Emergency Dentist Waco

Urgent Dental Care Right When You Need It

Woman holding her cheek in pain needing emergency dentist in Waco

Dental emergencies are inconvenient, stressful, and often frightening. It can be hard to keep your cool during any urgent situation, but remaining calm and calling your emergency dentist in Waco are the keys to successful treatment. At Heart of Texas Smiles General & Cosmetic Dentistry, we are equipped to provide same-day emergency care. When you call our office with a dental injury, we’ll get you a prompt appointment and then provide important advice for handling your situation in the meantime.

Why Choose Heart of Texas Smiles General & Cosmetic Dentistry for Emergency Dentistry?

  • Same-Day Emergency Appointments Available
  • Two Forms of Dental Sedation Available for Anxious Patients
  • Innovative Technologies & Techniques to Help Patients Out of Pain

What to Do in a Dental Emergency

Wincing man holding his cheek
  • Get an appointment scheduled today: Dr. Lassetter, Dr. Rivacoba, and Dr. Dhaon have years of experience practicing dentistry, and they take a lot of continuing education courses at every opportunity. In short, whatever your emergency might be, you can trust that they have the skills and expertise to handle it with ease. Once you call our office, a team member will take note of your symptoms and get you scheduled as soon as possible.
  • Complete an emergency exam: After you arrive at our office, we’ll perform a detailed exam and confirm if digital X-rays are needed to determine the extent and severity of your emergency. If you are in immediate pain, we’ll get you relief so you can relax and have a clear head.
  • Reviewing our findings: We’ll go over our findings with you directly so you can make an informed decision on your future care. We’ll also recommend a treatment plan and break down the costs and timeline associated with it.
  • Get the emergency care you need: Our team will work diligently to resolve your symptoms and emergency issues, which may include dental fillings, crowns, root canal therapy, or another dental service.

The Most Common Dental Emergencies

From a knocked-out tooth to chipped, broken, and aching teeth, we see a range of situations in our office. Not sure how to know if you’re dealing with a dental emergency? In general, if your tooth is aching or broken, or if you’re bleeding from the mouth, you should seek urgent attention from your dentist in Waco. With that said, you can read about the many other types of emergencies we handle as well as learn a few tips below to manage your situation before you arrive.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Emergencies

Woman holding her cheek while talking to emergency dentist

Without performing an exam, we can’t really know what treatment would best meet your needs. Therefore, your estimated costs will be discussed after we’ve completed your emergency exam. Thankfully, the exam portion of your visit is relatively inexpensive. You’ll always know what your costs will be before we begin any treatment, ensuring you can make an informed decision on your care ahead of time. What we do not recommend is putting off the care you need, as this can cause the emergency to worsen, resulting in higher costs anyway.

Keys to Preventing Dental Emergencies

Man brushing his teeth

Dental problems are much easier to handle when you catch them earlier, rather than reacting to them once they turn into dental emergencies. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to keep the preventable tips below in mind:

  • Visit our office regularly for dental checkups and cleanings
  • Maintain good oral hygiene at home (i.e., brushing and flossing)
  • Never use your teeth as a tool
  • Wear a nightguard if you grind your teeth
  • Wear a mouthguard if you play contact sports


Is My Toothache a Dental Emergency? Many different factors can cause a toothache – not all of them are dental emergencies. Contact us right away for treatment if you notice symptoms like:

  • Severe or throbbing pain
  • Darkness or discoloration on a tooth
  • Fever with toothache
  • Visible damage to your tooth
  • A pimple-like bump near your tooth

How You Should Handle a Toothache: Immediately rinse your mouth out with water and floss around the area. If your pain persists, contact us right away for an emergency appointment. Until your visit, you can take over-the-counter pain medication but don’t apply it directly to the affected area.

How We Treat Toothaches: Once we determine the cause of your toothache, we can provide the best treatment. In some cases, antibiotics or gum disease therapy is all it takes. However, more severe cases may require a root canal and/or dental fillings.

Learn More About Tooth-Colored Fillings

Learn More About Root Canal Therapy

Learn More About Tooth Extractions

Learn More About Gum Disease Treatment


Is a Chipped Tooth a Dental Emergency? Usually, a chipped tooth is not considered a dental emergency, but treatment is still important. Tiny chips can often turn into major damage because of pressure from smiling and chewing, which is why you should schedule an appointment with us.

How You Should Handle a Chipped Tooth: Rinse your mouth out with warm water to clean the area. Use a cold compress or ice pack to reduce swelling and pain. Once you’re more comfortable, contact us for next steps.

How We Treat Chipped Teeth: Minor chips can be easily corrected with quick and affordable dental bonding. This treatment will restore your tooth’s size and shape seamlessly. However, a major chip may need to be addressed with a veneer. This custom-made option improves your tooth’s shade and shape all while blending in with the rest of your smile.

Learn More About All-Ceramic Restorations

Learn More About Veneers


Is a Cracked Tooth a Dental Emergency? A small crack is not a dental emergency, however, it should still be treated before it gets worse due to daily wear and tear. Severe damage should be addressed right away with an emergency dental appointment.

How You Should Handle a Cracked Tooth: Rinse your mouth with warm water as soon as you can to clean the affected area. Next, you can apply an ice pack or cold compress to the side of your face – this will numb pain and reduce swelling. After these steps, contact our office for treatment.

How We Treat Cracked Teeth: We can usually fix minor cracks with dental bonding that can be done in just one appointment. This treatment utilizes the same composite resin as tooth-colored fillings. However, serious damage will likely require a dental crown to strengthen and protect your tooth.

Learn More About Dental Crowns


Are Very Sensitive Teeth a Dental Emergency? Mild tooth sensitivity that fades quickly isn’t normally an emergency. But if the sensitivity is severe or lasts for several days in a row, it’s likely to be a sign of cracked teeth, advanced cavities, gum recession, or even an infection. All of these problems call for immediate dental care.

How You Should Handle Very Sensitive Teeth: You need to narrow down the source of sensitive teeth, so call our office to schedule an appointment. Our team can give you first-aid tips based on how severe your symptoms are. In the meantime, try to avoid cold water, spicy foods, and anything else that can potentially aggravate sensitive teeth.

How We Treat Very Sensitive Teeth: Since there are many potential causes for sensitive teeth, the treatment we recommend varies from case to case. We might prescribe a fluoride treatment for weakened enamel, treat gum disease via periodontal therapy, or even perform root canal therapy to remove a severe infection.

Learn More About Tooth-Colored Fillings

Learn More About Root Canal Therapy

Learn More About Dental Crowns

Learn More About Gum Disease Treatment


Is My Knocked-Out Tooth a Dental Emergency?: A knocked-out tooth isn’t necessarily gone for good, but there’s a very limited timeframe in which it can be successfully reimplanted. As such, it’s always urgent when a permanent tooth falls out of its socket due to physical trauma. Call our office immediately so that you can schedule a same-day appointment; the chance of salvaging the tooth will be much higher if you get to our office as soon as possible, ideally within an hour or two.

How You Should Handle a Knocked-Out Tooth: Find the tooth right away. When you pick it up, do not touch the root; you might damage or remove the tissue that’s needed for a successful reimplantation. Hold it by the crown portion (the part used to chew your food) and gently rinse it with water to get rid of any dirt. To preserve your tooth until your appointment, either put it back in its socket or place it in a sealed container filled with milk or saline for up to one hour.

How We Treat Knocked-Out Teeth: It’s always better to save your natural teeth instead of replacing them, so we’ll try to reimplant the tooth in question whenever possible. Of course, some teeth are too badly damaged or have been outside of the mouth for too long to be saved. That’s why we also offer bridges, dentures, and dental implants as possible solutions for missing teeth.

Learn More About Dental Implants


Is a Lost Filling or Crown a Dental Emergency? It is perfectly normal for very old dental crowns and fillings to break or fall off the tooth completely. Your tooth won’t need immediate attention, but it will be at a higher risk for infection and damage, so you should make arrangements to visit our office as soon as possible.

How You Should Handle a Lost Filling or Crown: When possible, locate the restoration and bring it with you to our office so that we can check to see if it can be reattached to the tooth. You can temporarily reseat a crown on your own with dental cement or a dab of toothpaste. Do not use the affected tooth for biting or chewing.

How We Treat Lost Fillings or Crowns: We’ll check to see what kind of state your restoration is in. In many circumstances, it might be possible for us to re-cement it. If the restoration is too old, too badly damaged, or has been lost entirely, we’ll make arrangements to have a new one placed as soon as possible.

Learn More About Tooth-Colored Fillings

Learn More About Dental Crowns


Is My Broken Denture a Dental Emergency? Continuing to wear broken dentures could injure your gums, your jaw, and even your remaining teeth. As soon as you notice any sort of damage to your dentures, you should call our office immediately so we can see how serious the problem is.

How You Should Handle a Broken Denture: You may do more harm than good by trying to repair your denture by yourself. Instead, make an appointment with us to have your false teeth repaired as soon as possible. Keep your denture safe and moist while waiting for your appointment.

How We Treat Broken Dentures: Dentures can sometimes be repaired quickly with a small amount of composite resin. In other cases, they need to be readjusted so that they fit properly again. Dentures that are snapped in half or have suffered similarly severe damage need to be replaced altogether.

Learn More About Dental Implants


Is a Loose Permanent Tooth a Dental Emergency? A permanent tooth should never come loose. If it starts to move, it might mean that the tissues that hold it in place have been damaged by gum disease or physical injury. Immediate attention is required if you don’t want to lose your tooth.

How You Should Handle Loose Permanent Teeth: Call us immediately for an appointment. Avoid touching the tooth as much as possible; it should stay in the mouth until we can treat it. Do not eat hard or sticky foods in the meantime and avoid brushing around the tooth for the time being.

How We Treat Loose Permanent Teeth: It’s sometimes possible to save a loose tooth, and we’ll take whatever steps are needed to treat the underlying issue that partially dislodged it in the first place. Some teeth can’t be saved and will have to be extracted.

Learn More About Tooth Extractions

Learn More About Dental Implants


Is an Injury to the Gums, Lips, or Tongue a Dental Emergency? If you start bleeding from your gums, lips, or tongue, you should seek help immediately. If you get in touch with our office, we can advise you on what to do next based on your symptoms.

How You Should Handle an Injury to the Gums, Lips, or Tongue: Rinse the cut gently with water and make sure there’s no debris around the wound. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped, take a clean washcloth or a piece of gauze and apply pressure to the area for about 10 minutes.

How We Treat Injuries to the Gums, Lips, or Tongue: If bleeding does not stop after applying 10 minutes of pressure, go to the ER immediately. For less serious cuts, we may be able to stitch the wound closed.


Is Jaw Pain a Dental Emergency? Temporary jaw pain is usually nothing to worry about, but chronic jaw pain might be a sign that you have a TMJ disorder, impacted wisdom teeth, or another oral health issue. You should seek a diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible once you realize that jaw pain is not going away.

How You Should Handle Jaw Pain: Usually, over-the-counter painkillers and an ice pack can help you find relief while you’re waiting for an appointment. Note that if the pain is caused by a broken or dislocated jaw, you need to call the ER right away.

How We Treat Jaw Pain: Wearing a mouthguard can help reduce your pain by relieving much of the pressure on your jaw joints and protecting the rest of your mouth from clenching and grinding. Wisdom tooth pain can only be stopped with an extraction.

Learn More About Tooth Extractions


It’s perfectly normal for food to occasionally get trapped between your teeth. It’s not typically an emergency unless you’re experiencing severe pain or can’t remove the object on your own. When you first realize that there’s something in your teeth, try using dental floss or a mouth rinse to get rid of it. Do not use tweezers, toothpicks, or other sharp objects; they may seem like they could help, but one wrong move could cause a serious soft tissue injury, and that could lead to a completely different kind of dental emergency. Our team can carefully and gently remove foreign materials from your teeth if you haven’t been able to get rid of them yourself.