Emergency Dentistry
in Modesto

What is emergency dentistry?

Emergency dentistry is available to patients who have experienced a dental injury or accident, or are in severe dental pain and discomfort. The goal of emergency dental care is to get patients out of pain quickly and back to optimal oral health as soon as possible. 

Between contact sports and exploring their worlds, children can have an accident at any time. That’s why our Modesto children's dentist will often leave openings in their schedules for same-day emergency appointments, so they can address your child’s needs as soon as possible. Contact First Smiles Children's Dentistry for an appointment in Modesto today!

emergency pediatric dentist in Modesto

Did you know…

More than 5 million teeth are knocked out every year in both children and adults.

Does your child need emergency treatment?

Call (209) 343-3500 today!

What to do for your child when they’re experiencing a dental emergency

Keep Calm So They Stay Calm 

It’s easy to panic and feel anxious when your child injures their mouth. But try your best to stay calm and collected. Panicking will only stress your child, so keep a clear head, assess the severity of the situation, and get things under control.

Try To Control Any Bleeding

If your child’s mouth is bleeding, use clean gauze, cotton balls, or paper towels to absorb the blood, and apply gentle but firm pressure to control the bleeding. Be aware that oral injuries can bleed quite heavily, but if you apply pressure to the area, or your child gently bites down on some gauze, the bleeding should slow within a few minutes.

Take Steps To Reduce Swelling & Pain

You can have your child take over-the-counter medication like Tylenol or Motrin, following the dosage instructions carefully, to help with pain and inflammation. Applying an ice pack externally to the cheek near the affected area can also help to temporarily numb the site and reduce swelling.

Call Us!

Make sure you contact our office right away so we can help you determine the severity of the situation and whether or not your child needs to be seen immediately.

The importance of prompt emergency care

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Same-Day Dental Care

We know that dental emergencies rarely happen on your terms, or on a set schedule. That’s why we offer same-day care to help your child get the care they need right away.

Call us right away at (209) 343-3500 and one of our team members will assess your child's case over the phone with you. If your child needs immediate emergency dental care, we will work with you to get your little one seen and treated as soon as possible.

Common Emergency Procedures For Kids

Depending on the type of emergency your child is experiencing, there are a few different emergency procedures that may be required. Fillings or crowns may be needed for decayed teeth, and crowns are usually required to treat damaged or broken teeth. A pulpotomy (baby root canal) may also be needed for a damaged or decayed tooth that has become infected. Other common emergency procedures include replacing lost dental work, such as a crown or filling, and treatment for oral lacerations to the tongue, cheeks, lips, and gums.

Modesto emergency pediatric dentist

Did you know…

Putting a knocked out tooth in milk, not water, can preserve the root while you head to your emergency appointment.

Does your child need an appointment right away?

Call (209) 343-3500 now!

Have questions about emergency dentistry? Find answers here.

What should I do if my child knocks out a tooth?

Knocked-out baby teeth are not usually replaced, even if they’re lost prematurely. If it’s a baby tooth, your child will need to come into our office to have their mouth examined and cleaned to prevent infection, and to get a “space maintainer.” This prosthetic will maintain the proper gap between their teeth, preventing the adjacent teeth from shifting toward the now-empty socket.

For an adult tooth, though, you need to get help immediately. Recover the tooth, rinse it, and put it in a container of cold milk to keep it moist. Then, come to our office immediately. Don't spend too much time treating pain or bleeding. Your child’s tooth must be re-attached within 1-2 hours for it to be saved, so time is of the essence. We can treat your child’s pain when they get to our office.

What should I do if my child’s dental work falls out?

Collect the filling, crown, or other piece of dental work and place it in a plastic baggie. Then, call us for a same-day appointment, and make sure to bring your child’s dental work in with you. It may be possible to reattach a crown instead of completely replacing it.

What should I do about a severe toothache?

A severe toothache could indicate that your child has a deep cavity or an infected tooth. You should schedule a consultation at our office right away, as these are both serious dental emergencies that will only get worse without proper treatment.

What should I do if my child has chipped, broken or cracked a tooth?

First, treat their discomfort and bleeding. Then, contact our team to discuss the need for a same-day appointment. Even minor tooth damage can cause hairline fractures and these fractures could lead to infections and other complications. After consulting with our kids dentist in Modesto, CA, we can determine the best treatment for restoring the damaged tooth, and ensure your child’s smile remains healthy and strong.

What should I do if my child has a loose tooth?

If a baby tooth has come loose and it’s not due to an oral injury, you don’t have to do anything. Baby teeth are meant to fall out eventually, so this is natural.

However, if one of their teeth becomes loose and is bleeding after an oral injury, it may not be ready to fall out yet. The best thing to do is to get a consultation with our Modesto children's dentist to have your child's mouth examined, and determine whether the tooth can be saved or if it should be replaced with a space maintainer.

Signs of a Dental Emergency


A persistent toothache is often a sign of a more serious underlying issue, such as tooth decay or infection. If your child complains of a severe, lasting toothache, it's crucial to seek professional help. In the meantime, you can help alleviate their discomfort by applying a cold compress to the outside of the cheek and administering an age-appropriate dose of over-the-counter pain medication.

A Loose Tooth

While it's normal for children to experience loose teeth as their primary teeth make way for permanent ones, a tooth that becomes loose due to trauma or injury requires urgent attention. If your child's tooth is knocked out of place or hanging by a thread, gently try to reposition it and have your child bite down on a piece of gauze to hold it in place. If the tooth is completely dislodged, handle it by the crown (the visible part), rinse it with water, and attempt to place it back in the socket. If this isn't possible, store the tooth in a container of milk and bring it with you to our office.

Bleeding Gums

Occasional gum bleeding during brushing or flossing is not usually a cause for concern. However, if your child experiences persistent, excessive bleeding or if the bleeding is accompanied by pain or swelling, it may be a sign of gum disease or injury. Applying a cold compress and having your child rinse with a saltwater solution can help control the bleeding until you can visit our office.

Chipped, Cracked, or Broken Tooth

Dental accidents can happen during play or sports activities, resulting in a chipped, cracked, or broken tooth. If your child sustains a dental injury, rinse their mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. Collect any tooth fragments and bring them with you to the office. In some cases, Dr. Ha may be able to bond the pieces back together, or he may recommend a restorative treatment to repair the damaged tooth.

Sore Jaw

If your child complains of a sore jaw or has difficulty opening and closing their mouth, it may indicate a jaw injury or a developing case of TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder. Applying a cold compress and administering over-the-counter pain relief can help manage the discomfort. However, it's essential to have Dr. Ha assess the issue to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Dental Abscess

A dental abscess is a painful infection that occurs at the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. It can cause severe discomfort, swelling, and fever. If you notice a pimple-like swelling on your child's gum or if they complain of a severe, throbbing toothache, it's crucial to seek emergency dental care. An untreated abscess can lead to more serious health complications if the infection spreads.

Did you know…

Losing a baby tooth too early can be a dental emergency.

Does your child need to see a doctor today?

Call (209) 343-3500 now!