In the event of a chipped tooth, the patient should visit a dentist within 2-3 hours. A chipped tooth may be saved if tended to quickly. In the window of time before emergency examination, take the proper steps to minimize chances of infection. Apply gentle pressure to the gums around the tooth to stop bleeding, but never apply direct force to the chipped tooth. Rinse the mouth with warm water and apply cold compresses to control swelling.
Trauma powerful enough to knock out a tooth requires immediate attention with a dentist in order to maximize chances of saving the tooth. If the lost tooth can be recovered, it should only be handled by the crown, or white part of the tooth. The tooth should be removed of any obvious debris and gently re-inserted into the empty tooth socket, and held in place with a clean washcloth. If the patient cannot re-insert the tooth, it should be kept moist until the emergency dentist visit, preferably in milk, saline solution or saliva.
Other dental emergencies that should be treated immediately include toothaches, cracked teeth, bitten lip or tongue (may require emergency room visit), and objects stuck between teeth.