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Emergency Dentistry – Portales, NM

We’re Here When You Need Us

Have you found yourself suddenly dealing with a dental emergency? Call us immediately! A true dental emergency isn’t something that happens when you expect it, but you can certainly have a plan in place for the worst-case scenario, and that plan should involve visiting Dr. Thompson and the rest of our team as soon as possible. Our state-of-the-art dental office is equipped to deal with many different emergencies, and we’ll do all we can to see you as quickly as possible should you require urgent care. We're happy to provide same day emergency dentistry in Portales, NM.

Why Choose Peter L. Thompson, DDS for Emergency Dentistry?

  • IV Sedation Dentistry Offered for Lengthier Treatments
  • Same-Day Appointments Available for Emergencies
  • One Stop for Comprehensive Dental Care

How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies

Did you lose or break a tooth during a sudden accident? Does your mouth suddenly hurt after years of not brushing or flossing properly? Dental emergencies don’t all fall under one category, but they do have one thing in common: they need to be treated as soon as possible! When you call, please explain what happened and let us know what symptoms you’ve noticed so that we can give you useful first aid advice. Some generalized tips are listed below.

Man with toothache in need of emergency dentistry holding cheek


Tooth pain can point to a variety of issues, including a pulp infection that will require a root canal. Take ibuprofen or another kind of pain medication to control your discomfort. You should also floss around the tooth in question; sometimes a toothache is actually a result of food particles getting trapped in your smile, and getting rid of them could cause the pain to subside.

Closeup of smile with chipped front tooth

Chipped/Broken Tooth

We need to examine dental injuries immediately. Sometimes dental damage is just a cosmetic problem, while in other cases it might lead to an extraction. In any case, you shouldn’t chew with the damaged tooth until it has been evaluated. Cover jagged edges with sugar-free gum or dental wax to protect your mouth in the meantime.

Woman with knocked out tooth covering her mouth

Knocked-Out Tooth

Your tooth will have the best chance of survival if you get to our dental office within an hour. Pick it up by the crown and not the pointed root. Rinse off any debris, but do not scrub the tooth; you don’t want to kill the living cells on the root. Try to put it back in its socket if you can, or place it in a container of milk.

Man with lost filling checking his smile in mirror

Lost Filling/Crown

Reattach the lost restoration with a dab of toothpaste if you can. This way, the tooth will still receive some level of protection until your emergency appointment. If you can’t put the restoration back for whatever reason, then you might consider applying clove oil to the exposed area to lessen sensitivity.

Head/Neck/Jaw Pain

An injured, misaligned, or otherwise dysfunctional jaw joint can lead to pain throughout the jaw, head, face, and neck. Treating your TMJ disorder directly instead of just the symptoms is essential if you want to find long-term relief. If there’s a problem with the way the upper and lower arches of teeth come together, we can perform occlusal adjustments so that they meet at the same point around the mouth, thus distributing the pressures of your bite properly. We can also provide occlusal splints, which are special oral appliances that adjust the jaw to help it find a more comfortable resting position.

How to Prevent Dental Emergencies

Mother and child brushing teeth to prevent dental emergencies

You cannot guarantee that a dental emergency will never happen, but taking the basic steps to protect your smile can go a long way. Naturally, this means brushing, flossing, and attending regular dental checkups to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. To protect your teeth from injury, avoid biting down on hard items like ice or pen tips, and never use your mouth to open packages. If you play sports, ask us for a protective mouthguard.

The Cost of Treating Dental Emergencies

Dental exam room

Our goal during an emergency visit is to identify the source of your pain and develop a treatment plan that relieves your discomfort and repairs the damage as quickly as possible. Once we have an idea of what kind of treatment you require, we can explain the costs to you and go over your payment options. Remember, the final cost of your care will vary depending on the nature of your emergency; some cases require more complex care than others.

Root Canal Therapy

Model tooth in need of root canal therapy

Root canal therapy is not the frightening procedure that its reputation would lead you to believe it is. It causes no more pain than a traditional filling procedure; in fact, the whole point of the treatment is to stop the pain that is being caused by a dental infection. By removing decayed or damaged pulp, we can not only stop your toothache, but we can also save your tooth from a potential extraction. A crown or filling will be placed afterwards to protect the tooth.

Tooth Extractions

Three extracted teeth

Tooth extractions are a last resort, but they may be recommended if your tooth is too badly damaged or decayed to be fixed with a filling or a crown, or if periodontal disease has already sufficiently weakened the bone holding the tooth in place. We might also need to remove a tooth to make room for a new denture or to make preparations for an orthodontic procedure. Whatever the case, we’ll always go over the options with you so that you understand why an extraction is being performed.

Wisdom Tooth Extractions

Dentist performing wisdom tooth extraction

Wisdom teeth start to come in around the late teens or the early twenties, but at that point the lack of space in the mouth is likely to cause them to become trapped beneath the gums. Dr. Thompson can evaluate unerupted wisdom teeth and determine ahead of time whether they’re likely to cause problems so that they can be removed as soon as possible. A timely wisdom tooth extraction can save you from a lot of pain, overcrowding, and infections.