How Should You Respond To A Dental Emergency

At Hulse Dental, we understand that accidents do happen no matter how careful we try to be. And knowing what to do when one occurs can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth.

For all dental emergencies, it’s important to visit your dentist as soon as possible. Most dentists reserve time in their daily schedules for emergency patients so be sure to call your dentist and provide as much detail as you can about your condition. If the accident occurs when the dental office is not open, try to reach your dentist at home or go visit your local emergency room.

Here are some common dental emergencies and how to deal with them. 

What do I do if I knock out my tooth?

For a knocked-out permanent or adult tooth, keep it moist at all times. Dr Hulse recommends  placing it in between your cheek and gums or in a glass of milk, or use a tooth preservation product that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Then, call the dentist office right away to find out your next steps. 

What do I do if my child knocks out a tooth?

If the tooth is a baby tooth, the best thing to do is find the tooth, keep it moist and get to a dentist. Your dentist can see whether the entire tooth, or just part of it, came out. Although they have other functions as well, baby teeth also act as space holders until the permanent teeth come in. If a baby tooth is knocked out, your dentist can determine whether to implant it again.

What if I crack my tooth?

For a cracked tooth, immediately rinse the mouth with warm salt water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on the face to help keep any swelling down. Sometimes a cracked tooth can be fixed with a crown or even a root canal. However, if the damage is more extensive, the tooth may need to come out completely. Luckily, it can be replaced with an implant. Be sure call the dental office as soon as possible so the team can evaluate your situation.

How do I treat a toothache?

For toothaches, rinse your mouth with warm salt water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between your teeth. Do not put aspirin on your aching tooth or gums; it may burn the gum tissue. And if the pain persists, contact your dentist.

How can I avoid a dental emergency?

There are a number of simple precautions you can take to avoid accident and injury to the teeth:

  • Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities. 
  • Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy, all of which can crack a tooth. 
  • Use scissors, NEVER your teeth, to cut things.

Dr. Hulse and the team at Hulse Dental have been practicing dentistry in the Onalaska-La Crosse area for over 20 years. They are experts in providing the attention and care you need to help you keep your teeth as healthy as possible. Not only do we provide Crowns and implants, we also provide teeth whitening, veneers, Invisalign as well as regular cleanings and checkups. We welcome you to visit Hulse Dental online at to learn more about us, or call us at 608.783.1306 or just stop into the office anytime at 1840 East Main Street in Onalaska.