Emergency Dentist – Encinitas, CA

Same-Day Dental Treatment for Immediate Relief

In the midst of a dental emergency, it can be difficult to make the best decisions for your oral health, especially if you’re in pain. That’s why we always recommend calling our dental office as soon as possible. Our team of fast responders are happy to provide same-day dental treatment whenever possible to restore your oral health and ease your discomfort. Dr. Greg McElroy is an emergency dentist in Encinitas who is also certified in oral conscious sedation so you can safely relax while undergoing whatever procedure you may need.

Why Choose McElroy Smiles by Design of Encinitas for Emergency Dentistry?

  • IV Sedation & General Anesthesia Offered In-House
  • High-Quality Cone Beam CT Diagnostic Scans
  • A Caring, Long-Standing Dental Team

How We Treat Dental Emergencies

Man holding his cheek in pain while visiting emergency dentist in Encinitas
  1. Call Us. The first step you should always take if you find yourself requiring emergency dentistry is to call our office. We typically see our emergency patients the same day, although in some cases, we may schedule you for the following day. We do everything we can to get you out of pain as soon as possible.
  2. Get Examined. Before we’re able to make a diagnosis, we’ll need to examine your teeth and gums, and if necessary, capture diagnostic scans of your mouth using our digital X-ray system or cone beam CT scanner.
  3. Treatment Overview. Once we’ve determined the problem at-hand, we’ll create a customized treatment plan to stop your pain and restore your smile. This may also include follow-up appointments if you require more than one procedure.
  4. Restore Your Smile. As soon as you consent to moving forward with your treatment plan, our team will jump into action repairing your oral health.

The Most Common Dental Emergencies

If you’re unsure of whether your situation can be categorized as a dental emergency, give us a call. We’ll provide you with first-aid guidance and schedule an appropriate appointment time to address your concerns. We’ve also included a list of the most common situations we treat below!

Understanding the Cost of Emergency Dentistry

Blonde woman leaning back in dental chair

When you first call our office to schedule an emergency dental appointment, you may be wondering how much your treatment will cost. However, that is something that we can only figure out after examining your mouth; after all, no two dental emergencies are the same, and the specifics of your situation are what will ultimately determine the amount you pay for treatment. Rest assured that our team is dedicated to helping you get the care you deserve without breaking your budget.

Every Dental Emergency is Different

Woman rubbing her jaw due to discomfort

What kind of treatment will you need in order to deal with your dental emergency? Can the problem be solved with a simple filling? Or are you in need of a root canal treatment or a tooth extraction? Some emergencies are more severe than others and thus may call for more costly forms of care. Whenever we recommend one of our services, we will give you an estimate of how much it will cost so that you aren’t caught off guard later down the line.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Dental Emergencies?

Blocks spelling out the words dental plan

If you have a dental insurance plan, there is a good chance that it will help pay for your emergency dental care. Oftentimes, your dental insurance company will be willing to cover the cost of at least one emergency exam per year. On top of that, many of the procedures that you might need as part of emergency dental care tend to be at least partially covered by dental insurance. In many cases, your plan will pay for about 50% to 80% of the cost of a given treatment.

No two dental insurance policies are exactly the same, so make sure that you fully understand your benefits before you agree to move forward with a suggested treatment plan.

Other Options for Making Dental Emergencies Affordable

Man leaning back in dental chair and smiling

Dental insurance isn’t the only option for saving money on treatments involving your smile. Our in-house dental savings plan includes discounts on most of our dental services. On top of that, our office can help you apply for financing via CareCredit, Proceed, and Sunbit. Financing can be a convenient option for patients who might have an easier time paying for their care in monthly installments instead of all at once. Do you have concerns about fitting emergency dentistry into your budget? Our team is here to let you know what options are available.

Taking Care of Your Smile Can Save You Money

Using sink to rinse off a toothbrush

You won’t have to worry about paying for emergency dental care if you can avoid urgent dental issues altogether. Of course, not every dental problem can be avoided. That said, regular trips to the dentist along with good oral hygiene habits can significantly lower the chances of experiencing a dental emergency. Furthermore, if you already have a cavity or another type of dental issue, having it treated right away could save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

Keys to Preventing Dental Emergencies

Patient smiling while giving thumbs up in treatment chair

Are you interested in learning how to prevent dental emergencies in Encinitas? Good news: you’re in the right place! Below, we’re covering a few of the most effective ways to protect your smile from harm.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Woman smiling while holding handheld mirror

At your biannual checkup and cleaning, we cover a lot of ground – from screening for cavities to removing built-up plaque. This helps prevent oral health problems from developing and, if they do, ensures that we can intervene with the necessary treatment before it turns into an emergency situation. So, if your last checkup was more than six months ago, now is the time to schedule your next one!

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene At Home

Man smiling at reflection while flossing his teeth

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy requires a commitment to a solid oral hygiene regimen. In other words, brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash consistently can go a long way in protecting your smile from harm. If you ever need a refresher on proper technique or want recommendations on which products to use, you’re more than welcome to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help you improve your at-home oral hygiene regimen!

Stick to a Nutritious Diet

Woman smiling while snacking on fruit at home

Throughout the years, you may have been told to limit your consumption of sugar to prevent cavities. The good news is that there are also foods you can eat to improve your oral health! Fresh fruits and vegetables are a great example because they are packed with the nutrients your body needs to fight infections and keep your teeth strong. Lean proteins, healthy carbs, and dairy products are great additions as well.

Wear a Mouthguard

Man in white shirt wearing blue mouthguard outside

Just like you wouldn’t skateboard without a helmet or rollerblade without kneepads, you shouldn’t play sports without a mouthguard. Although small, this device can help prevent knocked-out teeth, loose restorations, soft tissue injuries, and the like. So, if you don’t currently have one, schedule an appointment with our Encinitas dental team. We’ll take impressions of your mouth and get to work on having your custom mouthguard made!

Use Tools to Open Packages, Not Your Teeth

Person using scissors to remove clothing tag

Unfortunately, many patients have developed the habit of using their teeth as tools. This includes everything from using their teeth to remove clothing tags to using their mouth to hold their keys while they look through their purse. Remember, this can introduce countless bacteria to your mouth while also dramatically increasing your chances of chipping, cracking, or fracturing your teeth. So, to protect your smile and wallet from a dental emergency, never use your teeth as tools.

Dental Emergency FAQs

A woman touching her cheek with her fingers

Even as you consider emergency dentistry, you may have concerns about it. Fair enough – most people would want to go into a treatment well-informed. By knowing the relevant details, you’ll feel more confident in the quality of your care. Fortunately, our office can help: listed below are some oft-asked dental emergency questions and their respective answers. Reading them should give you a sense of how urgent oral care works. If you need further information, though, don’t hesitate to call our office!

Can the emergency room remove a tooth?

Unfortunately, no; an emergency room isn’t able to remove teeth. Only licensed dentists are allowed to perform tooth extractions. As such, the procedure is illegal for those without the proper training and education – even if they’re hospital staff.


Still, this fact doesn’t mean an ER can’t help. While it won’t fix your toothache’s cause, it can provide you with antibiotics and pain medication. These would help you manage your oral issues until you get professional care.


All the same, you may not even need a tooth extraction. Root canal therapy might relieve your discomfort without pulling your pearly white. Ultimately, seeing a dentist is the only way to know if an extraction is necessary.


What does throbbing tooth pain mean?

Generally, throbbing tooth pain means your tooth is infected or inflamed. Said infection (or inflammation) can occur when cracks let bacteria reach your dental pulp. As the germs reach your tooth’s interior, they infect the pulp nerves and cause persistent pain.


Of course, there are other potential causes of throbbing tooth pain. This ache can also occur if your pearly white suffers from decay. Alternatively, throbbing teeth can stem from bruxism – chronic teeth grinding and clenching.


Do chipped teeth heal?

True enough, enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. You may assume that a chipped tooth can heal. In reality, though, such an injury won’t recover on its own.


You see, enamel isn’t like your skin and bones. It’s not living tissue but a collection of minerals bound together. As such, the tooth layer doesn’t have any cells to help it grow back or repair. (The best it can do is re-mineralize.) Your chipped teeth will stay that way unless you get outside assistance.


Thankfully, you can change a tooth’s shape with restorative and cosmetic dental work.


Can I fix dentures that are broken in half?

If your denture has truly broken in half, you can’t simply fix it yourself. Only a skilled prosthodontist (i.e., a dentist specializing in artificial teeth) can repair it. They have the required tools and knowledge to do so.


All that said, you should call the dentist who first gave you the denture. Their office will have detailed knowledge of your restoration, which would help them make repairs. In the meantime, you can use a spare denture if one is available. You just shouldn’t let this kind become your regular prosthetic.