Published On: September 30, 2014By Categories: Blog

visiting the er for dental emergenciesEmergencies can happen at any time to anyone and affect any part of your body, including your mouth. While it’s usually sound advice to seek immediate medical attention in case of an emergency, sometimes a hospital is not the best choice for treating your dental problems. At our dental office in Woodbury, we feel that it’s important to know the difference between injuries that require a hospital and those that should be treated by a dentist.

Go to the Hospital

Any time an injury is life-threatening or potentially life-threatening, it’s always appropriate to seek care at the hospital. The most common dental emergencies that require immediate hospital intervention are those classified as traumas and involve the face and/or mouth. Some examples of these types of injuries include:

  • Jaw fracture/dislocation
  • Deep lacerations to the soft tissues in the mouth or the face
  • An abscess or infection that’s swollen and affecting breathing/swallowing

If you’re experiencing any of the problems above, seek medical attention at your local hospital, or call 911 immediately.

See the Dentist

There are many dental emergencies that are not life-threatening and do not need the attention of the hospital. However, they still may require quick care and they should always be checked out by your Woodbury dentist. Some emergencies that shouldn’t require hospital treatment include:

  • Broken or cracked teeth
  • A knocked out tooth
  • Toothache caused by decay or abscess

In situations like these, your dentist should be the first person you contact as they’ll be the best trained and best equipped to provide the treatment you need. Whether it’s a cracked tooth or a toothache, only your dentist has the proper technology and training to get your smile back to normal.


The best way to help avoid dental emergencies is prevention. Some of the easiest and most effective ways to keep dental problems away are probably things you already do, so keep doing them. For example, brush and floss everyday and make sure to keep up with your dental appointments. Additionally, make sure to always wear a mouthguard when playing sports and limit the amount of smile-damaging snacks like caramel and popcorn. By taking these precautions with your teeth, your chance of a dental problem decreases.

If you do happen to experience a dental emergency, please don’t hesitate to contact our Woodbury dental office as soon as you can. We’ll make sure to see you as soon as possible and we’ll work with you to resolve the problem. Just don’t wait. The best first step to fixing your smile is acting quickly before the problem gets worse. If you call when we are closed, the voicemail message will tell you how to reach Dr. Haag.

Serving patients in Woodbury, Cottage Grove, Stillwater, Maplewood, Oakdale, and Lake Elmo.