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What is a Dental Emergency?

October 29, 2011 in Dentistry by McCarl Dental Group

The dentists at McCarl Dental Group strive to provide same day emergency dental care. Our dentists want to ensure the comfort and safety of each and every patient and encourage you to call should you have a dental emergency. Our dental offices in Greenbelt and Millersville Maryland are centrally located and convenient to Severna Park, Annapolis, Crofton, Crownsville, College Park, Bowie,  and Laurel.

Many times people just aren’t sure whether or not they should come see us or wait it out. Here are some examples of some very common dental emergencies:

Broken Tooth
If you have sustained trauma to the mouth from an accident, sport, or other injury that resulted in a loose or broken tooth, call us immediately. If the tooth is broken off or has been knocked out, do not try to clean it off, but rather place the tooth in a cup of milk and contact a dentist at McCarl Dental Group immediately.


Sometimes toothaches come on very suddenly and can cause severe discomfort. Other times dental pain may be slow and gradual. In either case, the thing to remember with toothaches is that they don’t go away on their own. If your tooth hurts, call our dental office and schedule an appointment so that our dentists can help make you comfortable.

Loose Dental Crown
When a tooth with a crown has recurrent decay around it, or the cement simply loosens, your crown may come off. This exposes the surface of the tooth below the crown and unless it is uncomfortable, you may not need an emergency dental appointment. Please schedule an appointment as soon as possible for a dental exam to determine why the crown came off, and what treatment is necessary. Left uncovered, the underlying tooth can easily decay. If the crown on a front tooth or a tooth that is visible when you smile comes off, even if you are not experiencing dental pain, we are happy to fit you into our schedule or come to the dental office to see you as quickly as possible. To keep the crown on temporarily you can use some denture adhesive, or toothpaste. Please do not use any type of glue to try to re-cement the crown!

Broken Dental Fillings
One of the most common dental emergencies is a broken filling. This may be because the filling is very old or there is new decay around the filling. Depending on the size of the filling, the tooth could be at an increased risk of breaking, infecting the nerve, or developing food traps that leads to problems. Teeth that lose fillings have lost some of the stability that is needed to withstand the pressure of chewing. Do not chew on these teeth until the filling has been replaced and make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible.

Gum Swelling or Infection

If swelling of your gums, mouth or the surrounding area occurs, you should call us immediately. A small swollen area may be caused by a dental abscess that requires antibiotics and treatment. Infections are not to be taken lightly, they can lead to very serious health risks. Always remember to brush and floss your teeth daily and follow home care instructions after dental treatments to help prevent infections.

No matter what day it is, if you find yourself faced with a dental emergency, the first thing we’ll ask you when you call our Greenbelt, MD or Millersville, MD dental office is “How soon can you get here?” Even cosmetic procedures can become an emergency. We’ve had instances where one patient broke a tooth, and had to be in a wedding the next day. No matter what your dental emergency is, McCarl Dental Group is here to help. You can reach our Millersville, MD dental office at (410) 987-8800 or call our Greenbelt, MD location at (301) 474-4144.  For additional information about McCarl Dental Group, please visit our website at

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