Dental emergency services in San Diego

Some dental issues can wait until your next regular appointment, and some may require a soon-as-possible appointment to address. But there is another category of serious dental concerns that are classified as emergencies and require immediate attention. At University Dental, we can help with a wide range of emergency dental services.


What is considered a dental emergency?

Most dental emergencies are the result of an injury, but not all. Emergencies can also include infections and failed restorations that cause severe pain. Examples of dental emergencies include:

  • Broken or knocked-out tooth after an injury
  • Cracked or fractured tooth that causes severe pain
  • Chipped tooth with sharp edges that cause further trauma in the mouth
  • Loose or lost restorations (crowns, bridges, veneers, etc.) that cause severe pain
  • Toothache that is not alleviated by over-the-counter pain medication
  • Toothache that radiates pain to the jaw, ear and neck
  • Toothache accompanied by fever or swollen lymph nodes
  • Severe tissue injury inside the mouth
  • Swelling in the mouth or facial area after an injury
  • Bulges, swelling or knots/abscesses on the gums


What is not considered a dental emergency?

While some dental issues are serious enough to warrant same-day treatment, others might be able to wait for an appointment in a few days or a week. Urgent dental concerns that are not quite emergencies include:

  • Minimally chipped or cracked tooth 
  • Toothache without swelling that can be relieved with pain medication
  • Lost or broken restoration that does not cause severe pain




 Dental emergency first aid

Even if you are able to see a dentist the same day for a dental emergency, you can reduce pain and prevent additional damage with first aid at home. A cold compress should help bring down swelling, and over-the-counter pain relievers along with topical clove oil can help alleviate pain. If your emergency involves bleeding, you should apply gentle pressure to the wound using sterile gauze. For broken restorations such as crowns and bridges, you can temporarily hold them in place with denture adhesive or sugar-free gum. For knocked-out teeth, rinse your mouth and tooth gently, taking care not to damage any tissue still attached to the root. You can either place your tooth back in the socket or store it in a container of milk and bring it to the dentist.


Dental emergency procedures during the Covid-19 pandemic

  • During stay-at-home orders and the gradual reopening of businesses, University Dental is offering dental emergency services with heightened sanitizing and distancing measures in place:
    • All staff members are wearing N95 masks, individually-fitted with the 3M kit, along with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
    • Dental chairs are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each use, and not used again for at least 3 hours.
    • Exam stations include a special aerosol suction device with UV chamber.
    • Only one patient will be accommodated at a time in the office, with a maximum of 8 patients per day.
    • Patients are seen by appointment only, and screened over the phone to determine the emergency as well as general health conditions.

Request an Appointment

    If you are experiencing a dental emergency, University Dental is here to help. Give us a call at (619) 582-4224 to schedule an emergency consultation.