Emergency Dentist Rock Hill

Fast Relief for Your Dental Emergency

Young woman holding her jaw in pain while talking to emergency dentist in Rock Hill

Dental emergencies come in several shapes and forms. Maybe your child has cracked a tooth after being hit in the face with a baseball, or maybe a dull discomfort in the back of your mouth has suddenly progressed to serious, distracting pain. In these situations, the last thing you want is to be told by your chosen dental office that they don’t have time to see you for days or even weeks.

At Coombs, Ross & Sourlis Family Dentistry of Rock Hill, we have a different approach in mind. We understand that speed is your highest priority, and our doctors will make time for you as soon as possible. In fact, the first question our front desk will ask when you call in for help will be, “How fast can you get here?” Contact our dental office today to schedule a visit for emergency dentistry in Rock Hill, SC!

Why Choose Coombs, Ross & Sourlis Family Dentistry of Rock Hill for Emergency Dentistry?

  • Same-Day Appointments Available
  • Multiple Relaxing Sedation Options
  • Wide Range of Dental Services

What to Do in a Dental Emergency

Woman touching her face in pain while visiting emergency dentist
  • Same-day appointment: You’ll want to start by getting in touch with our office. That way, you can get scheduled for a dental appointment as well as get in touch with a team member who can provide first-aid tips over the phone. Our practice is happy to accept same-day appointments, so don’t hesitate to give us a call!
  • Emergency exam: One of our highly experienced dentists will perform an emergency exam to get to the bottom of your dental emergency, which may or may not include digital X-rays to locate the source and location of your symptoms.
  • Review findings: After completing your exam, the dentist will break down their findings with you directly and then recommend a treatment plan that addresses your needs. This customized plan will not only include which services will be used to treat your emergency but also the costs and estimated length associated with it.
  • Get the care you need: The services we recommend will vary depending on your emergency, but the most common treatments include dental fillings and crowns, root canal therapy, tooth extractions, TMD therapy, or another option if necessary.

The Most Common Dental Emergencies

While contacting your emergency dentist should be at the top of the list following the onset of serious injury or pain, you may not know what counts as an urgent dental issue. Here are some tips for what to do when faced with the most common dental emergencies our dental office sees.



Is My Toothache a Dental Emergency?

If you have a toothache in Rock Hill, it may or may not be a dental emergency. If a piece of food is stuck in your teeth, you can typically get it out with dental floss and warm water; however, if you notice pain lasting longer than 24 hours, a bump forming on your gums, or your tooth is becoming discolored, don’t wait to see us. Call us right away if you develop a fever, fatigue, or swelling.

How You Should Handle a Toothache

If an object is lodged between your teeth, rinse your mouth with warm water and use dental floss to remove it. If that is not the problem, take an over-the-counter pain reliever to minimize the discomfort until you get in to see us.

How We Treat Toothaches

There are many potential treatment solutions for a toothache. Depending on the reason for your pain, our team may recommend one of the following options to help repair your smile:

  • Antibiotics
  • Dental filling
  • Dental crown
  • Root canal therapy
  • Prescription mouthwash
  • Periodontal therapy
  • Tooth extraction

No matter the suggested method of treatment, you can count on us to sit down with you and thoroughly explain the process and cost so you can better prepare.

Learn More About Tooth-Colored Fillings

Learn More About Periodontal Therapy

Learn More About Dental Crowns

Learn More About Root Canal Therapy

Learn More About Tooth Extractions


Chipped Tooth

Is a Chipped Tooth a Dental Emergency?

If you are not feeling pain when chipping a tooth, you’re probably fine if you wait a few days before seeing your emergency dentist in Rock Hill.

How You Should Handle a Chipped Tooth

Although you don’t want to wait too long to seek professional help for a chipped tooth, you can take some steps at home to minimize further damage. Rinsing with warm water and using dental wax or sugarless gum to cover chipped parts of your tooth so it won’t cut your cheeks, gums, lips, or tongue is helpful.

How We Treat Chipped Teeth

At Coombs, Ross & Sourlis Family Dentistry of Rock Hill, we will recommend one of two treatment options depending on your preference, budget, and the severity of the problem. If the chip is minor and causes no significant issues with the health of your tooth, we will likely recommend direct bonding. If the tooth has a severe chip and is posing a problem for your overall aesthetics, we may recommend customized veneers.

Learn More About Direct Bonding

Learn More About Veneers


Cracked Tooth

Is a Cracked Tooth a Dental Emergency?

It is best if you do not wait to see your dentist for a cracked tooth in Rock Hill. Even if you’re in no pain and cannot see the damaged area, it may be beneath the gum line. It is better to get in right away and have a member of our team check your smile for any serious damage and offer appropriate treatment to help you avoid infection or further harm.

How You Should Handle a Cracked Tooth

To handle a cracked tooth at home, you should first rinse out your mouth to flush away any debris. You’ll also want to use a cold compress to reduce swelling, an over-the-counter pain reliever to minimize discomfort, and dental wax to cover jagged parts of your tooth to avoid damaging your soft oral tissues.

How We Treat Cracked Teeth

Depending on the severity of your cracked tooth, we may need to have a dental crown made to cover its structure and keep the tooth fully intact. If the damage is minor, direct bonding may be applied quickly to cover the imperfection. However, if the crack is severe and cannot be remedied with other restorative options, we will need to extract the tooth and discuss replacement solutions (i.e., dental bridge, dental implant, denture).

Learn More About Direct Bonding

Learn More About Dental Crowns

Learn More About Tooth Extraction

Sensitivity to
Hot & Cold

Very Sensitive Teeth

Are Very Sensitive Teeth a Dental Emergency?

Unfortunately, many different issues can cause uncomfortable tooth sensitivity. You may be suffering from a non-urgent problem like a cavity or thinning enamel, or the sensitivity may be caused by a serious dental emergency like advanced gum disease or a dental infection. If your tooth sensitivity is severe or lingers for more than 30 seconds, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

How You Should Handle Sensitive Teeth

First, give us a call so we can determine how soon you need to be seen. If your situation can wait until the next available appointment, we may recommend that you begin using desensitizing toothpaste and refrain from eating sugary, carbonated, or acidic foods or drinks. However, we may instruct you to visit us for a same-day emergency appointment if we suspect you may need urgent treatment. In these situations, you’ll likely need to rinse your mouth out with water and take an over-the-counter pain reliever until you can see us.

How We Treat Tooth Sensitivity

We’ll need to discover what’s causing your tooth sensitivity before we begin treating it. You may need a filling or a same-day dental crown, or you may need periodontal therapy or a root canal.

Learn More About Tooth-Colored Fillings

Learn More About Same-Day Dental Crowns

Learn More About Gum Disease Therapy

Learn More About Root Canal Therapy


Knocked-Out Tooth

Is a Knocked-Out Tooth a Dental Emergency?

A knocked-out tooth is a dental emergency that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. You need to reach us within an hour of the accident for the best chances of successful reattachment. The tooth also needs to remain viable, which can be done if you keep it moist and follow the proper steps.

How You Should Handle a Knocked-Out Tooth

Should a knocked-out tooth occur, pick it up by the crown to leave the roots undamaged. Carefully rinse it off, but do not scrub the tooth or use any cleaners as this may harm it. After, you can try to put it back in its socket, holding the tooth in place with your tongue. If this isn’t possible, you can keep it between your cheeks and gums or store it in a container of saliva or milk to keep it moist until you can visit our office.

How We Treat Knocked-Out Teeth

If you reach us within an hour, we’ll likely be able to save the tooth if it’s viable. We’ll carefully insert it back into its socket and secure it to the surrounding teeth to keep it in place as it heals over the coming months. However, if the tooth is damaged or no longer viable, we’ll need to discuss your tooth replacement options, such as a bridge, partial denture, or dental implant.

Learn More About Dental Bridges

Learn More About Dentures

Learn More About Dental Implants

Lost Filling
or Crown

Is a Lost Filling or Crown an Emergency?

If your crown or filling falls off, don’t panic! You need to see us right away to ensure the exposed tooth doesn’t sustain any further damage or develop an infection. That being said, a lost filling or crown can wait a few days until the next available appointment to be treated if needed.

How You Should Handle a Lost Filling or Crown

First, rinse your mouth out with water. We do not recommend trying to put a dental filling back in place, but if you’ve lost a crown, try to find it, give it a quick rinse, and place it back onto the tooth if you can — a dab of toothpaste or temporary dental cement can help with this. However, do not force the restoration into place if it does not want to fit. If the tooth is feeling some pain or sensitivity, over-the-counter medication can help provide temporary relief.

How We Treat Lost Fillings or Crowns

After we’ve inspected your tooth to ensure there isn’t an underlying issue, we’ll inspect your dental crown to see if it can be recemented into place. However, in most situations, the lost filling or crown will simply need to be replaced with a new one. Thanks to our same-day dental technology, we’ll be able to repair your smile right away!

Learn More About Same-Day Restorations

Learn More About Tooth-Colored Fillings

Learn More About Dental Crowns


Broken Dentures

Is My Broken Denture a Dental Emergency?

A broken denture needs to be fixed immediately not only because it impairs your ability to eat but also because it can damage your gums, any natural teeth you may have, and the jawbone. To get your smile back to full health again, don’t delay seeking help from our team.

How You Should Handle a Broken Denture

Do not put your broken denture in your mouth. Until you can come in, eat soft foods that require little chewing.

How We Treat Broken Dentures

Other than minor adjustments, we are not equipped to handle significant repairs to dentures. That’s why, most of the time, damaged dentures need to be replaced with a new pair.

Learn More about Dentures


Loose Permanent Tooth

Is a Loose Permanent Tooth a Dental Emergency?

Your adult teeth are supposed to last a lifetime, so if one feels loose, it could be a sign of trouble. Whether you have advanced gum disease or have suffered trauma, contact our team for an urgent appointment so we can take care of the problem and hopefully save your tooth.

How You Should Handle Loose Permanent Teeth

Try to leave the loose tooth alone by avoiding eating with that area of your mouth. Also, be extra careful when you brush and floss your teeth.

How We Treat Loose Permanent Teeth

We will do everything we can to preserve the tooth, whether by placing a splint to stabilize it or through gum disease therapy. Keep in mind, however, that extraction may become necessary, in which case we can talk about your replacement options.

Learn More about Periodontal Therapy

Learn More about Dental Implants

Learn More about Dental Bridges

Gums, Lips or
Tongue Injury

Injury to the Gums, Lips, or Tongue

Is an Injury to the Gums, Lips, or Tongue a Dental Emergency?

While many surface soft tissue injuries aren’t necessarily worrisome on their own, they can cause damage to the underlying oral structures like your teeth and jawbone. As a result, we strongly encourage those who experience this type of injury to visit us and make sure no further harm has been done.

How You Should Handle an Injury to the Gums, Lips, or Tongue

Before anything else, you need to control any bleeding. Hold clean gauze or a cloth up to the wound and press gently. If bleeding doesn’t stop within ten minutes, you may need to go to the emergency room. This could be a sign of a serious medical condition. Otherwise, give us a call.

How We Treat Injuries to the Gums, Lips, or Tongue

We may give you stitches to facilitate healing in your soft tissues, but our main concern is examining your smile for hidden damage.

Jaw Pain or

Is Jaw Pain a Dental Emergency?

In general, jaw pain isn’t exactly considered a dental emergency. It’s a problem you should definitely bring up during a dental checkup. However, as long as you are able to eat as well as open and close your mouth without too much difficulty or pain, treatment can usually wait.

How You Should Handle Jaw Pain

To lessen the stress on your jaw joint (called the temporomandibular joint or TMJ) and muscles, you can choose foods that are easier to chew. You may also apply heat/cold therapy and take over-the-counter pain relievers.

How We Treat Jaw Pain

Often, the source of jaw pain comes from how the upper and lower teeth fit together, so we may provide an occlusal splint or adjustment to correct your bite. If you grind or clench your teeth, we can take advantage of a night guard to ease your jaw muscles and hopefully reduce your symptoms.

Learn More about TMJ/TMD Therapy

Something Stuck
Between Teeth

Something Stuck Between the Teeth

Getting a bit of food stuck in your teeth can be annoying for you and possibly distracting for those around you, but the problem is more than just cosmetic. If you leave the object there, it could slowly cause your teeth to slightly shift. It could also eventually turn into a cavity. To safely remove the stuck object, gently floss between your teeth. If that doesn’t do the trick, you need to come to us for help. Do not try to poke or dig it out with a knife or other sharp instrument to avoid hurting your gums and teeth.

Understanding the Cost of Emergency Dentistry

Dental patient holding her jaw in pain

The cost of treating a dental emergency is different for every patient. For example, a mild infection in your gums may only require a round of antibiotics, while a broken tooth might necessitate an extraction and replacement, which can be especially costly. No matter the cost of your emergency dentistry in Rock Hill, the last thing you should do is put off a procedure that you desperately need. Oral health problems only get worse the longer you avoid treatment, resulting in even higher costs down the line. Our friendly and helpful team will do our utmost to minimize your out-of-pocket costs.

Every Dental Emergency Is Different

Man touching his jaw

It can be difficult to justify seeking professional help when you don’t know how much you’ll be expected to pay for treatment; however, the reality is that no two dental emergencies are the same. The only way we can determine the severity of your problem, as well as the type of treatment needed to repair and restore your smile, is to schedule an appointment with an emergency dentist in Rock Hill. This will allow our team to thoroughly examine your smile, identify the problem area, prepare a personalized treatment plan, and help you get your oral health back on track.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Dental Emergencies?

Two women shaking hands across a desk

Depending on your dental insurance company, you may or may not receive coverage for emergency dentistry. Most plans offer one emergency exam each year while also providing partial coverage for restorative services. Said coverage typically falls between 50% and 80% depending on the type of care you need (i.e., dental crown, root canal therapy, tooth extraction, etc.). Before you can determine how much your insurance company will pay, however, you can expect them to consider whether you’ve met your deductible and how much of your annual maximum remains.

Other Options for Making Dental Emergencies Affordable

Person at table with tablet and paperwork

At Coombs, Ross & Sourlis Family Dentistry of Rock Hill, we are pleased to offer two alternative methods of payment for uninsured individuals as well as those who simply need additional help to pay off treatment after filing with dental insurance.

  • VIP Smile Club: With a one-time lifetime activation fee and low monthly payments for preventive care, you will receive one emergency exam each year as well as 15% off all other treatments (with some exclusions).
  • Flexible Financing: By enrolling in CareCredit, you can apply for a low or zero-interest plan that enables you to break up the cost of your care into manageable installments.

Taking Care of Your Smile Can Save You Money

Pink piggy bank next to piles of coins

If you want to avoid dental emergencies from the start, it is in your best interest to take better care of your smile. While it is true that not all injuries are preventable, those that develop as a result of poor oral hygiene never need to occur in the first place. Toothaches, infections, and gum disease can be avoided if you practice optimal oral hygiene habits at home, eat healthy foods, protect your smile, stop practicing unhealthy habits, and continue to see your dentist every six months.

If you allow a problem to fester in the hopes it will go away on its own, you’ll likely experience worsening oral health conditions that require valuable time and money to be spent in an effort to fix the issue. Don’t wait until a root canal is needed for what could have been treated with antibiotics.

Keys to Preventing Dental Emergencies

Man brushing his teeth

Since dental emergencies are so stressful and often painful, it is best to try to avoid them from occurring in the first place. Not all dental emergencies are preventable, but there are some steps you can take to reduce your chances of experiencing them. By using the tips listed below, you can set your smile up for success.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Woman with orange hair smiling in dental chair

Even if you don’t think there is anything wrong with your smile, this doesn’t mean that you don’t need to go to the dentist. Tooth decay and oral infections can easily develop, and you may not even notice them right away. It is recommended that you schedule an appointment to see your dentist every six months for regular cleanings and checkups. This way, a hygienist can clear away plaque and tartar that has been left behind, and your dentist will rule out any potential issues that can arise. By catching problems and treating them early on, you can avoid a painful dental emergency.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene at Home

Woman putting toothpaste onto a toothbrush

You should brush twice and floss every day. These are both effective ways to remove food debris and plaque that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease over time. You should choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste containing fluoride – a natural mineral that can strengthen the enamel of your teeth and make them more resilient to decay.

Stick to a Nutritious Diet

Woman eating a salad

Your diet plays a crucial role when it comes to the health of your smile. If you have too many sugary and starchy foods, you are putting yourself at a higher risk of tooth decay. Try to only consume these things in moderation. Fill your diet with fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins.

Wear a Mouthguard

Hand holding a white mouthguard

Playing sports is a great way to get the exercise your body needs, but you don’t want to end up with a broken or knocked-out tooth. Wearing a mouthguard significantly reduces your chances of experiencing a dental injury. Nightguards are also available to limit the harmful effects of teeth grinding while you sleep.

Use Tools to Open Packages, Not Your Teeth

Woman tearing piece of duct tape with her teeth

It may seem convenient to use your teeth to open some stubborn packaging. However, this isn’t the best idea. You could end up with a cracked or broken tooth. Take the time to get some scissors or whatever other tool can help you complete your task.

Dental Emergency FAQs

Woman sitting on park bench and holding her jaw in pain

When you need an emergency dentist in Rock Hill, you can have many questions on your mind. With our team available to you, answers are never too far away. In fact, we’ve responded to some of the most common questions below to help you know what to do in these nerve-racking situations. If you have others, or if you need an emergency appointment, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’re here to help your smile shine brightly no matter what happens!

Are Knocked-Out Baby Teeth a Dental Emergency?

Yes. Baby teeth are designed to come out at some point, but they need to stay in place until they are ready to fall out naturally. If a baby tooth is dislodged prematurely, there could be damage to the permanent tooth underneath the gums. Although we will not be able to reinsert the baby tooth in the socket, we need to make sure that the underlying tooth hasn’t been harmed.

How Should I Sleep with Tooth Pain?

If your appointment isn’t until the next day, you’ll need some help getting a good night’s rest if you have a toothache or pain in your mouth. First, keep your head elevated, which will stop excess blood from rushing to the affected area and making the tooth pain worse. Avoid having food or a beverage that is excessively sugary, acidic, or cold. You should also take a pain reliever before you go to bed, and it’s a good idea to put a cold compress on your face to further help numb any discomfort.

Do Chipped or Cracked Teeth Heal?

Any kind of damage to your teeth—whether it’s chips or cracks—will not heal on its own. You need to seek treatment right away, not just because a chip or crack can attract the wrong kind of attention cosmetically, but also because it can expose the more vulnerable inner layers of the tooth to bacteria. If you need to wait a day or two to get treatment and you don’t feel pain, the tooth should be okay; however, it’s best to address the problem sooner rather than later.

Is It Safe to Use a Toothpick?

In spite of the name, toothpicks, especially wooden ones, are not recommended for trying to get food from between your teeth. The wood could split, cutting or splintering your soft tissues. The sharp point could puncture or damage your teeth as well as your gums or tongue if you’re not careful. Plus, you may end up pushing the stuck food further in between your teeth or underneath the gumline. Instead of trying to poke or pry the stuck food with a toothpick, use floss, a much safer alternative.