Emergency Dental Care

Your Arlington, WA Emergency Dentist

If you experience a dental emergency, be sure to call our Arlington, WA dental office as soon as possible. If you need immediate attention after hours, you can find Dr. Dickinson’s cell number on our voicemail. If you are unable to reach our office during an emergency, dial 911.

At the office of Devin Dickinson, DDS, we make every effort to see emergency patients the same day. We focus on making patients comfortable during an emergency, whether it’s been ten days or ten years since they’ve last seen a dentist. We’re not here to judge—we’re here to get you out of pain and back to your life as soon as possible.

We provide extractions, root canals, periodontal surgery, and thorough evaluations to diagnose emergency dental issues.

Do you know what to do in an emergency?

Bitten lip or tongue:

  • Make sure the bitten area is clean and free of any food particles by washing out your mouth with water.
  • If the wound is bleeding, apply pressure at the site with gauze. If the wound is very large or deep, or you can’t control the bleeding, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Control potential swelling by applying a wrapped ice pack to the wound. Hold the ice in place for a minute, being careful not to keep it there for too long (remove before the area feels numb).
  • If the pain is hard to ignore, take an over-the-counter pain reliever (whatever you take for a headache) as directed on the bottle.
  • A salt-water rinse can help with pain as well. Dissolve a tablespoon of table salt in eight ounces of warm water and swish it around your mouth. Repeat every few hours.
  • Avoid hot beverages and acidic or spicy foods; they can do more damage and delay the healing process.

When to Consult Dr. Dickinson

Give our Arlington dental office a call if:

  • The pain doesn’t subside within 24 hours
  • You notice any strange odors coming from the wound
  • You develop a fever
  • The bite feels warm from the inflammation for more than 48 hours

Object caught in teeth:

How to remove an object with dental floss or a dental pick:

You will need a string of dental floss or a dental pick. You should never use a sharp instrument. You should floss as you normally would. Slide the floss up and down for about three times or until the object has been removed. Make sure that you are very gentle when you are attempting to remove the object. This will prevent you from cutting your gums. You may also want to rinse your mouth with warm water to help remove the object.

How to prevent things from getting stuck in between teeth:

There is not much that can be done to prevent objects from getting stuck in between the teeth. However, you may want to limit your consumption of certain foods. Popcorn, corn on the cob, hard candy, and steak are some of the many foods that can get lodged in between your teeth. Brush and floss immediately after eating those types of foods.

When should you see Dr. Dickinson?

If you cannot remove the object after several attempts, you should see one of our Arlington, WA dentists. You could damage your teeth and gums if you try to forcefully remove an object. If you experience tooth pain after removing the object, you should also make sure that you consult with our office. Tooth pain may be a sign that you have damaged that tooth.

If you frequently get objects stuck in between your teeth, you should see Dr. Dickinson or Dr. Erickson. It is not normal to repeatedly get things lodged in your teeth. It could indicate shifting teeth or cavities.

Broken, chipped, or fractured tooth:

Immediately rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on your face to reduce swelling. A cracked tooth may or may not hurt, but it can lead to pain and infection—it needs immediate attention from Dr. Dickinson.

Knocked-out tooth:

For a knocked-out tooth, keep it moist at all times. If you can, place the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your cheek and gums, in milk, or use a tooth preservation product that has the ADA Seal of Approval. Contact Dr. Dickinson right away. The sooner you visit our Arlington dental office, the better the chance is that we can re-implant the tooth.


Rinse your mouth with eight ounces of warm water mixed with a tablespoon of salt. If pain persists, use an over-the-counter pain reliever—whatever you’d use for a headache. If the toothache does not go away, contact our office.

Broken jaw:

If you think your jaw is broken apply cold compresses to control the swelling. Go to a hospital emergency department immediately.