Emergency Dentist
Arlington VA


Emergency Dentist

A dental emergency is usually defined as an emergent situation that may include an infection with a broken tooth, a lost filling, an abscess or another dental problem that needs immediate treatment to either stop bleeding or alleviate severe pain.

When an emergency dental situation occurs, it is advantageous to have a plan in place. It can be difficult to understand the difference between having a dental issue that can wait to having a serious issue that requires our immediate attention.

Stay calm, take deep breathes. Good advice in an unexpected situation. We are here for you. We pride ourselves in working with every member of the family in an emergent situation, from infant to teenager to mom and dad to grandparents. We enjoy watching a patient grow and mature, even as your emergency dentist. If you have an emergency or need an emergency dentist, call Cherrydale Family Dental at 703-243-8288. You can find us at 4399 Old Dominion Drive, Arlington, VA, 22312.

Emergency care might be required due to an untreated oral health issue. To avoid this situation, it is important to continue to practice good oral hygiene habits and schedule a regular examination every six months, as doing so will allow us to address problems before they develop.

By also being prepared and knowing a few tips and tricks, you can make sure you can remain calm and know how to respond when an issue presents itself. These tips and tricks will also help ensure that you take the proper steps and avoid creating any unnecessary complications later.




If you have mild tooth sensitivity, bad breath, sore gums, or other relatively minor dental ailments, make an appointment with us for a checkup. While it is important to treat these conditions promptly, they are not dental emergencies. On the other hand, the conditions below do require emergency care. Here is some guidance for handling each one.


Toothache pain can be overwhelming. Serious tooth pain is often caused by a dental abscess or infection, or by decay that has irritated the nerves in and around your tooth. When the tooth pain does not respond to over-the-counter pain relievers, you can then consider it a dental emergency. Call us, an emergency dentist, and follow these tips until we can see you:

  • Rinse your mouth with salt water to kill bacteria and alleviate inflammation.
  • Use dental floss to remove any food that is lodged near the sore tooth.
  • Hold a cold compress against the outside of your mouth near the sore tooth.
  • Apply an oral numbing gel to the sore tooth and the gums around it.

Our emergency dentist will examine your tooth and take x-rays to determine the cause of your pain.

Broken or Cracked Teeth

If you chip or break a tooth, whether it is while eating or an accident, it is important to see us as soon as possible. The sooner you receive treatment, it is possible that we can reattach the broken piece to your damaged tooth. Save any pieces of the broken tooth that you find and rinse them gently in warm water. Place them in a cup of milk and bring them in with you.

If your chipped, cracked, or broken tooth is painful, you can ease the discomfort by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen. Hold a cold compress against the outside of your cheek, and if you are bleeding, bite down on a piece of gauze to slow the bleeding. Call us as soon as possible.

Knocked-Out Tooth

Having a tooth knocked out of your mouth can certainly be traumatic but take a deep breath and remember that our emergency dentists treat this kind of situation often. If we can see you immediately, there is a good chance we can re-insert the tooth into its socket and save it.

Call us immediately while you focus on the lost tooth. Always pick up the lost tooth by the crown, rather than the root since you do not want to introduce any bacteria to the tooth root. If there is any debris or dirt on the tooth, run it under some clean, cold water, but do not dry it on anything. Push it back into its socket, making sure that it is facing the right way, and bite down slowly to keep it in place until you reach our emergency dentist. If you cannot easily get the tooth back into its socket, store it in a container of milk. Pharmacies also sell a product called Save-a-Tooth that you can place a lost tooth in if you happen to have it on hand.

Our emergency treatment process for a lost tooth involves cleaning the socket to remove any debris, and then re-inserting the tooth in its socket. We may use wire or a special splint to hold the tooth in place. Over the next few weeks, the tooth will again fuse to the jawbone, rendering it stable again.

Dental Abscess

A dental abscess is an infection that occurs in or around a tooth root. Abscesses can cause serious pain, and they can be dangerous as they can spread the infection. It is important to seek treatment for a suspected dental abscess as soon as possible. If you have a fever or severe pain, call our emergency dentist for immediate care. If you do not have a fever and are able to manage your pain with over-the-counter pain relievers, you can call us in the morning; we will want to see you that same day or the next day.

As with all toothaches, you can keep abscess pain under control with cold compresses, salt-water rinses, and sticking to soft foods. We may prescribe antibiotics for you to take before you come into the office. Abscesses are often treated with a root canal procedure. If the tooth is badly infected, an extraction is also an affordable treatment option.

Lost or Damaged Filling

If you chip or crack a filling and do not experience any intense discomfort, you can schedule an appointment to seek treatment. If you lose a filling completely, you can place some sugar-free gum in the empty space. If this keeps you comfortable enough, you can see us to have the filling replaced within a few days. If the pain is unbearable, contact our emergency dentist, who will insert a new filling promptly.

Lost Crown

A lost crown is a dental emergency, but as with a lost filling, you should be able to put off treatment until scheduled. You can apply clove oil to the tooth to alleviate any soreness. You can also apply some denture glue to the tooth and place the crown back over it. Never use super glue! If you cannot get the crown to stay on your tooth, store it in a plastic bag until you are able to get to us. Make an appointment as soon as possible. Putting off treatment may lead to additional damage to the tooth.

Loose Braces Brackets

A loose braces bracket is not a reason to visit our emergency dentist, but it is a reason to see us as soon. We will probably need to re-cement the bracket or replace it entirely.

If a wire in your braces breaks off or starts poking you in the cheek, this is also an emergency that can wait until the next day. To stop the wire from poking you, try using a pencil eraser to bend it back against your teeth. Do not cut the wire! Cover the end of the wire with some orthodontic wax to prevent it from rubbing on your cheek. Stick to soft foods until you have your braces repaired so that you do not cause more extensive damage.

Oral Injuries

If you suffer an injury to your mouth that results in tissue damage and bleeding, your best option is to get to the emergency room. The doctors there can suture up any external cuts and refer you to an emergency dentist for any damage to your teeth or other oral tissues. Until you reach the emergency room, you can control the bleeding by placing pressure on the wounded area with a cold compress. Rinse your mouth with cool water to control any bleeding from internal cuts and keep the area clean.


Quality Dental Care for ALL Family Members

At Cherrydale Family Dental, 4399 Old Dominion Dr., Arlington, VA, we work hard to build trusting and lasting relationships with our patients, especially in emergency situations. We want to help you maintain good oral health to the best of your ability. We always look forward to seeing you, under any circumstance, and discussing what is best for you and your smile. Please contact us at 703-243-8288 to discuss an emergency dentist plan that can make you proactive in the event of a dental emergency.


Modern dentistry techniques, affordable prices and financial options make it easier than ever for you to have a bright and healthy smile. We are currently accepting new patients and we would love to help you get the smile you’ve always dreamed of.

Call us at (703) 243-8288 to book an appointment OR easily using the button below.