emergency dental careEmergency Dental Care

Dental emergencies can happen to anyone. However, did you know that many dental emergencies can be prevented with proper oral care and routine dental visits?

According to the American Dental Association, 1.65 million ER visits could have been referred to a dentist, and that the majority of these cases involve tooth decay that has lead to infection and pain. While emergencies certainly happen, here is a look at how you can prevent these instances from occurring.


Prevention means following a specific protocol to keep problems from arising that may result in an emergency. When it comes to your oral health, routine oral hygiene of brushing and flossing daily, as well as regularly occurring dental visits can keep your oral health in check, and prevent dental emergencies. This way, we can identify an issue in its infancy, instead of waiting until the problem manifests into a painful trip to the ER.

However, with that being said, we understand that emergencies develop even when you are doing everything right in regard to your oral health. When this does occur, you can count on Triangle Periodontics to get you on your way to a comfortable, healthy smile.

If you experience a dental emergency, be sure to call our practice as soon as possible. If you need immediate attention after hours, call our emergency phone number, and our on-call staff member will help you. If you are unable to reach our office during an emergency, dial 911.

We are here to help you, any time, any day. When your dental health is at risk, we will do everything we can to make sure that you are treated as soon as possible. While dental emergencies are rare for those with good oral health, they can happen, and it is important to know how to take care of your teeth no matter what.

Common dental emergencies include:

  • Broken or cracked tooth/teeth
  • Broken jaw
  • Permanent tooth knocked out
  • Object caught between teeth
  • Severe toothache

Dr. Otis Washington will assess your dental emergency and develop the best course of action to fit your oral health needs. Therefore, emergency dental care treatments may vary.

What if I can’t get in right away?

If for any reason you are unable to get in to see Dr. Washington right away, or you must wait until the next business day to be seen, here are some tips to help keep you comfortable while you wait. However, if you are in severe pain, knocked out a tooth, or believe you have a broken jaw or facial bone, do not delay – call our office immediately!

Broken or cracked tooth – if you are experiencing only minor discomfort or none at all, try not to chew on the side where the broken tooth is located. You may also want to eat soft foods that require less chewing, to avoid cracking the tooth or biting your cheek or tongue.

Permanent tooth knocked out – sometimes, a permanent tooth can be placed back in the mouth where it belongs, and it will fuse to the jawbone, although follow-up treatment will still be necessary. However, be sure to immediately place the tooth in milk or submerge in your own saliva to keep it moist until you reach our office.

Object caught between teeth – try using floss to dislodge the object or food particle stuck between your teeth. You may feel a little discomfort doing this, as the gum tissue may be irritated and inflamed, but be careful not to floss too aggressively, or you could injure your gums.

A severe toothache – a toothache can range from a slight throb to severe pain in which over-the-counter pain medications provide no relief. Although mild pain can usually be remedied until you get in to see the dentist, severe pain is likely an indicator of an infection, which should not be taken lightly. You will need to be seen by the dentist as soon as possible.

If you experience a dental emergency, contact Triangle Periodontics by calling 919-782-9536.

Triangle Periodontics welcomes patients of Apex, Cary, and Raleigh, North Carolina.