dental emergencies, we will address your pain with prescription antibiotics and pain medication

  • Our Santa Rosa Dental emergency dentist may also immediately apply local anesthesia to sooth the pain

  • Dr. Michael Rice can also perform immediate tooth extractions, fillings, repair broken dentures and chipped teeth, recement dental crowns that have fallen off, drain painful abscesses, and stabilize other oral injuries


If your regular dentist is unavailable:

Santa Rosa emergency dentist Dr. Michael Rice can see you and get you out of pain or discomfort today. Santa Rosa Dental will then send your regular dentist a detailed report of your emergency dental visit, including your treatment and any dental x-rays taken.

If you don’t have a regular dentist:

The first priority of Santa Rosa emergency dentist Dr. Michael Rice is to get you out of pain. After your dental emergency has been addressed at Santa Rosa Dental, we can discuss longer-term care that may prevent future dental emergencies. Our caring and patient Santa Rosa emergency dental staff will teach you the latest techniques in oral care, and our Santa Rosa emergency dentist can provide tooth-colored fillings, dental crowns and bridges, and even dental implants, dentures, porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, and other restorative and cosmetic dentistry services.

Knocked Out Tooth Santa Rosa

If your tooth has just been knocked out, hold it by the crown (the wide top). If the root (the narrow bottom that usually anchors your tooth to the jaw) is dirty, simply rinse if off with water. Do not scrub or wipe the root; do not remove any tissue (or anything else). If possible, gently re-insert the tooth into the vacant socket, (the hole where it used to be) and hold it in place. If that isn’t possible, place your knocked out tooth in a cup of milk. Then immediately call Santa Rosa emergency dentist Dr. Michael Rice 707-578-7701. You will be coming to our Santa Rosa dental office soon; be sure you bring your knocked out tooth with you!


Broken Tooth Santa Rosa

If you have just broken a tooth, rinse out your mouth with warm water. This will clean the area and minimize the chances of infection. You should also apply cold compresses on the surrounding area to reduce swelling that may occur. Immediately call Santa Rosa emergency dentist Dr. Michael Rice 707-578-7701.


Toothache Santa Rosa


A toothache can be miserable, and if left untreated, it probably won’t go away. Before visiting an emergency dentist, you can determine if food or other small objects are caught between your teeth and causing the pain. Gently floss around the teeth neighboring the toothache, taking care to gently floss under the gums. Next rinse your mouth with warm water, and heavily swish the liquid around and between the tooth or area with the toothache. Do not place aspirin or any other painkiller directly against your gums near the toothache; this may actually burn your gums. If the pain persists, contact Santa Rosa emergency dentist Dr. Michael Rice 707-578-7701.

Objects Caught Between Teeth


You should very gently use dental floss to attempt to remove anything stuck between your teeth. When flossing, avoid rapid motion or sawing back and forth. You want to floss slight below the gum tissue without forcing down, and avoid cutting your gums. Never use a sharp object to try to remove something stuck between your teeth; that may lead to a bigger dental emergency. If you cannot dislodge the object with dental floss, contact Santa Rosa emergency dentist Dr. Michael Rice 707-578-7701.

Bitten Lip or Tongue


A bitten lip or tongue can be a painful annoyance or a serious dental emergency. You should first clean the wound gently with a clean cloth or sterile gauze pad. Next apply cold compresses to reduce any swelling. If the bleeding is severe and does not stop, this may be a dental emergency. Contact or go to a hospital emergency room immediately.

Do you have a cracked tooth?


You might not want to contact a Santa Rosa emergency dentist because your acute symptoms are infrequent or occasional. Perhaps you feel a sharp pain when you bite down, but it quickly disappears. Or you avoid certain foods, or hot or cold drinks. Then you start chewing on one side of your mouth to avoid pain. These are all signs of a cracked tooth, which Santa Rosa emergency dentist Dr. Michael Rice encounters and treats often.

What causes a tooth to crack?


Many situations can lead to cracked tooth: chewing on hard objects like metal pens or ice, or on nuts or hard candy; an accident, especially as a blow to the mouth or an abrupt fall when your mouth snaps shut; grinding and clenching your teeth; loss of other teeth or tooth structure, resulting in more work and pressure distributed across fewer teeth; metal fillings, which expand with warm food and liquid much more than natural enamel and act as a wedge over time; stress due to an uneven bite; exposure of tooth enamel to temperature extremes, such as eating hot food, and then immediately drinking ice water; brittleness of teeth that have undergone endodontic (root canal) treatment. If you suspect you have a cracked tooth, a quick consultation with Santa Rosa emergency dentist Dr. Michael Rice will confirm it and provide treatment options.

How can you tell if a tooth is cracked?


A cracked tooth is not always obvious. Sometimes the toothache is felt near other health teeth, or you can’t determine which tooth or even jaw is the source of the pain. A cracked tooth may be a long hairline fracture and be invisible to the eye and the dental x-ray. Some cracked teeth are easily identified, and some are not–even by an experienced emergency dentist like Dr. Michael Rice.

You can help your Santa Rosa emergency dentist determine which tooth is problematic by recognizing where and when you have pain or sensitivity, whether it’s triggered by heat or cold, or by sweet, sour, or sticky food. Also note approximately where you feel the pain when you are chewing. Write this information down, and report it to your Santa Rosa emergency dentist when you visit.

Why does a cracked tooth hurt?


Often biting on a cracked tooth causes the crack to open wider, causing a sharp pain. When you stop chewing, the biting pressure stops, and the crack quickly closes. At this point, your toothache often ends as abruptly as it began. Although our Santa Rosa emergency dentist classifies a cracked tooth as an emergency, many patients believe the infrequent or irregular toothache means it’s not that serious. It is.

Even though the crack may be microscopic, the pulp inside the tooth can become very irritated each time the crack opens. Your tooth pulp is a soft tissue that contains the tooth’s sensitive nerves and blood vessels. When the constantly opening and closing crack irritates the pulp, the tooth becomes sensitive to temperature extremes, and you are in more pain. If the cracked tooth is not addressed quickly with a dental crown or dental filling, harmful bacteria can enter the pulp and cause infection and disease. When this happens, your dental emergency becomes more acute, and root canal treatment may be necessary to save the tooth. Santa Rosa emergency dentist Dr. Michael Rice encourages you to visit Santa Rosa Dental today if you suspect you have a cracked tooth.

How is a cracked tooth treated?


Your treatment depends on the size and location of the crack. Minor cases can be treated with tooth-colored fillings, porcelain inlays or onlays, or dental crowns. Larger cracks may require root canal treatment or even an extraction if the tooth is too damaged to save. Santa Rosa emergency dentist Dr. Michael Rice has the experience and training to determine the best treatment for you.

Very small cracks in your enamel are common and usually don’t cause problems. With regular dental checkups at our Santa Rosa dental office, we ensure small problems are treated early and before they become larger, more painful, and more costly. If you are currently experiencing a toothache or suspect you might have a cracked tooth, please contact Santa Rosa emergency dentist Dr. Michael Rice today 707-578-7701.

To learn more about the Dental Treatments and Services we provide or to schedule an appointment, please contact your Santa Rosa Dentist Dr. Rice Today at (707) 578-7701

Santa Rosa Dental/Dr. Rice makes no warranties, express or implied, as to results to be obtained from use of the above information, help for the dental emergency. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for personal, medical and/or dental attention or diagnosis. Without all available information about a patient, it is impossible to make a diagnosis. Help and answers are in the form of general ideas. Only you, your dentist and health care provider can make an appropriate treatment decision in an emergency or for everyday care and dental treatment.

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