Dentist Or Doctor? Who To Call When You Have An Emergency!

You’ve Knocked Out A Tooth, Who Do You Call?

When you’re experiencing dental discomfort, it can be hard to determine if you should contact your dentist or go straight to the emergency room. Understanding the difference between urgent and non-urgent dental emergencies is especially important if you are experiencing a difficult situation while your dentist’s office is closed. Our team at Tower Dental Associates wants you to understand who to call if you accidentally hit your face or lose a tooth. 

When To Go To The Hospital 

Urgent dental emergencies are situations where you’re better off going to the emergency room instead of waiting for a dentist’s office visit. This type of situation typically involves trauma to the face or mouth, timely treatment to save a tooth, ongoing bleeding, or severe pain to require a hospital visit.

Unfortunately, most emergency rooms do not have a dentist on staff to provide sufficient dental treatment. Patients will typically be prescribed painkillers or antibiotics.    

 The Following Are Examples Of Dental Emergencies:

  • Knocked-out or loose tooth after an injury
  • Bleeding gums that will not stop
  • Extreme tooth sensitivity
  • Injured jaw
  • Painful swelling
  • A painful throbbing toothache that radiates to the jaw, ear, and neck
  • A cracked or broken tooth that causes pain 
  • Toothache with a fever and/or swollen lymph nodes in your neck

When To Go To The Dentist Office

What do you do if you chip a tooth or have a mild toothache? You may experience some discomfort but, the injury can be treated at a later date. Dental emergencies that aren’t causing excessive bleeding or happened because of blunt force can typically wait for a dentist’s office appointment.  It is still recommended to contact your dentist as soon as possible to get the relief you need.

The Following Are Examples Of Non-Urgent Dental Emergencies:

  • Pain or swelling due to a dental infection, tooth fracture or wisdom teeth
  • Pain from a temporary crown/bridge is off
  • Severe pain caused by broken tooth structure

How To Prevent Dental Emergencies 

A simple way to prevent dental emergencies to your teeth, lips, cheek, and tongue is to wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities that may pose a risk. Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels, and hard candy, all of which can crack a tooth. Accidents can happen, but taking these simple precautions can avoid unnecessary injuries. 

Dental Emergencies At Tower Dental Associates

At Tower Dental, we recommend that if you are experiencing a dental emergency you reach out to a dentist as soon as possible. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tower Dental will be open on a limited basis for emergency dental care. Following the CDC protocol, we will be screening emergency patients before their visit by completing a COVID-19 health questionnaire.

We will be available for our patients of record in case of an emergency. We have limited hours in which our team members are in our office please contact us at our office number (352) 331-4558 or email at

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