Emergency Dentistry

Seattle Emergency Dental FAQ

This dental emergency information is provided for the patients of Northgate Smiles in Seattle to help with a dental emergency experienced outside of office hours. It is important to contact our Seattle dental office at your earliest convenience so your concern can be properly diagnosed and treated.

“I found Northgate Smiles online when I had a dental emergency and was looking for an office that specialized in treating people who have dental anxiety. Oh boy, am I glad I did!”


If you are experiencing a toothache, please call our dental office so we can give a diagnosis. Normally the cause will be due to decay entering the nerve area. If this is the case, a root canal will most likely be needed.

Do not place aspirin on the tooth. A temporary sedative filling can be found in the dental section of most Seattle drug stores. Place this over the “hole” to help alleviate symptoms. A numbing agent such as Orajel can also be placed on the tooth for temporary relief of dental pain.

In the case of a dental toothache an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or Aleve will help alleviate dental pain better than Tylenol or asprin as long as you do not have any allergies to these drugs or are not taking any other medications that may have side effects with ibuprofen or Aleve.


Dental swelling is usually due to an infection. If the swelling is causing you difficulty breathing or causes your eye to become swollen go directly to the hospital. It is likely you will need IV antibiotics.

Never put heat on a swollen area. This may cause the infection to spread more quickly.

Antibiotics will most likely be given and need to be taken as prescribed.

If you are calling after hours please have your pharmacy number ready.

Chipped or Fractured Tooth

If there is no pain or sensitivity, it is likely the fracture is not near or does not involve the nerve or the tooth may already be root canaled.

If you do experience dental sensitivity you can get a temporary sedative filling at your local drug store to place over the area to help with sensitivity until you can get into our office.

You will need to call our dental office to schedule an appointment to repair the fractured area. If the fracture is large it may require a crown to be placed over the tooth.

If the fracture is small it may only requre the area to be smoothed.

Temporary Crowns: Broken or Lost

If you are wearing a temporary that breaks and you cannot come into the dental office, you can get orthodontic wax at your local drug store or soften candle wax and place that over the tooth to cover the tooth. This will help with sensitivity until you can get to the office.

If the tooth has a root canal you will not experience any discomfort and you can leave the temporary off and return to the office at your earliest convenience.

If the temporary has fallen off but is intact go ahead and recement it with temporary cement that you can find at your local drug store in the dental section.

Clean the temporary prior to putting the cement inside and practice placing it on without the cement on first so you will know how it fits.

Tooth Knocked Out

If the tooth is accidentally knocked out and it is a permanent tooth, handle the tooth by the crown and not the root portion. Carefully rinse the tooth with cold water but do not scrub the tooth. Try to re-implant it immediately. If it is not possible, place the tooth in your mouth and keep it there until you can get to our office and we can re-implant it. You can also place it in a cup of milk, but holding it in your mouth is optimal.

Please schedule an appointment for a personal diagnosis about any of these issues. Our staff will schedule you as quickly as possible. See family dental.

Call (206)-362-1516 For An Appointment