Emergency Dental Care

Emergencies Happen – We’re Here to Help


Emergency dental care is something we’re happy to offer. We know emergencies by definition are unexpected and have no time preference. When you chip or break a tooth you not only may feel discomfort, but you might feel anxious and fearful. If you’re in extreme pain and the issue is medically serious or life-threatening you should call 911 or go directly to an emergency room.

If it doesn’t require a trip to the emergency room but needs immediate attention call our number at 860-563-3303 and you’ll be connected to Dr. Hemphill’s staff or on-call service.  We don’t want you scrambling to find an emergency dentist when you need us most.

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What is Emergency Dental Care?

It may be difficult to know with confidence if what you’re experiencing is a dental emergency or can wait.  It’s even harder to make that decision when you’re in pain or feeling anxiety. 

All of the following may be considered dental emergencies.

  • Severe Toothaches / Tooth Pain
  • Chipped or Broken Teeth with pain
  • Knocked out teeth due to trauma
  • Swelling of the face or throat

Tooth Pain

Tooth pain comes in various forms including:

  • Sharp stabbing pain around your tooth
  • Throbbing pain that feels like your tooth has a heartbeat
  • Inflammation around the tooth, usually the gum line
  • Red and irritated gums that sometimes bleed
  • General mouth pain with a difficult to locate the origin

Toothaches are a distressing feeling, and you can’t always get directly to a dentist.  There are few things you can do until you see us. These are not permanent solutions.  The purpose is to give you relief until you’re able to see Dr. Hemphill.

Salt and warm water – This a common remedy that is fast and easy to do. Nearly everyone has salt and water. Warm salt water has been known to provide relief for toothaches because the solution will draw out the fluids from the gums that are causing the irritation and help reduce the aching sensation. Mix a single tablespoon (1 tbsp.) of salt in a glass of warm water, then rinse and swish the solution around your mouth for several minutes, repeating if necessary. More information about emergency dental care for toothaches/tooth pain can be found here.


Avulsion & Subluxation

Avulsion is a word that describes the complete displacement of a tooth from the socket due to trauma.  An avulsed tooth is a true dental emergency. If your tooth gets knocked out there are several things you should do before you get into our office.

  • Try your best to keep calm
  • If you can find the knocked out tooth, pick it up by the crown (the white part). Avoid touching the root.
  • If the tooth is dirty, wash it for about 3-5 seconds under cold running water.
  • Try to replant the tooth if possible. You can bite on a handkerchief to hold it in position.
  • If you are unable to replant the tooth place the tooth in a glass of milk. You can also keep it in your mouth between your molars and the inside of your cheek – just don’t swallow it.
  • AVOID storage in straight water or allow it to dry out
  • Call the office and see Dr. Hemphill ASAP.

Subluxation is a word that describes a traumatic injury in which the tooth has increased mobility, or is loosened, but has not been knocked out or completely displaced from the jawbone.  You may notice bleeding, increased mobility, and sensitivity to touch with a subluxation. A loose tooth is much less concerning than one that’s been knocked out, but you should still see us to make sure the damage is not significant. Oftentimes no treatment is required depending on the severity.

For more details about avulsion and subluxation emergency dental go here.

Broken Teeth

Teeth are remarkably strong, but they can chip, crack, or break. This can happen from biting down on something hard, being hit in the face or mouth, falling, having cavities that weaken the tooth.

When your tooth chips or breaks, it may not even hurt. Usually, you’ll be able to use your tongue to feel the sharp area created by the broken tooth. Minor tooth fractures usually don’t cause pain, but when larger pieces of tooth break off, it can hurt. If it hurts, this could be a sign that the nerve inside the tooth has been damaged. When the nerve endings in the dentin are exposed to air, hot or cold foods and drinks you’ll likely feel extreme discomfort.

The best thing to do if you have a broken or chipped tooth is to get into the office and see Dr. Hemphill as soon as you can. Learn more about common types of broken teeth and ways to avoid broken teeth.


What Our Patients Say

  • patient-review
    West Hill Family Dental has been serving my entire family for 10 years. They have always been great and treat us like family. I will continue to use them because of the high level of care and comfortable atmosphere.
    Jim Barilla
  • patient-review
    Today was my first visit with West Hill Family dental. The staff was awesome! So warm and welcoming! I felt at home the moment I walked in the door. Melissa (hygienist) was awesome and very sweet. Dr. Hemphill was very personable. I am a nervous Nelly with the dentist but they really helped me feel comfortable.
    Nicole Sousa Ribeiro
  • Jorge Gallo
    "Going to the Dentist," isn't something most folks look forward to. Fortunately, the Team at West Hill Family Dental makes that experience an enjoyable event with a friendly, thoughtful and genuinely concerned approach to both routine care and one-off emergencies. The atmosphere is relaxed and positive; everything from scheduling to changes is accommodated with little fuss and a genuine enthusiasm to see you at the next opportunity. And the overall quality of care, execution and attention to customer needs are unmatched by most practices, and certainly by the cookie-cutter pop-ups that abound elsewhere. Highly recommended, family-oriented and very professional in every aspect of care and delivery - they're definitely on the list of recommendations to new residents and neighbors!
    Jorge Gallo
  • patient-review
    In the past I have had bad experiences with dentist and I have switch many times and I think I have finally found my forever home. Kim and Monica at the front desk are amazing they make sure that if you have any concerns, they will accommodate you in any way they can. They also socialize with you which makes visiting the dentist feel like visiting family. This is by far the best dentist I've ever been to and would recommend them to anyone.
    Ivy M.
  • patient-review
    Dr.Robert Hemphill and his staff are so friendly.I was very nervous to get my treatment done,doctor made me understand and kept me calm.I always walk out happy, feeling I have seen the BEST doctor who took care of my dental treatment.Kinga the dental assistant is so kind and helpful,Kim such a lovely person always smiling and happy,Monica is superb too, she calls and double confirms the appointment so that I don’t forget. Thank you once again.
    Savy Sri

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