Emergency Dentist – Waco, TX

Providing Emergency Dental Care Right When You Need It

Woman holding mouth in pain needing emergency dentist in Waco

Whether you’re struggling with serious tooth pain that just won’t go away or your child has somehow managed to knock out a permanent tooth while hanging out on the playground, Premier Family Dental is here to provide assistance and relief to patients in need. Please contact us right away for fast emergency dental care so that our emergency dentists in Waco, Dr. Cofer and Dr. McNutt, can make time to see you as soon as possible.

Woman smiling at her dentist during emergency dental visit

Why Choose Premier Family Dental for Emergency Dental Care?

  • We’ll See You As Soon As Possible
  • Highly Trained and Experienced Dentists
  • Flexible Financing Options Available

How We Treat Dental Emergencies

Woman receiving dental exam from emergency dentist in Waco

After you get in touch with our dental office, a team member will be able to speak with you and confirm the severity of your dental issue. We’ll do our best to get you scheduled as soon as possible as well as provide first-aid guidance over the phone to improve your comfort and prevent the issue (whether it’s a toothache, infection, or broken tooth) from getting worse.

Once you arrive for your emergency appointment, whether that’s the same day or in the near future, we’ll get you seen by one of our dentists, who will perform an exam to confirm the cause of your dental emergency. To do this, we may need to capture digital X-rays if the issue is not clearly visible.

We’ll speak with you directly to discuss your treatment plan and the services that will be needed to resolve your dental emergency. This could include dental fillings, root canal treatment, tooth extractions, or another treatment depending on your unique situation.

The Most Common Dental Emergencies

While there are ways to improve your dental emergency before you arrive, you should always give us a call directly to set up an appointment and get guidance on how to best manage your situation. Even if you aren’t sure if what you’re experiencing is a dental emergency, it’s better to be safe rather than allow your dental issue to potentially worsen.


Is my toothache a dental emergency? A toothache in Waco can occur for many reasons. If food is lodged between your teeth, it’s not considered urgent; however, if your tooth pain is the result of sensitivity, infection, or gum disease, and you begin to experience any of the following, you’ll need to call and schedule an emergency dental appointment:

  • Pain that lasts longer than 24 hours
  • You experience fatigue, swelling, or fever
  • Tooth sensitivity develops and lasts longer than 30 seconds
  • A small bump forms on your gums near the infected tooth
  • The tooth appears darker in color
  • You experience pain when attempting to bite down

How you should handle a toothache: The best thing you can do is rinse your mouth with warm water to loosen anything that might be stuck between your teeth. Next, use dental wax or a water irrigator to remove anything that is lodged. If this is not the problem, it’s best to rinse with warm salt water to cleanse the area of bad bacteria and encourage faster healing. You should also take an over-the-counter pain reliever to alleviate discomfort.

How we treat toothaches: At Premier Family Dental, we will examine your oral cavity to determine the cause of the pain. Once we’ve identified the potential reason for your toothache, we will formulate a personalized treatment plan that includes one or more of the following dental services: antibiotics, tooth-colored filling, dental crown, root canal treatment, gum disease treatment, or tooth extraction.





Is a chipped tooth a dental emergency? Accidentally chipping a tooth isn’t cause for an immediate trip to the dentist’s office, especially if you don’t experience any pain. But you should go ahead and schedule an appointment even if it’s 2-3 days after your injury. Possible infection and additional damage can occur if you’re not careful, so you’ll want to seek treatment sooner rather than later.

How you should handle a chipped tooth: If you find there are pieces still in your mouth, make sure to flush them out with warm water. Until you receive treatment for your chipped tooth, it’s best to avoid chewing on that side of your mouth and be careful when brushing and flossing your teeth. If you’re worried about your soft tissues, use dental wax or sugar-free gum to cover the jagged areas of your tooth.

How we treat chipped teeth: Your emergency dentist in Waco will likely recommend veneers to cover severely chipped teeth. These permanent restorations can easily hide imperfections and give you the beautiful aesthetic you desire. If the chip is only minor, you may consider pursuing dental bonding because of its easy application and affordability.




Is a cracked tooth a dental emergency? A cracked tooth in Waco may not appear on the surface but instead, below the gumline. Not all tooth cracks are the same and some may not cause any pain. However, just because pain is not necessarily a prominent symptom doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider your injury a dental emergency. It’s best to call our office right away and get in to see us for immediate treatment if you want to avoid potential infection or further damage.

How you should handle a cracked tooth: Flush out anything that might remain inside your mouth with a warm water rinse. Apply dental wax or sugarless gum to jagged areas to prevent damage to your soft oral tissues. You’ll also likely want to take an over-the-counter pain reliever if discomfort is evident, and a cold compress can also help to reduce any swelling that might develop.

How we treat cracked teeth: When treating a cracked tooth, our team will identify the location of the problem and determine how to address it. If minor, you may want to consider dental bonding, as it can easily hide small imperfections that don’t negatively affect your oral health. Otherwise, we may recommend a customized dental crown to better support your tooth’s structure, or if the crack is severe, tooth extraction may be necessary.



Sensitivity to
Hot & Cold

Are very sensitive teeth a dental emergency? Depending on the reason for your tooth sensitivity, it may or may not be an emergency. If caused by worn tooth enamel or excessive whitening, you may not need to come in and see us immediately; however, if the pain and sensitivity persist and it’s causing significant problems, it’s best to go ahead and call to schedule an appointment.

How you should handle very sensitive teeth: When calling our office to alert us to the situation, we will provide helpful tips you can use at home to minimize discomfort. Some of these may include drinking lukewarm water, avoiding spicy, sweet, and acidic foods, and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever to reduce symptoms of discomfort until you get in to see us.

How we treat very sensitive teeth: Treating sensitive teeth often requires one or more of the following services: tooth-colored fillings, desensitizing toothpaste, prescription mouthwash, fluoride treatment, or periodontal therapy. Depending on the reason for your sensitivity, treatment may be minor or more complex. Worn tooth enamel may only require fluoride treatment and/or prescription mouthwash and special toothpaste. However, if gum recession, an abscess, a cracked tooth, or a severe cavity is the culprit, our emergency dentist in Waco may recommend advanced restorative procedures.




Is my knocked-out tooth a dental emergency? Yes, a knocked-out tooth is the type of dental emergency that requires immediate attention. You'll need to call us right away and work quickly to arrive at our dental office to receive treatment if you want us to try and save your tooth.

How you should handle a knocked-out tooth: Make sure to retrieve the tooth and rinse off any debris. Hold it only by the crown. If you cannot reinsert it into the socket, place it in a container of milk or saliva to keep it moist. You can also place it between your gums and cheek inside your mouth.

How we treat knocked-out teeth: At Premier Family Dental, we will look at the tooth and determine if we can reimplant it. If it is still viable, we will apply a splint to hold the tooth in place until it reintegrates with the bone and tissues. If the lost tooth in Waco is no longer viable, we will need to talk about effective ways to replace it. This can include a dental bridge, denture, or dental implant.



Lost Filling
or Crown

Is a lost filling or crown a dental emergency? If you accidentally lose a filling or dental crown, do not be alarmed. Yes, this is easier said than done, but it’s not actually considered a dental emergency. Restorations are not meant to last forever, so if you have an old filling or crown, it might fall out over time. Although you don’t need to immediately rush to our dental office, you will want to call and schedule an appointment to ensure you don’t develop an infection or cause additional damage.

How you should handle a lost filling or crown: While you are welcome to use dental cement to try and reattach your lost crown or filling in Waco, you do not have to if you're not comfortable doing so. Instead, you can simply rinse out your mouth and avoid chewing on that side until you’ve sought treatment. You’ll also want to be careful when practicing your oral hygiene routine to avoid irritating the vulnerable tooth.

How we treat a lost filling or crown: Our team will have to fix the problem one of two ways – re-bond it or replace it. If the restoration is fully intact and undamaged, we may be able to recement it into place. However, if it’s too damaged or completely lost, we’ll need to have either a new tooth-colored filling or a metal-free dental crown created for you.




Is my broken denture a dental emergency? If you have a broken denture in Waco, call us to schedule an emergency dental appointment. We need to see you right away, as continued wear of your prosthetic could damage your oral tissues and existing teeth.

How you should handle a broken denture: Do not attempt to try and fix your broken denture, as you may do more harm than good. Instead, just avoid reinserting your prosthetic.

How we treat broken dentures: Our team will examine the denture and determine if composite resin can be used to fix minor damages. If not, the denture will need to be replaced with a new one. Or, if you prefer, we can discuss the potential for dental implants since they are more permanent and longer-lasting.




Is a loose permanent tooth a dental emergency? No adult should have a loose permanent tooth, so you’ll need to call our dental office right away. We’ll need to see you as soon as possible to help not only save the tooth but prevent further damage.

How you should handle loose permanent teeth: Handling a loose tooth in Waco at home requires that you do not touch it. You should also avoid eating on that side of your mouth and stay away from hard, crunchy foods. If necessary, you can take a painkiller to minimize any discomfort.

How we treat loose permanent teeth: Depending on the reason for your loose tooth, we will provide one of several treatment options. If gum disease is the culprit, periodontal therapy and possibly a bone graft may be necessary (this is dependent on how weakened your jawbone might be). If the tooth cannot be saved because of too much damage, we’ll need to extract it and discuss the option of a dental bridge, denture, or dental implant to replace it.



Gums, Lips or
Tongue Injury

Is an injury to the gums, lips, or tongue a dental emergency? Injuring your soft oral tissues can seem worrisome; however, they actually heal quite quickly. If the pain or cut is severe enough, don’t hesitate to call our office to schedule an emergency appointment. Also, if you cannot stop the bleeding after 10 minutes, get to an emergency room for help.

How you should handle an injury to the gums, lips, or tongue: Rinse your mouth with warm water to flush out any debris. Cover the injured area with clean gauze or washcloth to stop the bleeding. You can use a cold compress to relieve swelling and reduce discomfort if necessary.

How we treat injuries to the gums, lips, or tongue: If you need stitches, we will gladly provide this service; however, we will also discuss the cause of your injury and recommend a customized mouthguard if it will better protect your mouth against soft tissue accidents in the future.

Jaw Pain or

Is jaw pain a dental emergency? Serious jaw pain can be debilitating and should not be ignored. If you have difficulty performing normal daily tasks (i.e., eating, speaking, opening and closing your mouth), call us right away. The quicker we can treat your problem, the less likely you’ll continue to experience immense pain that interferes with your life.

How you should handle jaw pain: Our dental team will be happy to discuss ways you can manage the pain while waiting for your appointment. You may need to try facial massages or stretches as well as avoid any bad habits (i.e., biting your fingernails, eating ice, chewing on inanimate objects). Also, stay away from hard, crunchy foods, as these put more pressure on your jaw joints. Don’t hesitate to take an over-the-counter pain reliever, too.

Also, if you’ve broken or fractured your jaw in any way, don’t wait to see us. Instead, get to your local ER for immediate medical care.

How we treat jaw pain: Your emergency dentist in Waco will likely recommend a customized mouthguard if the cause of your jaw pain is the result of bruxism (teeth grinding or clenching). You may also need to have your wisdom teeth removed if the cause of your pain is due to impaction. Finally, if the cause of your pain can be traced to inflammation in your jaw joints, you may need to seek TMJ Therapy.



Something Stuck
Between Teeth

Usually, having a piece of food stuck between your teeth is not considered a dental emergency; however, if you’re having trouble removing it, you can always call our office. While attempting at home, make sure to rinse your mouth first with warm water to help loosen the object. Then use dental floss to remove it safely and gently. Never reach for tweezers, toothpicks, or any sharp-edged object, as you could easily damage your teeth or gums.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Emergencies

Dental team member showing a pamphlet to two dental patients

Before we can outline the details of the cost of your emergency dental treatment, we must figure out exactly what’s causing your discomfort. We won’t be able to do this until we’ve conducted a thorough examination of your mouth. Based on our findings, we can outline a custom treatment plan and walk you through dental insurance coverage and financing options. If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to ask our friendly dental team!

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The cost of a dental emergency varies on numerous factors, but the initial visit is actually relatively inexpensive. During this appointment, our team will take the time to assess your oral health and determine what further treatment you need to restore your smile. Until you can come to the practice to have the issue examined, it’s nearly impossible to predict the overall cost. Some of the more common solutions to dental emergencies include the following:

  • Root canal therapy
  • Extractions
  • Dental crowns
  • And more!

You can relax knowing that our committed team will thoroughly explain our findings, recommended treatment plan, and estimated cost ahead of time so you aren’t meant with any unnecessary surprises.


Most of the time, dental insurance plans offer some form of coverage for dental emergencies. In some plans, at least one yearly emergency exam may be fully covered, while common services associated with tooth pain, like root canal treatment and tooth extractions, can receive partial coverage, anywhere from 50% to 80%. It’s important to note that each plan is different and yearly maximums usually come into effect. Before committing to treatment, confirm what is covered by your dental insurance company. We accept virtually all of the major PPO dental insurance plans and will file claims on your behalf.


Just because you don’t have dental insurance doesn’t mean that you are out of luck. We are happy to work with flexible financing plans through both CareCredit and Compassionate Finance. Both options can break down your overall cost into manageable monthly payments with little-to-no interest attached.

Our dental practice also has an in-house membership plan so you can expect predictable, flat rates for treatment and avoid deductibles and annual maximums, all for an affordable annual fee! Our plans even include one yearly emergency exam.


Not all dental emergencies are preventable, as unexpected, unavoidable incidents can happen out of the blue. However, when you implement some extra steps into your life, you can reduce your probability of developing oral health issues and needing emergency treatment. By avoiding dental emergencies, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars over time.

You should always keep an eye out for changes in your mouth. New oral pain or visible changes can indicate that you have an issue that needs to be addressed. By caring for dental problems as soon as they occur, you can keep them from progressing and becoming more serious. The longer you put off dental treatment, the more it is likely to cost. For example, by coming to the practice for root canal therapy now, you may be able to avoid the cost and hassle of needing an extraction and tooth replacement in the future. You can save time, discomfort, and money!

Dental emergencies can happen unexpectedly, so we’re always eager to help. This is why we’re prepared to see you as soon as possible. Give us a call so we can get to the bottom of it!

Keys to Preventing Dental Emergencies

Man and woman brushing their teeth together

It pays to be careful when it comes to your smile. While you can’t always prevent dental emergencies, there are steps you can take to protect your teeth from damage. Here are some tips for you to implement to keep your smile safe from harm.

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Even if you don’t think anything is going on with your smile, this doesn’t mean that you can skip over your regular dental visits. Tooth decay and oral infections can easily develop. You may not even notice them right away. It’s recommended that you see your dentist every six months for regular teeth cleanings and dental checkups. This way, your dental hygienist can clear away plaque and tartar that have accumulated over time. Your dentist will be able to rule out possible issues going on with your smile. When small problems are addressed early on, you can keep painful dental emergencies from developing later.


You should brush twice and floss each day. These are both excellent ways to remove food debris and plaque that can lead to cavities and gum disease over time. Pick out a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste containing fluoride – a natural mineral that can strengthen the enamel of the teeth, therefore reducing your risk of decay.


Diet plays a key role in your smile. If you are enjoying too many sugary and starchy foods, you are increasing your risk of developing cavities. It’s smart to only enjoy these items in moderation. Instead, fill up your dinner plate with fruit, veggies, and healthy proteins.


Playing sports is a great way for you to get the exercise your body needs – and it’s fun! However, this is commonly the cause of broken and knocked-out teeth. By wearing a mouthguard, you can significantly reduce your chances of experiencing a dental injury. If you have bruxism, it’s a good idea to ask about getting a nightguard to limit the effects of teeth grinding while you sleep.


As convenient as it may seem, don’t use your teeth to rip through stubborn packaging. You could easily end up with a cracked or broken tooth. Instead, use scissors, a bottle opener, or another tool to help you complete your task safely.

Dental Emergency FAQs

Smiling woman holding cell phone

Dental emergencies often come unexpectedly, and it can be difficult to know what you do when you’re experiencing stress and discomfort. If you have some unanswered questions, we are here to help! Here are the answers to some of the most common queries we receive about dental emergencies in Waco. If you don’t see the information that you’re looking for below, give us a call. We’d be happy to explain more and schedule an urgent appointment.

Format so you have to click the question to see the answer

Will my toothache go away on its own?

Toothaches don’t usually go away on their own. Because of this, it is best to schedule a checkup with a dentist just to ensure that nothing serious is going on. There are all sorts of potential causes for a toothache, and you’ll want to rule them out with a professional as soon as possible. Doing this can help you catch underlying problems before they become more serious.

How should I sleep with tooth pain?

It can be difficult to get quality sleep when you are dealing with a toothache at night. Until you can see us for an emergency visit, keep your head elevated. This prevents blood from rushing to your head and intensifying your toothache. Additionally, take over-the-counter medication as needed and avoid foods that are particularly acidic, cold, or hard right before bed. A cold compress can also help to numb some of the discomfort.

Should I visit the emergency room first for dental emergencies?

Unfortunately, most emergency rooms are unable to address dental emergencies effectively. However, there are three main exceptions where a trip to the ER is a better option. You should head to your local ER if you have a jaw fracture or dislocation, a serious cut or laceration to the face or mouth, or an abscess or infection that is swollen to the point where it is affecting breathing or swallowing. In pretty much any other circumstance, you should visit a dentist first.

Should knocked-out teeth be placed in water?

Water can be used to rinse a tooth, but the tooth should not be placed in water. Water can damage the root surface cells of the teeth, reducing the chances of it being able to be placed back into the socket. Instead, do your best to place it back into the open socket yourself. If you are unable to, try placing it in your cheek or in a container of milk, saliva, or saline solution. Seek dental attention within 30 minutes to one hour for the highest probability of saving your tooth.