Emergency Dentist Littleton    Dentist Littleton


If you experience a dental emergency, be sure to call Ken Caryl Dentistry as soon as possible.  We will see you the same day.  For immediate attention after hours, you can call Dr. Herzberg directly.  If you are unable to reach us during an emergency, go to a local ER or call 911.  A broken jaw, severe swelling in the neck, or trouble breathing are all indication to go to a local ER or call 911.

Dr. Herzberg and his staff are here to help you, any time, any day.  When your dental health is at risk, we will do everything we can to make sure that you're treated as soon as possible.  While dental emergencies are rare, they can happen, and it's important to know how to take care of your teeth no matter what.  Below is a list of dental emergencies and some recommendations on how to handle them.

Knocked-Out Adult Tooth   

A knocked-out adult tooth is a dental emergency that requires urgent attention.  If the appropriate emergency steps are followed immediately after the tooth has been knocked out, the chances are very good that the tooth can be reinserted and preserved by Dr. Herzberg.  Knocked out baby teeth cannot be reinserted.


  • Pick up the tooth by the top (crown) of the tooth. Do not touch the root(s) of the tooth.
  • Rinse the tooth off very gently to ensure that it's clean. Do not scrub the tooth or remove any tissue attached to it. Be sure to place a towel or washcloth in the sink so that the tooth does not go down the drain.
  • If you can, gently place the tooth back into the socket. Hold it gently in place while trying to bite down. 
  • If you can't place the tooth back in the socket, put the tooth in a cup of milk.  And as a last resort keep the tooth under your tongue, be careful not to swallow it!!
  • Call Dr. Herzberg immediately, since getting to the dentist quickly with your tooth – in addition to following the steps above – is critical for saving the knocked-out tooth. The longer you wait to re-implant the tooth in its socket, the less chance you have of the tooth "taking" and remaining viable.

Knocked Loose Tooth and/or out of Alignment

If you have a tooth that is loose or out of alignment, you should call Ken Caryl Dentistry for an emergency appointment right away. In the meantime, you can try to put the tooth back in its original position using your finger with very light pressure. Do not try and force it. You can bite down to keep the tooth from moving. Dr. Herzberg may want to splint the tooth to the adjacent teeth to keep it stabilized.

Chipped, Cracked or Fractured Teeth

If a tooth is chipped and doesn't hurt, this usually does not constitute a dental emergency and you can wait for normal office hours to see Dr. Herzberg.  However, it is important to be careful while chewing so as not to chip it more.  Dr. Herzberg may simply be able to smooth the chip out, or add some composite (tooth color) filling material to repair the tooth.

A cracked or fractured tooth causing pain is a serious issue constituting a dental emergency.  Fractured or cracked teeth usually suggest that damage has occurred to the inside of the tooth as well as to the outside.  Some fractures are so extreme that the tooth cannot be saved.  If you have pain from fractured tooth, call Dr. Herzberg immediately for an emergency appointment and follow these steps:

  • Clean your mouth out by gently rinsing thoroughly with warm water.
  • If the fracture is caused by facial trauma, apply a cold compress to the area to minimize any swelling.
  • Take acetaminophen (not aspirin) according to the packaging directions to alleviate pain.
  • Never apply a painkiller to the gum because it can burn the gum tissue.  This includes Orajel, which often is marketed for these types of procedures.

An X-ray will be needed in order for Dr. Herzberg to properly diagnose the condition of your tooth.  If the soft tissue inside of the tooth (the tooth pulp) is damaged, your tooth may need a root canal.  If the pulp is not damaged, the tooth might only need a crown.

Tissue Injury and Facial Pain

Any type of injury inside the mouth, such as puncture wounds, lacerations and tears to the lips, cheeks, mouth and tongue, are considered tissue injuries and a dental emergency. If you experience any type of tissue injury, it is important to clean the area immediately with warm water. If the bleeding is coming from the tongue, gently pull the tongue forward and place pressure on the wound using gauze. You should get to an oral surgeon or nearby hospital emergency room as quickly as possible.

To alleviate any type of facial pain associated with tissue injury, you can take acetaminophen as directed on the packaging label. Never take aspirin or ibuprofen for a dental emergency because they are anticoagulants, which can cause excessive bleeding.

Other Dental Emergencies

Basically, any dental problem that requires immediate treatment in order to save a tooth, stop ongoing tissue bleeding or alleviate severe pain is considered a dental emergency.

A severe infection, swelling or abscess in the mouth can become life-threatening and should be dealt with immediately.  Dr. Herzberg can drain the infection and/or prescribe antibiotics to stop the infection from getting worse. 

Problems with Temporary Restorations

Having a temporary crown come off is not a dental emergency. However, it is important to put it back in place so that the tooth stays in its original position until you can see your dentist.

A temporary crown can easily be put back onto your tooth by placing Vaseline, toothpaste, Chapstick or even a very small amount of denture adhesive into the temporary and placing it onto your tooth.  Temporary crown cement is also available at many drug stores.  Try putting your crown in first and note how it fits into place. Once you are comfortable with the fit, apply adhesive into the temporary and place it properly on your tooth. Bite down firmly onto a dry washcloth, applying even pressure to the temporary. After a few minutes, clean off any excess adhesive you can see. You should see your dentist within the next few days to have it properly re-cemented.

Is it a Dental Emergency?

Smoothing a chipped tooth, re-cementing a crown that is not causing pain and composite bonding to repair a tooth are not dental emergencies. Typically, such problems can be dealt with during our regular office hours.

If you are not sure whether or not you are having a true dental emergency, answer the following questions:

  • Are you bleeding from the mouth?
  • Are you in severe pain?
  • Do you have any loose teeth?
  • Have you been hit in the face or mouth?
  • Do you have any swelling in the mouth or facial area?
  • Do you have any abscesses on your gums?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be having a dental emergency and should call your us immediately. It's important to describe exactly what has happened and what you are feeling.

If you experience extreme pain caused by hot or warm foods or beverages, try drinking ice water. It might relieve the pain. Sip on ice water and hold some in your mouth until you see the dentist.

If you are having sensitivity to cold or if it causes pain to breathe in air, avoid cold foods and beverages. Breathe through your nose and call your dentist's office.

If you experience pain in a tooth when biting down, it might indicate an abscess or a cracked tooth. Avoid biting on that side and call us immediately.

How to Avoid a Dental Emergency

Many dental emergencies can be easily avoided by having routine check ups to ensure that your mouth and teeth are healthy, strong and free from decay.

Wearing a mouth guard during sports activities will help to prevent teeth from being chipped, knocked out or broken. Avoid chewing on ice and hard foods that may break or fracture your teeth. If you are planning to travel out of the country or leaving for an extended vacation, during which you may not have ready access to dental care, it is important to see us for a routine check up before you leave.  Dr. Herzberg can make sure that you don't have any loose crowns or teeth, decay close to the nerve of a tooth that could cause you pain or develop into an abscess or other problems that could be easily fixed before becoming a dental emergency later.

If you are looking for an Emergency Dentist in the Denver and Littleton, CO areas call Dr. Greg Herzberg, DDS (303) 973-5280