Emergency Dentistry

Don’t Assume Symptoms Get Better On Their Own

When a medical emergency strikes, most people know to call 911 or go to the emergency room. Unfortunately, the same level of urgency is not generally given to dental emergencies. By allowing dental symptoms to fester, they only cause worse issues and higher dental care costs without professional attention. For that reason, it’s essential that you give Dr. Vatavuk a call for emergency dentistry in Palo Alto, CA the moment you notice something isn’t quite right with your oral health.

Why Choose Branimir Vatavuk, DDS for Emergency Dentistry?

  • Same-Day Emergency Appointments Available
  • Partners with Reliable Local Dentist for Certain Cases
  • Caring Dentist That Listens and Prioritizes Your Comfort

How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies

Woman sharing healthy smile after emergency dentistry

The sooner you take steps to manage a dental emergency, the better your outcome may be. While we encourage you to give our dental office a call if you notice symptoms, you can also start taking steps to manage your dental emergency ahead of your appointment. Depending on the type of emergency you’re dealing with, the steps you take may vary. Give our tips below a look to reduce the risk of your dental emergency getting worse before you visit.


Man with toothache holding cheek

Dental floss can be used to remove food debris from in between teeth, assuming this is the culprit of your discomfort. If pain continues, take ibuprofen and apply a cold compress to your face for 10 minutes at a time. Remove and reapply the compress in 10-minute intervals, but do not apply it to your face for more than one hour.

Chipped/ Broken Teeth

Woman with chipped and broken teeth holding cheek in pain

Collect any pieces of your broken tooth and keep them in a container so you can bring them to our dental office. Take painkillers and use a cold compress to alleviate swelling. Avoid biting down to prevent accidentally cutting your oral tissue, especially if the fracture made your tooth pointed or sharp.

Knocked-Out Tooth

Woman with knocked out tooth covering her mouth

Locate the tooth as soon as you can and pick it up by the crown (top) portion only. Do not touch the root or remove any tissue still attached. Gently rinse the tooth of any dirt or debris with water, making sure not to scrub the tooth. Place the tooth back into your open socket if possible, or place it in a container of milk or saltwater. Get to our dental office within the hour.

Lost Filling/ Crown

Woman with lost filling or dental crown

Most loose restorations can be addressed during regular business hours. When a dental filling comes out, more often than not it needs to be replaced. Loose crowns may be temporarily reseated with dental cement or denture adhesive. However, this should not be considered a permanent solution.

How to Prevent Dental Emergencies

Mother and child brushing teeth to prevent dental emergencies

While some dental emergencies can’t be avoided, the majority of them can be when taking a few preventive steps every day. Reducing your risk for experiencing urgent dental problems typically includes:

  • Brushing twice a day and flossing every day
  • Maintaining routine dental checkups and cleanings twice a year
  • Wearing a nightguard if you grind your teeth while sleeping
  • Wearing a mouthguard if you participate in contact sports
  • Never using your teeth as a tool
  • Avoiding extremely hard or tough foods
  • Breaking bad habits like chewing on ice cubes, pens, pencils, or fingernails

Cost of Treating Dental Emergencies

Mother and child discussing cost of treating dental emergencies with dental team member

Dental emergencies can vary in cost because the treatments needed to address them can vary as well. While some issues like tooth pain may be easily resolved with a comprehensive cleaning and filling placement, toothaches could also be indicative of an infection that requires root canal therapy. No matter what your costs may be, you can expect our team to be fully transparent about our estimates ahead of time, break down all your options, and never force or pressure you into completing certain treatments.

Root Canal Therapy

Model of inside of healthy tooth and tooth in need of root canal therapy

In the event that you need to have root canal therapy performed, Dr. Vatavuk can refer you to an experienced endodontist that lives conveniently across the street from the dental office. While many people assume root canal therapy is painful or difficult to complete, treatment is relatively straightforward and essential to removing pain, not causing it. Following your treatment, you’ll come back to our dental office to have a permanent crown placed to protect your tooth from future damage or infection.

Tooth Extractions

Man and woman smiling after tooth extractions

Dr. Vatavuk only considers tooth extractions to be a last resort, but in some cases teeth can be too damaged to be salvageable. If this is the case, he can refer you to a trained and trusted oral surgeon that works within walking distance of the dental office. During tooth extractions, the tooth and surrounding area is numbed so that it can be gently rocked back and forth. This loosens it enough so it can be carefully removed from the jawbone.