Emergency Dentist – Scottsdale, AZ

Immediate Dental Care with Long-Term Results

Scottsdale emergency dentist treating a dental patient

At Shea Dental of Scottsdale, our team of experienced dentists understands that when dental emergencies happen, time is of the essence. This is why we offer same-day appointments so that you get the immediate dental care you need with the long-term results you deserve. From knocked-out teeth to lost dental crowns, our Scottsdale emergency dentists are equipped with the latest technology to deliver timely treatment you can count on. To learn more about our process, call our dental office today.

Why Choose Shea Dental of Scottsdale for Emergency Dentistry?

  • Same-Day Emergency Dental Appointments Available
  • Sedation Dentistry Used If Necessary
  • Serving Residents in Scottsdale for 30+ Years

How We Treat Dental Emergencies

Our team is ready to help the moment you call our office. When suffering a dental injury of any kind, we will work quickly to identify a time that you can come in to see Dr. Raiffe or another one of our skilled dentists. After listening to your concerns and evaluating the situation, we’ll provide first-aid tips you can use at home to minimize pain and protect your damaged smile until you reach our office.

When you arrive, you’ll be escorted to an operatory, where we will take digital images of your smile and perform a thorough examination to pinpoint the problem area. After reviewing our findings, we’ll begin to craft a treatment plan that incorporates how we expect to address the issue most comfortably and conveniently.

We’ll then begin to administer treatment so that you are no longer in pain and can walk out of our office with a healthier, damage-free smile.

The Most Common Dental Emergencies

There are countless types of dental emergencies that you can sustain; however, you may be unaware if what you’re experiencing is worthy of a visit to your dentist’s office. Our team at Shea Dental of Scottsdale wants you to have peace of mind, which is why you will find a list of common dental injuries that we treat below. From learning how to care for the problem at home to how we will address it in our office, feel free to review the provided information and give us a call with any questions.


Is my toothache a dental emergency?: Some cases of tooth pain are more dire than others. A toothache should be treated as an emergency situation if any of the following is true:

  • The pain has lasted for more than a day.
  • The pain is especially severe.
  • You are experiencing tooth sensitivity that doesn’t go away after 30 seconds.
  • A small bump has appeared on the gums near where the tooth is located.
  • You are experiencing swelling, fever, or fatigue.

If your toothache is the result of a serious dental issue, having it diagnosed and treated by a professional as soon as possible is of the utmost importance.

How you should handle a toothache: Floss around the tooth carefully; this is to get rid of any bits of food that might be contributing to the discomfort. If the toothache persists, take ibuprofen or a similar over-the-counter painkiller. In cases where swelling is present, apply a cold compress to the area for fifteen minutes at a time.

How we treat toothaches: We’ll take X-rays and examine the tooth in order to identify the underlying cause of your toothache. If we discover signs of an infection, we may determine that a root canal treatment is required. Our team will take whatever steps are necessary to stop your pain while allowing you to save your tooth; however, a tooth extraction may be required in certain situations.

Chipped Tooth

Is a chipped tooth a dental emergency?: A chipped tooth is not a dental issue that necessarily requires immediate attention; it is often fine to wait a few days for treatment. That said, you shouldn’t delay calling our office for too long, as the damage could easily grow worse if it’s ignored for an extended period of time.

How you should handle a chipped tooth: As soon as you realize the tooth has been damaged, check to see if you can locate any big pieces that have broken off so that you can bring them with you to your appointment. Rinse with water to get rid of lingering shards that may still be in your mouth. Avoid chewing with the tooth so that you don’t risk injuring it further.

How we treat chipped teeth: Minor chips can often be repaired with dental bonding, which is where we apply small amounts of composite material to damaged areas of the enamel. Another option is to cover the chipped tooth with a lifelike, personalized veneer. The treatment we recommend will depend on the state of the tooth and how visible it is when you smile.

Cracked Tooth

Is a cracked tooth a dental emergency?: Cracks in your enamel aren’t always obvious, but even relatively minor damage might leave the tooth vulnerable to infection. If your tooth has been cracked (or if you have noticed signs of a crack that you can’t see, such as sensitivity in a specific tooth), call us immediately to schedule an appointment.

How you should handle a cracked tooth: To protect the tooth in question from harmful bacteria, you should rinse your mouth with water at regular intervals. If you need to eat before your emergency appointment, do not use the damaged tooth for chewing. You can cover an especially sensitive tooth with dental wax or a bit of sugar-free gum.

How we treat cracked teeth: Cracked teeth don’t heal by themselves, but it’s often possible for us to repair them. We often recommend having a dental crown placed to restore a tooth that has suffered from extensive damage. Rest assured that we will do what we can to save the tooth; an extraction will only be recommended if there’s no other choice.   

Very Sensitive Teeth

Are Very Sensitive Teeth a Dental Emergency?

Although tooth sensitivity can be unsettling and annoying, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a dental emergency on your hands. It could be that you have a cavity that needs to be treated before it becomes a full-blown toothache, or it could simply be a sign that your enamel is wearing thin in certain spots.

How You Should Handle Very Sensitive Teeth

Try to recognize what triggers your sensitivity. Does it only strike when you have something cold or hot? Does it ping when you eat something hard? If it advances to pain or makes eating too uncomfortable or difficult, it’s time to make an appointment.

How We Treat Very Sensitive Teeth 

If we find tooth decay on your sensitive tooth, we will remove the cavity, perhaps through root canal treatment. Afterward, we will place a dental crown to protect the tooth from future damage and infection. If your teeth are healthy, we may recommend using a toothpaste specially formulated for sensitivity.

Knocked-Out Tooth

Is My Knocked-Out Tooth a Dental Emergency?

Few things are as alarming as having a tooth come out completely, and it really is an urgent situation. You should definitely call our office right away and try to arrive within an hour of the injury for the best chances of re-implantation. There is a limited time in which the tooth can be saved, so you need to act fast!

How You Should Handle a Knocked-Out Tooth

When you pick up or touch the tooth, try to avoid contact with the root portion. Only touch the crown or top part of the tooth. After you gently rinse it off with clean water, you should at least try to put the tooth back into position. If it goes in, gently keep your upper and lower teeth together to hold it securely. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, please place it between your cheek and gums or in a container of milk.

How We Treat Knocked-Out Teeth 

Unless you’ve already done so, we will try to reposition the tooth in the socket. To stabilize it, we may put a splint in your mouth, which is an appliance that temporarily anchors the insecure tooth to the surrounding ones. Unfortunately, in some cases, we are unable to save it and must discuss replacement options, namely a dental bridge or implant, but rest assured that we will do everything we can to rescue the natural tooth.

Lost Filling or Crown

Is a Lost Filling or Crown a Dental Emergency?

Yes, losing a filling or crown qualifies as a dental emergency because the tooth underneath becomes more vulnerable to oral bacteria and infection. Plus, it can’t bite or chew as it should without the restoration. Therefore, if you experience this situation, you should call us immediately!

How You Should Handle a Lost Filling or Crown

After finding the filling or crown, gently rinse it with clean water, and put a small dab of toothpaste on it before placing it back onto the tooth. This will hold for a short while, but it is just a temporary solution. If you can’t find your restoration, you may cover your exposed tooth with some sugar-free gum.

How We Treat Lost Fillings or Crowns 

Although it’s uncommon, in certain scenarios, we may be able to reattach the filling or crown. Most of the time, however, the restoration is damaged or old enough that it needs to be replaced with a new one. After inspecting your tooth and your filling or crown, we can let you know which is the best option.

Broken Dentures

Is My Broken Denture a Dental Emergency?

Yes, broken dentures are considered an urgent dental issue because you will not be able to use them to eat or function. This matter must be addressed as soon as possible.

How You Should Handle a Broken Denture

Do not attempt to wear your broken dentures or repair them yourself with superglue or another adhesive. The damaged dentures could harm your mouth and tissues, and most of the adhesive products available are not formulated for oral use.

How We Treat Broken Dentures

Most of the time, broken dentures must be replaced with a new set, unless the damage to them is very slight. In this case, we may be able to make minor adjustments to fix them in our office. But otherwise, a new set of dentures will give you the comfort and function you need.

Learn More about Dentures

Loose Permanent Tooth

Is a Loose Permanent Tooth a Dental Emergency?

After all your baby teeth have come out, your teeth shouldn’t feel loose anymore. If one does, it could indicate that you’ve sustained an oral injury or have an infection or another problem that should be addressed sooner rather than later.

How You Should Handle Loose Permanent Teeth

After calling us for an appointment, you need to try to keep the tooth stable. As you brush and floss your teeth, be extra careful around the loose tooth. You may wish to rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash or with warm saltwater to further keep your mouth clean. Stay away from sugary foods and beverages as well as hard or crunchy foods that could disturb it.

How We Treat Loose Permanent Teeth

If your tooth is loose because of a gum infection, it must be treated in order to save the tooth. Depending on the circumstances, we may put a splint on the tooth to keep it steady while the tissues reattach. However, if we are unable to save the tooth, we will then discuss your replacement options.

Learn More about Tooth Replacement

Injury to the Gums, Lips, or Tongue

Is an Injury to the Gums, Lips, or Tongue a Dental Emergency?

A soft tissue injury could be an emergency under certain circumstances. Small bleeding injuries probably don’t need to be examined professionally, but in more severe cases, we do need to make sure that there isn’t additional damage to your oral tissues and structures as a result of the injury.

How You Should Handle an Injury to the Gums, Lips, or Tongue

Your first task is to control any bleeding with a clean cloth or gauze. If it continues and doesn’t seem to slow down after 10 minutes, go to the emergency room. Otherwise, contact us and come to our office for evaluation.

How We Treat Injuries to the Gums, Lips, or Tongue

If necessary, we can provide stitches for your soft tissue injury, and we will make sure your jawbone, teeth, and other oral structures are healthy and safe.

Jaw Pain

Is Jaw Pain a Dental Emergency?

Jaw pain could be a symptom of multiple issues, some urgent, others not. It could be a deep cavity, which needs to be treated as soon as possible, or a problem with the jaw joint, which could potentially wait until your next checkup appointment if the discomfort is bearable.

How You Should Handle Jaw Pain

Pay attention to your symptoms. Does it hurt anytime you open your mouth, or does it hurt more when you eat something sweet, cold, or hot? How severe is the pain? Is it getting worse? Is it preventing you from eating and functioning? Depending on your answers, it could be time to reach out to us for an appointment.

How We Treat Jaw Pain

If you feel pain in your jaw as a result of tooth decay, we can remove the cavity and restore the tooth with a filling or dental crown or even through root canal treatment. For issues with the jaw joint, we may provide an oral appliance that can help alleviate stress on the muscles and relieve discomfort.

Something Stuck Between the Teeth

The tiny spaces between your teeth are, unfortunately, great places for bits of food to become lodged as you eat. Leaving these stuck pieces not only invites plaque and cavities to form but also places force onto your teeth, potentially leading to shifting. As a result, you need to remove the stuck bit with floss. Do not try to pry it out with a toothpick or sharp object—you could end up harming your gums or teeth. If you cannot dislodge the piece from between your teeth through flossing, give us a call for assistance.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Emergencies

Dentist and patient looking at computer monitor together

Many patients who suffer dental emergencies often wonder if it’s worth visiting a dentist for help. They may be afraid of the potential cost of such treatment. What our team at Shea Dental of Scottsdale wants you to know is that it is always better to seek professional help than to forgo care and allow the problem to worsen. The cost of dental emergencies is never the same, so it is only once we can evaluate the issue that we will be able to provide a more thorough estimate for you to review.

Keys to Preventing Dental Emergencies

Dental patient in sunglasses and dental bib grinning wide

Accidental impact with a ball or another person while playing sports is hard to prevent; however, cavities, gum disease, and infection are all dental problems that can be avoided. If you want to minimize your chances of spending time in the dentist’s chair for a dental emergency, consider these tips to lower your risk:

  • Practice good oral hygiene at home. This includes brushing your teeth twice each day, flossing at least once, and rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash.
  • Wear a customized mouthguard to reduce the risk of injury to your teeth and gums. One can be created for you if you are engaged in sports and/or if you grind your teeth while you sleep.
  • Eat healthy foods that are full of vital nutrients. A diet full of leafy greens, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, and plenty of fruits and vegetables will prove beneficial not only for your smile but also for your body.
  • Give up unhealthy habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Also, do not bite your fingernails or eat ice, as these, too, can damage your teeth.
  • Keep your six-month dental checkups and teeth cleanings with your dentist to ensure that your smile is properly cared for throughout the year and that no additional issues are forming that could hinder your overall well-being.

Same-Day Emergency Dental Care Available

Doctor Raiffe showing a patient digital images of their jaws and teeth

At Shea Dental of Scottsdale, we understand that dental emergencies never strike at a convenient time. Our team strives to be available when patients need us most, which is why we offer same-day emergency care so that dental pain can be relieved as quickly as possible. Please contact us if you’re in need of an emergency dentist in Scottsdale.