What to Do While Waiting for Urgent Dental Care

Emergency Dentist Grand Rapids, MI

If you think you have a dental emergency, call (616) 288-6134 now to see our emergency dentist in Grand Rapids as soon as possible. Please contact us with any questions you may have about your dental emergency.

In the meantime, follow our instructions below for what you should do while waiting for emergency dental care. The sooner you act to save a tooth, the more likely you’ll have a good outcome.

Continue reading to learn how to respond to a toothache, knocked-out tooth, loose tooth, and other situations that require urgent dental care.

What is Considered a Dental Emergency?

Call our emergency dentist if you have sharp and/or consistent oral pain, tissue bleeding that won’t stop, abscesses, or broken teeth. If you aren’t sure if you have a dental emergency, call our office anyways for further instruction. Getting emergency dental care in time can help you save a tooth.


Many mild toothaches are caused by food caught between teeth. Before calling our emergency dentist, gently floss to remove any trapped food particles that could be causing pain and rinse with warm water. If the toothache persists, call our office as soon as possible and take over-the-counter pain relievers until your appointment. DO NOT put crushed aspirin on your tooth as this burns gums and destroys tooth enamel.

Knocked-Out Tooth

Your best chance to replant a knocked-out tooth is within 30 minutes of injury. Our emergency dentist can help with these types of emergencies, giving you the best chance of saving your tooth.

  1. Call our emergency dentist ASAP.
  2. Pick up tooth by crown (chewing surface), not the root. Touching the root can damage cells needed for reattachment.
  3. Gently rinse tooth.
  4. If possible, gently place tooth back in socket. Otherwise, store tooth between your gum and cheek or wrap tooth in clean gauze and immerse in whole milk.

Loose Tooth

  1. Call our emergency dentist ASAP.
  2. Apply cold compress to cheek to temporarily relieve pain.
  3. Take over-the-counter pain reliever if necessary.

Cracked, Chipped, or Broken Teeth

  1. Call our emergency dentist ASAP.
  2. Rinse mouth with warm water.
  3. Apply cold compress to cheek to temporarily relieve pain.
  4. DO NOT put crushed aspirin on tooth. Doing so will burn gums and destroy tooth enamel.

How to Prevent Dental Emergencies

The best way to avoid needing emergency dental care is to know what increases your risk for illness and injury. For example, playing a contact sport increases your risk of having a tooth knocked out by a blow to the face. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to avoid a call to our emergency dentist. See our suggestions below to learn how to avoid needing emergency dental care.

  • See Our Dentist Every 6 Months

    You should see our dentist every 6 months for a teeth cleaning and oral exam. That way, we’ll be able to detect tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues that compromise oral health. The earlier we’re able to detect problems with your oral health, the less likely you’ll need urgent dental care.

  • Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

    People get into trouble when they skip brushing or flossing their teeth. One of the best ways to avoid a dental emergency is to maintain a good oral hygiene routine. You’ll need to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once daily.

  • Avoid Chewing Hard Foods

    Who doesn’t like buttery popcorn at the movies (or at home)? Unfortunately, the unpopped kernels at the bottom of the bag can crack your teeth. We also recommend against chewing ice, hard candies, and other foods that are difficult to chew.

Dr. Suk Jun Yun DDS and his team provide emergency dental services to patients in need. To request your appointment with our emergency dentist in Grand Rapids, MI, call NorthPointe Family Dental & Implant Center at (616) 288-6134.