Most Common Dental Emergencies and What to do While Enroute to Our Office

Each year in the United States, about five million teeth are knocked out in both kids and adults. While this is one of the more common dental emergencies, millions more people experience cracks, lost fillings, and toothaches that also require prompt care. While we endeavor to provide our patients with immediate medical attention, there are some steps you can take on your way to see us that will improve your chances of a successful outcome.

At Peninsula Dental Excellence, our experienced dental team, led by Drs. Jeff Yoshihara and Colin Au, offer emergency dentistry because we know life is full of unforeseen circumstances that can affect your dental health. As with most medical emergencies, there are some steps you can take on your own that can improve your chances of preserving your oral health and we review some of them here.

A knocked-out tooth

If you or a loved one has a tooth that’s been knocked out, it’s important to note that we can often salvage the tooth if you take the following steps immediately:

If you’re unable to fit your tooth back into the socket, you can try placing it between your cheek and gums or putting it in a jar of saliva or milk, which goes a long way toward preserving the “live” endings.

At the same time, please contact us and let us know about your situation and we’ll make arrangements to see you on our end.

A cracked tooth

If you develop a crack in your tooth, prompt care goes a long way toward saving that tooth. To help prevent the crack from growing any larger, we urge you to gently rinse your mouth with lukewarm water and then bite down on something soft to keep the crack stable.

When you come to see us, we evaluate the crack and do everything in our power to preserve the tooth.

A lost or broken filling

If you crack or lose a filling, we urge you not to delay coming to see us. If you ignore the problem, harmful bacteria can make their way back into your tooth and lead to more decay.

As soon as you register the lost filling, rinse your mouth with saltwater and make sure there’s no debris in the cavity. Then, call us so we can plug the hole back up and keep tooth decay at bay.


Toothaches have a way of hijacking your wellbeing thanks to the highly sensitive nerves in your mouth. If you’re experiencing a toothache outside of our office hours — toothaches tend to develop at night — we urge you to take over-the-counter pain medications and use warm or cold compresses to relieve some of the pain. Please don’t ever place medication like aspirin directly on the affected area.

As soon as our office is open, please call us so that we can assess the problem. More often than not, a toothache is a sign that there be something larger at play and we can quickly get to the bottom of, and remedy, the issue before it grows bigger.

Any time you have a dental emergency, your first step should be to call (650) 264-9219 and we can guide you as to the steps you should take while you’re en route to our office in Mountain View, California.

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