Emergency Pediatric Dental Care in Chapel Hill, NC

Need an emergency pediatric dentist in Chapel Hill, NC? Our solutions for pediatric emergency dental care ease pain and promote overall comfort.

If a knocked-out tooth, a severe toothache, a lost filling — or anything else — concerns you, it concerns us.

Call or Request an emergency appt now. 

What to Do if Your Child Has a Dental Emergency

No one ever plans on needing emergency dental services. However, some situations like severe toothaches, accidents, and infections can’t wait until your next appointment or for regular business hours.

Here’s a chart to help you decide your next steps:

If you are a current dental patient of our office experiencing a dental emergency:

Call our office at 888.339.8108

If outside business hours, listen to our voicemail for direct emergency numbers

Not sure if you need emergency dental services? Here is some information about dental conditions, including symptoms, at-home remedies, and signs for seeking treatment. 

How Do I Know if My Child Needs Emergency Dental Services?

Great question! Here are some conditions, signs, and symptoms to help you determine when to seek treatment:

Broken Jaw

High impacts during sports or other activities can break the jaw. With a broken jaw, the most immediate symptoms include severe pain, swelling, and bleeding. The whole face can swell, making the jaw very stiff.

In the event of a jaw injury, go to the emergency room immediately. The UNC Children’s Emergency Department is one of the premier providers of care in the country, serving over 14,000 kids a year! 

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek

If you cut or bite your tongue, lip, or cheek, apply ice to any bruised or tender areas. If there is any bleeding, gently apply firm pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. 

Please go to the nearest emergency room if the bleeding does not stop with pressure or continues longer than 15 minutes.

Knocked-Out Permanent Tooth

A knocked-out tooth is one of the most serious dental injuries on our list.

  • First, find the tooth, making sure to hold it by the crown (top) and not the root.
  • Next, rinse the tooth if necessary, but do not clean or handle it more than necessary.
  • Finally, reinsert the tooth into the socket, holding it in place using a clean piece of gauze or cloth.
  • If you cannot reinsert the tooth, carry it in a cup of milk or water. The chemical composition of milk is similar to saliva so it can preserve the tooth. 

Broken teeth can often be restored. If these options are not viable, procedures such as cosmetic bonding, veneers, and crowns can replace missing teeth. 

Call us as soon as you can to save the tooth.

Lost Filling

A lost filling can create a hole where food and bacteria can get trapped, which can cause the teeth to shift out of alignment, or prevent a crown from fitting back in place.

The most important thing to do is call our office for an emergency pediatric dentist appointment.


Infections can cause extreme pain in the teeth, gums, jaw, and skeletal system. They need immediate attention and antibiotics.

If not treated, infections can lead to tooth loss or cause bacteria to enter the bloodstream, leading to other painful conditions.

If you are experiencing noticeable pain and swelling that goes on for more than a few days, we  recommend making an appointment very soon to get evaluated. 

Swollen Gums

Stuck food or other debris can cause the gums in a localized area to swell. However, if you have swelling throughout the gum structure, this could be a symptom of a more significant issue like gum disease, abscess, or infection.

It is important to protect the health of the jawbones and teeth. We don’t consider this an emergency, but we recommend making an appointment very soon to figure out the underlying cause. Many people don’t contact the emergency dentist for swollen gums, but acting fast is imperative.

Severe Toothache

If your child is experiencing a toothache:

  • First, meticulously clean around the sore tooth.
  • Then, rinse the mouth with warm salt water.
  • Administer acetaminophen or ibuprofen for temporary pain relief
  • Apply a cold compress for any facial swelling.
  • Do not apply aspirin on the aching tooth or the gum.

We don’t consider this an acute emergency, but if the pain persists for more than 24 hours, contact us immediately.

Pediatric dentist dr. chuck working on a young patients teeth

What to Expect At Your Pediatric Emergency Dentist Visit

At your child’s emergency appointment, we will perform an exam to help diagnose the source of the pain. With your permission, we may use pain medication or anesthetic to relieve symptoms.

We will prioritize your child’s care and make the best plan for long-term relief. It’s our goal to provide a treatment that provides your child relief and allows you to quickly return home.

Most patients will need to return to the office for a follow-up appointment.

Having a Pediatric Dental Emergency in Chapel Hill? Book Now!

Putting off an appointment for emergency dental services results in additional damage, decay, or infection. When you call Clifton & Mauney Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry for an emergency dental appointment, we will get you in as soon as possible

Dr. Chuck and Dr. Nash blend expertise with compassion and comfort. Families feel confident in his care because he is a Board-Certified dentist who has achieved Diplomate status with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. For over 24 years, he has earned a reputation in the Chapel Hill Area for providing exceptional care. 

Schedule an emergency pediatric dentist appointment in Chapel Hill now!