Don’t Panic in a Dental Emergency

TMJ Treatment | 1 | Uptown Dental Associates | Albuquerque, NM

It happens. A fun trip to the ice-skating rink ends with you falling flat on your face. You aren’t paying attention, and end up walking into a door. Or you come down with excruciating tooth pain for no obvious reason.

A dental emergency is unexpected and scary, but with knowledge and a little preparation, you will get through it just fine.

At Uptown Dental Associates, we are not only committed to providing the best regular dental care, we will be here for your dental emergency too. One of our doctors is always on call so that existing patients can get a same-day appointment. Even if you have never seen us before, we will make every effort to get you in right away.

To book an emergency appointment at Uptown Dental Associates, call our Albuquerque, NM office at 505-407-8781.


Help! What Do I Do?

So you’ve made your same-day emergency appointment with Uptown Dental Associates. Phew! But what do you do in the meantime? It depends on the nature of the emergency, of course. Here are a few of the most common situations and how you can maximize your chances for the best possible outcome.

Chipped or Broken Tooth

If a tooth breaks or chips, be sure to gather up and save any pieces. Bring them with you to your appointment. Rinse your mouth gently with warm water. If your mouth is bleeding, apply pressure to the area with clean gauze or a dampened tea bag. A cold compress held to the outside of the face near the affected area can help keep swelling to a minimum and reduce pain.

How we treat the tooth depends on the severity of the crack, chip, or break. If the damage is very minor and cosmetic in nature, a veneer can cover it beautifully. If the tooth is more severely injured but still salvageable, we may repair it with a dental crown. If the break is so bad that we have to remove the tooth, you will require a bridge or a dental implant.

Knocked-Out Tooth

Believe it or not, an intact, knocked-out tooth may be saved under the right circumstances. Time is critical. Call our office right away too book an appointment and pay attention to the following instructions.

  • Never touch the root of the tooth. Hold it by the crown only (the white part that’s normally exposed in your mouth). If the tooth is dirty, you may rinse it gently with clean water. Don’t remove any tissue that’s attached!
  • It’s critical that the tooth is kept moist. If you can do so safely and comfortably, try putting it back into its socket. Make sure it’s facing the right way! You may also try storing the tooth between your cheek and gum. This isn’t advisable with children, due to the risk of swallowing the tooth.
  • If you can’t keep the tooth in your mouth, store it in a small container with some saliva, milk, or, as a last resort, water.


Unexplained tooth pain may be caused by a number of reasons, including tooth decay, an unnoticed crack, or an abscess, which is a serious infection of the tooth pulp. Make an appointment right away so we can diagnose and treat your pain. The bacteria from an abscessed tooth may spread to other parts of your body if left unchecked.

A white pimple on the gum may be pus from an abscessed tooth coming to the surface. A warm salt-water rinse will help draw it out. Over-the-counter pain medication may help relieve discomfort temporarily.


Put Together a Dental Emergency Kit

You can’t predict an emergency, but being prepared for one will pay off in the long run. Consider assembling a kit of tools and supplies that will come in handy in a dental emergency situation.

  • Medical-grade disposable exam gloves to prevent transfer of bacteria
  • Toothbrush, tooth picks, floss, tweezers
  • A flashlight and dental mirror for easy viewing
  • Temporary dental cement
  • Dental wax for protecting soft tissues from the sharp edges of a chipped tooth or a broken braces wire
  • Clove oil (and cotton swabs for applying it)
  • An ice pack
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Sterile gauze and tea bags to help stop bleeding
  • A small, clean container for holding a knocked-out tooth

Keep all of these things together in a portable box with a lid, and you will be ready when a dental emergency strikes!


If you live in the Albuquerque, NM area, Uptown Dental Associates is ready to take care of your dental emergency. Keep our number (505-407-8781) handy in case you need an urgent same-day appointment.  If you’d like to schedule a non-emergency appointment, you can call or reach us online.