Emergency Dentistry

Your Smile, Your Life ™

"I greatly dislike going to ANY dentist for any reason, including just having my teeth cleaned. This is the first dental office that I have returned to on a regular basis to maintain the health of my teeth and gums. It only took be 60+ years to find such a place."


At Rye Smiles for Life, we’re here for you if you have a dental emergency. We work to allocate a certain amount of time each day for ‘same day’ emergency appointments, so call us as early in the day as possible so our staff can work to have you seen.

freeimages.co.uk medical imagesMany patients wonder, though, what is a dental emergency and what is not? An accident or injury that dislodges or knocks out a tooth is obviously an emergency, but sometimes it can be difficult to know when pain warrants an emergency dental appointment or if hairline cracks or lines on the teeth are emergencies that need to be treated right away.

The most obvious dental emergency is a broken, dislodged or knocked out tooth. When this happens, you should treat the mouth injury first by rinsing your mouth with water and stopping any bleeding. If a tooth comes out in one piece, you can try to replace it as long as it is not too painful to do so. If you can’t do this, put the tooth in a glass of milk and make an emergency dental appointment right away. With quick action, our Fairfax emergency dentist, Dr. Chau, may be able to reattach your tooth so you won’t need to get a replacement.

Tooth or mouth pain doesn’t always require a same day emergency dentist visit, but it might under certain circumstances. If pain comes on suddenly, it could be because something is caught between the teeth or another problem that requires immediate attention. A simple toothache is usually not an emergency, but if the pain does not subside for a few days, or if you have frequent recurring toothaches, you should make a regular dental appointment.

As a Fairfax emergency dentists, Dr. Rye & Dr. Chau often see patients with cracked teeth, but sometimes people mistake common lines for cracks. Tiny lines that are called craze lines affect the tooth enamel and are not damaging to the function and health of the teeth. They can be treated cosmetically, but don’t require any other treatment.

A crack that warrants a same day emergency dentist visit is usually accompanied by pain. If not treated, a crack can get worse and possibly extend to the root. If that happens, the tooth will need to be extracted.

Most dental emergencies can lead to complete restoration of damaged teeth if you act quickly. Our Fairfax emergency dentists are available for same day emergency appointments at the Fairfax dental office of Rye Smiles for Life.


What are signs that I may have a cracked tooth?

A sign that you may have a cracked tooth is when you bite down, you feel a sharp pain in your mouth. Then when you release the bite, the pain disappears as quickly as it came.

A cracked tooth can be caused by severe hits or trauma to the mouth, biting or chewing on a hard objects such as hard candy or ice, and from conditions related to grinding or clenching teeth (especially during sleep).

Being able to spot or identify a crack in the tooth yourself can be challenging, as often hairline fractures in teeth are too small to be seen by the eye. Your dentist can perform an exam and ask patients the right questions in order to detect if and where you have a cracked tooth.

If my tooth gets knocked out, what should I do?

Teeth can get damaged or knocked out by contact sports, during intensive work activities or sometimes by just a freak accident. When this occurs, you should seek emergency dental treatment immediately.

In the case of a broken tooth, rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area. Use cold compresses on the damaged area to help minimize any swelling down till you get to the dentist. When a tooth gets completely knocked out, hold the tooth by the top portion or crown, and take care not to touch the root of the tooth to contaminate it. You can put the tooth in a container of milk, and it’s recommend to try to get to a dentist within 30 minutes, since the longer the tooth is out of its socket the more likely your gum may regard it as a foreign object when trying to put it back. If you are not able to see a dentist in a short amount of time, rinse off the tooth and gently place it back into the socket. Avoid eating or chewing hard items until you are able to see the dentist.

What represents a dental emergency?

Dental emergencies take many forms, but might include severe tooth or jaw pain, lacerations on your gums, a lost dental restoration, persistent gum or mouth bleeding that does not heal.

You have the best insight in terms of visible trauma or the severity of the pain, so if you’re not sure, always best to see your dentist as soon as possible to get a professional examination and to prevent further injury or deterioration.

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