Dental Blog

What is a Dental Emergency?

What is a Dental Emergency?

600 600 Macatawa Smiles

Emergency Dentist Holland, MIWhen it comes to dental emergencies, the sooner you act, the better your chances of repairing your smile. While many oral injuries warrant an immediate trip to our dentist in Holland, MI, there are some dental issues that can wait.

Here’s how you can tell whether your situation calls for a visit to the emergency dentist right away. Contact us today if you have any additional questions or concerns regarding your dental emergency.

Dental Emergencies

Call our office ASAP if you are in severe dental pain or have lacerated your gums, cheeks, or tongue. You should also call us immediately if you suspect your tooth is infected. We’ll rearrange our schedule so you can receive treatment as soon as possible.

You’ll need immediate care for the following dental emergencies:

  • Severe toothache
  • Dental abscess
  • Swollen gums
  • Loose tooth
  • Knocked-out tooth
  • Broken tooth
  • Large crack or chip in a tooth

The sooner you seek medical treatment, the less likely you’ll need expensive dental restorations in the future. For example, we may be able to re-implant a knocked-out tooth if you store the tooth properly and receive treatment within 5 and 60 minutes.

Follow these steps if you knock out an adult tooth:

  1. Pick up your tooth by the crown (top), NOT the root.
  2. Line your sink with a towel so you don’t drop your tooth down the drain.
  3. Gently rinse your tooth.
  4. If possible, gently place your tooth back in its socket. If this isn’t possible, submerge your tooth in a container of milk.
  5. Call our office ASAP to schedule an emergency appointment.

Non-Urgent Dental Situations

If you are having a non-urgent dental situation, you’ll be able to schedule your appointment during normal office hours. This means that if your filling falls out Saturday afternoon, you’ll be able to wait until Monday morning to have a new filling placed.

Non-urgent dental situations include:

  • Lost filling, crown, or bridge
  • Dull toothache
  • Food lodged between teeth
  • A small chip or crack in a tooth

Be sure to call our office to schedule your appointment and receive instructions on how to care for your mouth until you’re able to see our dentist. For example, we may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers for a mild toothache until you’re able to see Dr. Habecker.

Lost your dental crown? Check out our blog post on what your next steps should be to protect your tooth until your next appointment with us.

Don’t Ignore a Dental Emergency

Quick thinking is often what saves a tooth from needing an expensive dental restoration or being extracted entirely. If you are experiencing dental pain and discomfort, we encourage you to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you seek emergency dental care, the sooner you can alleviate pain and prevent permanent damage to your teeth and gums.

If you have a dental emergency that wasn’t listed here, be sure to call our office. Our dentist can also help you prevent dental emergencies from happening in the first place. For example, sports dental injuries can be avoided with custom mouth guards.

Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Habecker

Don’t wait until you’re in unbearable pain to call our office. Our family dentist in Holland, MI, will diagnose the problem and suggest an appropriate course of treatment to help restore your oral health. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Habecker, call Macatawa Smiles at (616) 396-7524.

This blog post has been updated.


Dear Patient Family,

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for all of us. Many of you have been forced to wait for dental care and we appreciate your understanding while we kept our office closed to follow orders from the Governor's Office.

We are happy to say that we are opening our office for all patient treatment on June 1st, 2020. Our hours of operation will go back to normal, Monday-Thursday 8am - 5pm. We want you to know that there will be some changes at your next appointment. Please be patient with us as our protocols will inevitably change as new guidelines are released.

  • We ask that you use our parking lot as the waiting room.
  • Please wear a mask when you come into the office and leave it on until entering the treatment room. Homemade is acceptable.
  • Only the person receiving treatment should come in the building, all others will be asked to wait in the car if at all possible. The exception will be for our minor patients who may have one parent accompany them.
  • We will be asking you some questions when you arrive at the office and we will also be taking your temperature.
  • We will not be able to offer magazines, drinks, or toys at this time as they cannot be disinfected to our standards. Eventually this will change and we will be happy to offer our amenities once again.

These changes have been made to adhere to the latest CDC guidelines and for the benefit of our patients and our staff. We want you to know that our office has always taken the safety of our patients very seriously and that we will continue to follow the highest levels of sterilization and disinfection to keep you protected. If you would like more information on what measures we have taken we would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

We cannot say how excited we are to see all of our patients again and to provide for their dental needs. We look forward to seeing all of your smiling faces soon!

Dr. Habecker and Team