When it comes to a dental emergency, time lost can equal teeth lost. That’s not to sound alarmist, it’s simply a fact. It’s always better to keep your natural teeth than to have to suffer the expense and inconvenience of replacing a missing tooth. In any dental emergency, call Dr. John Miller at The Smile Center in 843-492-5026 for (Georgetown) or 843-491-5353 for (Murrells Inlet) for a same-day appointment.

When Bad Things Happen To Good Teeth

Dental emergencies fall into a few broad categories: a tooth has come out of its socket, a tooth has been damaged, or you have severe dental pain. Let’s look at each of those in turn.

A Tooth Comes Out

Your permanent, adult teeth should stay firmly rooted in your jaws as long as you live. There are two reasons why a tooth leaves it socket – an impact, or a dental infection.

Impact is probably the most common cause, whether that impact is due to an accident, a sports injury, or something else. In many cases, the tooth can be re-inserted into its socket. That allows the tooth a chance to take root and give you many more years of happy service.

The most important thing when handling a tooth that has come out is to avoid touching the nerve. Rinse the tooth in clear water, and then carefully try to put it in place. If you’re successful, leave it alone! Don’t wiggle it with your tongue or fingers. It will take some time for the tooth to re-root if it’s going to. Avoid chewing on the tooth if you can until it’s firmly re-established in your mouth.

If you’re not successful, place the tooth in a small container of milk or saliva to keep it healthy. Call our office at 843-492-5026 for (Georgetown) or 843-491-5353 for (Murrells Inlet).

Tooth Damage

Tooth damage may be due to impact or to biting into something that’s too hard for your tooth enamel. In some cases, the enamel fails due to decay. The failure of a dental filling or dental crown. The failure of a dental restoration or any failure of tooth enamel can open the tooth to potential infection. The sooner you seek professional care, the greater your chance of avoiding further damage to the tooth or an infection.


Severe dental pain that’s not due to tooth damage almost always indicates an underlying infection. Dental infections hardly ever clear up on their own, and the longer you wait to get it treated, the more damage the infection can do.

Don’t take dental infections lightly. Given enough time, the infection can damage the tooth root and the supporting bone, causing the tooth to fall out. Even if that doesn’t happen, the infection may be severe enough to require a root canal procedure to clean it out, followed by a dental crown to protect the tooth.

If you’ve had severe pain and it stops suddenly, the likely reason is that the tooth nerve has died. The infection is still there and needs to be treated as soon as possible.

Get Same-Day Dental Care When You Need It

Don’t take chances with your teeth. Dr. John Miller and his colleague keep appointment times available for same-day urgent care. In any dental emergency, call The Smile Center in 843-492-5026 for (Georgetown) or 843-491-5353 for (Murrells Inlet) for a same-day appointment.