Dr. Bruce Matthews, DDS

What should I do in a dental emergency?

Dental emergencies can be scary and painful, but knowing how to handle them until you see your dentist gives you peace of mind for yourself and your family.

If you are experiencing any unexpected dental problem, call us first so we can provide specific instructions for your situation. Otherwise, here are some helpful tips for what to do in a dental emergency in Wilmington, DE.


Tooth pain can range from mildly annoying to excruciatingly painful. Any toothache is a problem, but severe pain is a sign that something serious is happening, such as an abscess or infection.

Pain-relieving steps you can take are:

  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever like Ibuprofen or Advil.
  • Place a cold compress on and off alternating for 20 minutes each.
  • Rinse with a warm saltwater mixture to reduce inflammation.

Broken or Cracked Tooth

A broken or cracked tooth may or may not be painful, but our dentists still need to see you to check for underlying damage to the tooth’s structure. We also need to smooth any rough or jagged edges, so they don’t cut the inside of your mouth.

Lost Dental Crown or Filling

If a dental crown comes off, try to place it back on the tooth for protection but don’t force it. Wrap the crown in tissue and bring it with you to your emergency dental appointment.

A lost tooth filling will need to be replaced but collect any fragments to avoid swallowing them.

Call Your Emergency Dentist in Wilmington, DE

If you have a toothache, broken tooth, lost crown, or any other dental emergency, Dr. Matthews and his team are standing by to help you. Please call us so we can provide the prompt treatment and relief you need.

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