Emergency Dentistry Washington, DC

In a dental emergency, call Foxhall Smiles at 202-315-2188. Dr. Joseph A. Catanzano III and his team can discuss your options over the phone or schedule you for an emergency visit to our Washington, D.C. dental office.

If your emergency happens during business hours, call our office to discuss your concerns and schedule an appointment. Even if your emergency occurs after hours, we will return your message ASAP and attempt to schedule your appointment the next business day.

Emergency Dentistry Washington, DC broken tooth

What’s a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency is any dental occurrence that requires immediate attention and can’t wait for your scheduled regular checkup. They can happen to anyone at any time, even if you take good care of your smile. A car accident, sports, or a fall can all cause a dental emergency.

It’s important to seek treatment immediately for a dental emergency. It alleviates pain and discomfort and can help prevent complications from happening. Without treatment, dental emergencies impact the entire surrounding area in your mouth. Emergency care preserves and restores the impacted area.

Emergency Dental Care

A dental emergency can encompass many different things. Some of the most common dental emergencies include the following:


A toothache is the most common dental emergency. Any number of things can cause tooth pain, so it’s important for us to diagnose the root cause and ensure we provide the proper treatment. Trauma, an abscess, or severe tooth decay can all be the issue. If you didn’t have a direct hit to know the exact cause, we’ll need to diagnose the problem. The cause of your tooth pain may be invisible to the human eye but show up with diagnostic tools like digital imaging.

Knocked-Out Tooth

If you get in an accident or take a hit playing sports without proper protective equipment, a tooth can completely dislodge a tooth from its socket. While it’s easy to panic, you want to follow the recommended steps in the FAQs section to have the highest chance of salvaging your tooth. We may be able to reimplant the tooth to preserve the natural tooth structure and keep the benefits of that natural structure included.

Broken Teeth

Trauma may not fully knock out your tooth — it may just break it instead. If a large portion of the tooth breaks off, it can be very painful because dental nerves are exposed. Exposed dental pulp also means it’s susceptible to bacteria and infection. Solutions like dental bonding or dental crowns treat broken teeth and ensure the broken tooth doesn’t deteriorate any further.

Broken Dental Restoration

Restorations like dentures or dental bridges are durable, but they can still break under the right circumstances. A broken restoration is an emergency when it’s something that you rely on to live your everyday life properly. You don’t normally have a backup set of dentures in case one breaks. You need an intact, well-fitting dental restoration to keep up your regular lifestyle.

Emergency Dental Procedures

We perform various procedures to provide emergency dental care at our office. They include the following:

Pain Relief

Pain is one of the top signs and symptoms of a dental emergency. We need to get your pain under control to keep you comfortable and allow us to focus on diagnosis and treatment. We can provide a local anesthetic and recommend taking over-the-counter painkillers. If the pain and condition are severe, we may give you a prescription for stronger pain medication.

Dental Bonding

Bonding is a versatile dental treatment we use for cracked or broken teeth. We apply a malleable, tooth-colored resin directly to the impacted area. Bonding immediately relieves your problem and only requires one appointment for complete treatment. It restores both the shape and functionality of the tooth.

Root Canal Treatment

Root canals treat deep infections and decay in the tooth. When you need a root canal, the dental pulp at the tooth’s center is infected, inflamed, and painful. We remove and replace this infected pulp with a biocompatible material to preserve your tooth’s functionality. Root canals often provide immediate relief because you no longer have an infection to deal with.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are often the last resort for severe damage or tooth decay before we need to extract the natural tooth. We apply a temporary dental crown to give you immediate relief while we craft a new, permanent restoration for your tooth. Crowns cover the complete tooth and keep it contained, making it an ideal choice for many dental problems.

Tooth Reimplantation

If you seek immediate care, we can reimplant a knocked-out tooth. We’ll clean the tooth thoroughly, reposition it in the socket, and use dental splints to keep it in place. The quicker you come to us with your dental emergency, the more likely it is that reimplantation will be successful.

However, if we cannot reimplant the tooth, we have multiple tooth replacement options. Dental implants both look and feel the most like your natural teeth. We recommend this option whenever possible. Our office also provides dentures and dental bridges as alternatives to dental implants.

Dental Emergency FAQs

Dental emergencies need to be treated immediately. Learn more by reading the answers to these frequently asked questions.

What do I do in the event of a dental emergency?

Call Dr. Catanzano’s office as soon as possible. Seeking immediate treatment is the most effective choice because many dental concerns worsen over time. If you are experiencing a dire emergency, dial 911.

What do I do if my tooth gets knocked out?

If your tooth has been knocked out, contact our dentist office immediately. Try to remain as calm as possible. If you can find the tooth, retrieve it and gently rinse it off. Place it in a cup of saliva or milk to transport it to us. A tooth that is preserved like this may be replaced within one hour of loss. Dental implants, dental bridges, and dentures can replace the missing tooth if it cannot be rescued.

What do I do if I am feeling severe tooth pain?

You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever to improve symptoms. In severe cases, your pain may be caused by tooth decay or an abscess. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Catanzano if the pain persists, and apply a cold compress if you are experiencing swelling. We need to determine the root cause of the tooth pain, as there are many different things that it may be.

What do I do if an object is stuck between my teeth?

Do not use sharp objects to try to remove the object as it may damage the tooth or gums. Gently floss between the teeth to see if this can remove the object. Contact our office if you can not remove the object.

What do I do if my dental crown or filling breaks or falls out?

Contact Foxhall Smiles. We can construct and fit you with a new dental restoration. Do not attempt to reglue your restoration or touch your crown or filling. If it’s knocked out onto the ground, we always recommend that you bring it into the office so that we can take a look.

What do I do if my denture or dental bridge breaks?

Schedule an appointment at our office and bring the broken appliance if possible. Dr. Catanzano will help you to determine the best treatment plan. We can repair the restoration and return it to you in rare cases. However, we’ll most likely start the process of replacing your restoration with a new one.

Schedule an Appointment

Call Dr. Catanzano and his team at 202-315-2188. If you do not have a dental emergency, you can request an appointment with us on our website. We also provide general dentistry services to the public.