Category Archives: lost filling or crown

How to Get Through 5 Common Holiday Dental Emergencies

hurting man with holiday dental emergencyThe holidays are a time for joy, but all the parties and fun of the season can come with a painful price: a chipped tooth, toothache, knocked out tooth. You know what we’re talking about (though we hope you don’t): all those inconvenient dental emergencies that tend to happen at the worst times, or, even worse, in the middle of the night or in the middle of a fantastic holiday party.

So what do you do when your holiday fruit cake bites back? The answer depends on the kind of dental emergency:


Treat your toothache the same no matter what the reason for the pain. Hold an ice pack to the cheek on the side of the toothache. Do not use heat to treat your toothache, even if it brings temporary relief, as it can cause swelling and make the underlying cause of your toothache worse. Avoid anything that can make the pain worse, such as certain foods, laying on the side that hurts or any kind of vibration.

Use over-the-counter medications to treat your toothache, but do so carefully. Only use medications that don’t interfere with any prescription medications you are on, and make sure you follow the directions on the label exactly.

Cracked or chipped tooth

Did the peanut brittle at the holiday party get the best of you? The care for your cracked or chipped tooth depends on the extent of the damage. Rinse your mouth with warm water, and apply a cold compress to alleviate pain and swelling.

You can take an over-the-counter pain medication if there is pain, but make sure to follow the label directions. Avoid biting down on the tooth until your dentist can repair the damage.

Knocked out tooth

Did your kids’ holiday rough housing at the family holiday get out of hand? A tooth falling out is a true dental emergency, and treatment is the same whether the tooth is a permanent or baby tooth. Time is of the essence if you have any hope of saving the tooth. Pick the tooth up, and try not to touch the tooth root. If you can, put the tooth back in your mouth and push the tooth down by closing your mouth. If putting the tooth in your mouth isn’t possible, or you’re worried about swallowing the tooth, keep it moist until you see your dentist.

Lost filling

A lost filling can happen at the worst time, and at any time. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances, you can wait a few days to see your dentist (no longer!). While you’re waiting for your emergency dentist appointment, follow these steps for a lost filling:

  1. Take the filling out. Do not try to reattach the filling on your own.
  2. Keep the area clean in your mouth so food doesn’t get stuck.
  3. If you have any sensitivity or pain, ask your dentist office what they recommend for pain relief.
  4. Go in as soon as possible for your emergency dentist appointment.

Lost crown

A lost crown is a different kind of dental emergency, and requires different steps:

  1. Wash and dry the crown or cap.
  2. Ask your dentist if you should try to temporarily cement the crown back in your mouth. If they say yes, use a bit of dental cement or adhesive (such as Fixodent) to try to reattach the crown or cap.
  3. Go in as soon as possible for your emergency dentist appointment.

No matter what your dental emergency is ruining your holiday, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist can give you emergency dental care that alleviates the pain, and makes your holidays a lot merrier.