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Emergency Dentistry – Houston, TX

Same-Day, Pain-Relieving Treatment for Dental Emergencies


Dental emergencies always happen at the most shocking and least convenient moments possible. In those situations, it’s important to try to be prepared, which is why we suggest that all of our patients have our phone number in their cellphone so they can quickly get ahold of us. Even if we’re not open, there will be a number for you to call that will connect you with Dr. Johnson on our voicemail. We’ll work quickly and effectively to provide you with the pain-relieving, reliable emergency dentsitry in our Houston, TX dental office that you need in these overwhelming situations.

Why Choose Downtown Houston Dental for Emergency Dentistry?

  • Fast & Effective Emergency Dental Care
  • In-Network with Most Insurance Plans
  • Streamlined & Precise Treatments

How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies

Woman in need of emergency dentistry holding her cheek

If you find yourself in the midst of a dental emergency, the first thing you should always do is contact our dental office. Our team will provide you with first-aid guidance over the phone to keep your smile from sustaining additional damage and minimize your pain. We’ve also included some helpful tips below on how to handle the most common dental emergencies until you reach our dental office.

Man with toothache holding his cheek


Toothaches are a common sign of infections that have developed beneath your enamel and attacked the pulp of your tooth. To ease the pain, you can take an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen. If you notice any swelling, you can place a cold compress on the area for 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off, for up to an hour.

Closeup of smile with chipped front tooth

Chipped/Broken Tooth

If you’re able to retrieve the broken-off portion of your tooth, rinse it off and bring it to your appointment with you. If the damage has created a jagged edge, you can place a piece of orthodontic wax over it to keep it from scraping or damaging the inside of your cheeks or lips.

Woman with knocked out tooth covering her face

Knocked-Out Tooth

Pick up your knocked-out tooth, being sure to only handle it by the biting surface, and gently rinse it under a cool stream of water. Store it in a sealable container of milk or salt water to keep the tooth viable and bring it with you to your appointment. Try to get to our dental office within an hour of your accident so we have a better chance of successfully re-planting it into its socket.

Man with lost filling looking at his mouth

Lost Filling/ Crown

If you’re able to find your filling or crown, you can rinse it off and temporarily place it back on your tooth using a dab of denture adhesive or toothpaste. It’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t a permanent solution to the issue, and you’ll need to have your restoration professionally replaced or repaired to avoid a tooth infection.

Woman with jaw pain holder her cheek

Head/Neck/Jaw Pain

Intense head and neck pain or lockjaw are all common symptoms of TMJ dysfunction, which is a condition that occurs because your jaw joints are sustaining too much tension or force, causing them to become strained. Dr. Johnson offers customized TMJ therapy to help relax your jaw joints and minimize symptoms of your condition.

Learn More About TMJ/TMD Therapy

How to Prevent Dental Emergencies

Mother and child flossing teeth to prevent dental emergencies

Although there’s no way you can completely avoid experiencing a dental emergency, there are some preventive steps you can take to reduce your risk of ending up in your emergency dentist’s office. Some of these include:

  • Visiting Dr. Johnson every six months for checkups and cleanings.
  • Avoid using your teeth to open bottles or rip off price tags.
  • Maintain a healthy and nutritious diet.
  • Stay hydrated with water rather than sugary beverages.
  • Protect your teeth from grinding and clenching.

The Cost of Treating Dental Emergencies

Father and daughter checking in at dental office

The cost of your emergency dental treatment will depend on what issue you face, how far it has progressed, and what procedure you require to address it. We can determine all of these factors once we’ve had a chance to examine your teeth and gums. As soon as we diagnose the problem, we’ll walk you through all of your treatment options and discuss pricing with you. Our goal is to make receiving dentistry as streamlined and easy as possible, which is why we’re in-network with most dental insurance plans and are happy to file claims for out-of-network patients as well.

Root Canals

Animated smile during root canal therapy

Dr. Johnson is able to perform most root canal procedures himself, in-office, allowing us to quickly treat your infection and cure your pain. Even though this treatment has a notorious reputation, rest-assured that it’s virtually pain-free. We’ll remove the infected pulp inside your tooth, sanitize the area, rebuild the structure of your tooth with a substance called gutta percha, and finally, top it off with a durable dental crown for added protection. That way, you can continue using your natural pearly white as you normally would without feeling any discomfort.

Tooth Extractions

Hand holding three extracted teeth

Our team realizes that there’s no substitution that can compare to your natural teeth, which is why we try to save them at all costs. However, in some situations where a tooth is severely damaged beyond repair, extracting it may be the best option to save your oral health. Fortunately, our team offers several different tooth replacement solutions to restore your smile so you can enjoy a completed and healthy grin.

Dental Emergency FAQs

woman talking to her emergency dentist in Houston

Saying dental emergencies are stressful is a bit of an understatement. They essentially stop your day in its tracks until you can get the treatment you need. To make your situation a little less worrying, we’ve included the answers to some commonly asked questions about emergency dentistry below. If you don’t find the information you’re looking for on this page, you can always call our office to learn more about we can get your smile back to normal again!

Should I visit the emergency room first for dental emergencies?

You might be tempted to make a beeline for the nearest emergency room if your tooth is infected, broken, or dislodged. However, most ERs don’t have trained dentists on staff. As a result, the most they can do is treat your symptoms with pain medication, but they cannot address the root cause of your issue. In fact, they’ll probably refer you to a dentist anyway, meaning you’ll have wasted precious time and money!

More often than not, you’re better off visiting an emergency dentist in Houston if you need urgent dental care. The only exceptions would be if your jaw is fractured or dislocated, you have deep lacerations in your mouth or on your face, or if swelling is making it hard to breathe or swallow.

Will my toothache go away on its own?

As a rule of thumb, toothaches do NOT go away on their own. If the toothache is due to irritation in the gums outside of the tooth, then the pain may fade. However, teeth cannot repair themselves after they have become infected or damaged.

There are many possible reasons why a tooth might hurt, and you won’t know for sure until you have your mouth examined by a dentist. Just to be on the safe side, it’s better to schedule an appointment sooner rather than later. Otherwise, the damage may worsen to the point that you require a more expensive and invasive procedure.

Are toothpicks safe to use?

Despite their name, toothpicks are generally unsafe to use, especially if they’re made of wood. It’s all too easy to accidentally scratch your teeth or soft tissues. Wooden toothpicks can splinter and break off inside your mouth, causing severe damage. You might even swallow them, which can be fatal. If an object is trapped between your teeth, avoid using a toothpick except as a last resort. Give us a call instead; we have the technology and skills to safely remove the object.

Does emergency dentistry cost more?

You’ll be pleased to know that an initial emergency exam is actually fairly inexpensive. However, the procedures commonly used to treat dental emergencies are usually more restorative than preventive in nature. This means that they’re not eligible for as much insurance coverage as routine services like cleanings.

That being said, you should NEVER let worries about cost deter you from seeking treatment for a dental emergency in Houston. Over time, the emergency will almost definitely get worse and necessitate an even costlier treatment. Our practice welcomes dental insurance and can even provide you with low- to no-interest financing to help you save your smile without breaking the bank.