Do You Need Emergency Dental Care?


Emergency dental care is something we all hope we’ll never need… Having a dental emergency is not something any of us normally look forward to, nor is it something that is ever planned. Unfortunately, it happens to all of us at one point or another. And when it does, it’s nice to know what to do when you or someone close to you needs emergency dental care.

An unexpected dilemma

Imagine enjoying a wonderful holiday break with your family. As you sit down to have a meal together, you experience an unpleasant situation. When you bite into your food you feel a cracking sensation, followed by a sharp pain in your mouth. As the stinging in your mouth continues to worsen, the reality of your situation sets in; you have just broken a tooth! Unfortunately, this imaginary scenario has been a reality for many people; when you break a tooth it’s often a sudden, unanticipated problem that delays any immediate plans you may have. You experience needing emergency dental care.

Who are you going to call?

At Overland Park Dentistry we are prepared to assist our patients when a dental emergency occurs. When patients call in this type of situation, we always do our best to accommodate same day emergency appointments.

There are normally two reasons for emergency dental care, restorative and cosmetic.

We provide restorative emergency dental care to help our patients to get out of pain as quickly as possible.  There are cosmetic reasons for requiring an emergency visit as well. Perhaps you have a presentation to give, or an important meeting to attend, or maybe child has a school photo in the next couple of days.

These are both valid and understandable reasons for requesting an emergency visit, and here at Overland Park Dentistry we are willing to help address these unexpected issues when they arise.

What should I do if I need emergency dental care?

In the case of a dental emergency, before we can get you into one of our offices for an appointment, here are some helpful tips:

What if my tooth gets knocked out in an accident?
When trauma or an accident knocks out your tooth, you need to act quickly. First, locate your tooth (or teeth) and determine whether you have the entire tooth in one piece including the root or if the tooth came out in several pieces. Rinse any dirt or debris off the pieces you have gathered and avoid touching the root. Put the tooth in milk or your own saliva for transport.

Safely rush the injured person and tooth to our dental office. In an ideal situation, the tooth will be re-implanted. For a period of time, the tooth may be splinted with a wire to the adjacent teeth.

Broken Filling or Broken Tooth:
Temporary filling materials can be purchased at most pharmacies and can be placed over the sensitive area until you see Dr. Kimes. Use sugar-free chewing gum to cover the area as a last resort.

When a permanent (or temporary) crown comes off:
Brush the area, if it’s not too sensitive and rinse with warm salt water (below) to keep the area clean. Teeth can shift, making it difficult or impossible to re-cement the crown at a later date, so avoid leaving the crown out for more than a few days. Until your emergency appointment time, toothpaste or denture cream can be placed inside the crown before it is gently put back into place.

Rinse your mouth with a warm salt water* rinse (see below). Gently floss and brush the area to remove any debris or trapped food. If you can take Ibuprofen or other over the counter pain medications, this may help to sooth the pain. Sometimes Orajel or similar topical gels can help, but usually it will only sooth the pain for a short time. Even if the pain goes away, please call our office to see Dr. Kimes, because without proper dental care your condition could return or even get worse.

When you are in need of emergency dental care:  If it is after regular business hours, please call 913-647-8700. The more time that passes, the less likely your tooth can be re-implanted successfully. If you are out of town, visit the nearest Emergency Room or Urgent Care or contact a dentist in the area.

*To make salt water rinse: mix 1 teaspoon table salt with 1 cup warm water

For additional patient resources and frequently asked questions, please click here.

While you might not be able to anticipate when a dental emergency will happen, you can rest assured that you will receive swift, expert, emergency care when you call our office.

We look forward to having the opportunity to be help you with any restorative or cosmetic care in the case of a dental emergency. If you need to schedule an emergency dental appointment, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.


Overland Park Dentistry
Even though going to the dentist is one of my least favorite things to do, my experience with Dr. Kimes have always been good. They are both very kind and considerate and try to treat you as painlessly as possible.