Emergency Dentistry — Lacey, WA

Fast, Pain-Relieving Emergency Dental Care


You probably know just what to do if you have a broken arm. You would go to the emergency room or contact emergency services right away. What if your emergency is oral health related? Some patients say they would wait until the dental office was open to call or even wait until their next dental appointment, and others say they would still go to the emergency room. At Peterson & Cammack Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we have a better option – call our dental team. In most cases, we can see patients for emergency dentistry in Lacey, WA on the same day they call us. If we can’t see you right away, one of our knowledgeable team members will walk you through how to care for your smile until you reach our dental office.

Why Choose Peterson & Cammack Family & Cosmetic Dentistry for Emergency Dentistry?

  • Accommodates Same-Day Appointments
  • In-Network with Major Dental Insurance Plans
  • Team of Experienced Dentists

How We Treat Dental Emergencies

Woman with a dental emergency in Lacey using a computer
  • Same-day appointment: When you call our dental office during a dental emergency, we can help you assess your situation over the phone and start planning to fully repair your smile. We’ll do our best to get you seen the same day and at the very least provide first-aid tips you can take right away ahead of your visit.
  • Emergency exam: After you arrive, one of our dentists will begin examining your smile and determine the cause and location of your emergency symptoms. If needed, we may also capture digital X-rays in order to gain a better understanding of your problem.
  • Review findings: Once we’ve helped you get comfortable and gotten you out of pain, we’ll break down our findings with you and recommend treatments we believe will best address your emergency. This plan includes an estimated timeline and expected costs, so you can be fully informed before you make a decision about your care.
  • Get the care you need: Our dentists are trained to treat a wide variety of dental emergencies. The most common services we recommend include dental fillings, crowns, root canal therapy, and tooth extractions, but we may suggest other options if appropriate.

The Most Common Dental Emergencies

If you think it’s necessary for us to see you right away, we trust your opinion! Dental emergencies can come in many different forms, making it difficult to know what is and isn’t urgent. Even if we determine that you don’t need to be seen immediately, it’s always best to start repairing damaged smiles as soon as possible, so please don’t hesitate to call. In the meantime, you can start taking steps to manage your dental emergency ahead of your appointment with the tips below.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Emergencies 

Family smiling with emergency dentist

A patient should never have to feel like they can’t visit an emergency dentist if they’re in pain because they’re concerned about the price. Our team at Peterson & Cammack Family & Cosmetic Dentistry are dedicated to making dentistry cost-effective, which is why we offer additional, flexible financing and are in-network with several major dental insurance plans. It’s important to keep in mind that every emergency appointment can differ depending on what treatment you need, so if you have any questions about pricing, don’t hesitate to ask us during your visit.

Every Dental Emergency is Different

Patient learning cost of dental emergencies with dentist

At Peterson & Cammack Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, our team is here to deliver timely treatment when you need it most. Because every dental emergency is different, you can expect us to thoroughly examine your smile, recommend a solution, and map out what you can expect to pay. Depending on the severity of your problem, you might be required to undergo one or more of the most common treatments:

  • A tooth extraction
  • A custom-made dental crown
  • Root canal therapy
  • Antibiotics

Taking Care of Your Smile Can Save You Money

Person holding model tooth and coins

Is tripping over your child’s bike in the driveway preventable? Not always. Is a toothache that develops as a result of poor oral hygiene something that is avoidable? Absolutely. It is true there are instances where dental emergencies are unavoidable; however, in many cases, you can take additional steps to safeguard your smile. One of the most important ways to keep from seeing an emergency dentist is to maintain good oral health.

Brushing, flossing, and rinsing are necessary components to keeping your teeth and gums free of decay and disease. Not to mention, you’ll want to combine these at-home habits with regular dental checkups and cleanings by Dr. Peterson or Dr. Cammack. By taking control of your oral hygiene, you’ll minimize the chances of infection and the possibility of a root canal, tooth extraction, and necessary tooth replacement, all of which can be increasingly costly over time.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Dental Emergencies?

Person using laptop to purchase dental insurance

You’ll be pleased to learn that most dental insurance companies will agree to pay a portion of your emergency visit. You may even discover that you have one emergency exam covered by your insurer! But before you assume this is the case, it is best to check with your insurance company ahead of time.

The type of insurance plan you have will determine how much you can expect them to pay. Most companies will agree to cover 50-80% of the total cost, depending on the type of restorative treatment you will need. This is one of the added benefits of enrolling in a dental insurance plan whether it is through your employer or on your own. This will allow you to keep more money in your pocket should you face a crisis.

Other Options for Making Dental Emergencies Affordable

Emergency dentist calculating costs of dental care

If dental insurance is not an option for you, do not worry! Drs. Peterson and Cammack also accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. They are also pleased to work with CareCredit, which is a third-party financing company that offers flexible payment plans for eligible individuals who need to break up the cost of treatment to stay within a budget. Our team will work with you to identify a method of payment that is right for you.

The team at Peterson & Cammack Family & Cosmetic Dentistry is here when you need us. No matter if you’re visiting for a standard checkup or needing immediate care for a knocked-out tooth, we’re here to deliver timely, appropriate, and affordable care, so you can return to enjoying life with a healthier, complete smile.

Keys to Preventing Dental Emergencies

Woman flossing to prevent dental emergencies

In many cases, dental emergencies can’t be avoided. Even the most careful patients can experience dental damage and tooth decay. A sudden fall, biting down on a hard piece of food, or forgoing regular dental checkups can have you quickly scheduling an emergency dental appointment. However, there are some things you can do to prevent dental emergencies in Lacey. Keeping these helpful tips in mind will ensure you enjoy a healthier, damage-free smile year-round. After reviewing the following information, please don’t hesitate to contact our office for any additional inquiries you might have. We’ll be happy to discuss further during a scheduled appointment.  

Continue to See Your Dentist Every Six Months

Man listening to dentist in Lacey

If you want to avoid a sudden trip to the emergency dental office in Lacey, make sure you keep your regular six-month dental checkups and cleanings. These appointments allow our team to check for any signs or problems that may lead to tooth decay, cavities, or gum disease. Not to mention, we can also examine you for oral cancer. During your visit, a dental hygienist will also remove any hardened plaque and tartar, so your risk for gum disease lessens and prevents you from experiencing inflamed gums, bone, and potential tooth loss.

Maintain Optimal Oral Hygiene at Home

Woman holding toothbrush in Lacey

Just as important at regular dental visits is proper at-home oral hygiene. Adopting a morning and nighttime routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing can help to alleviate the potential for nagging toothaches and serious infections. By brushing twice a day for two minutes, using fluoride toothpaste, flossing at least once a day before bed, and rinsing with an ADA-approved mouthwash, you’ll eliminate bad bacteria and harmful acids that can plague your smile.

Stick to a Nutritious Diet

Woman eating salad in Lacey

You may not realize it, but the foods you eat can help or hinder your smile. Leafy greens, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy are all healthy options that can strengthen your tooth enamel and improve your gum health. While a cookie or another sweet treat may be fine now and then, too much sugar and starch can make way for bacteria to develop and begin eating away at your tooth enamel. By incorporating healthier foods into your daily diet, you’ll not only enjoy a smaller waistline but also a better smile.

Wear a Mouthguard to Protect Your Teeth

Customized mouthguard in Lacey

Whether you play sports or tend to grind your teeth at night while you sleep, a protective and customized mouthguard can be a worthwhile investment. These unique oral appliances cover your upper row of teeth against severe damage should force be applied that can cause chips, cracks, breaks, or even serious lacerations. Worn tooth enamel and chronic jaw pain can also be prevented with the help of a trusted mouthguard. By having one created for your smile, you’ll avoid lots of time and money spent seeing your emergency dentist for immediate treatment.

Never Use Your Teeth as Tools

Couple smiling in Lacey

If you are accustomed to using your teeth as tools, stop right now! Not only will this practice wear down your tooth enamel, but your attempt to open a package or container can lead to breaking, chipping, or knocking out a tooth. Instead, take the extra time to find the right tool for the job and save your smile from significant injury.


Dental Emergency Frequently Asked Questions

Speech bubble containing the letters “FAQ”

At Peterson & Cammack Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we know that when emergencies arise, you want solutions immediately. An emergency dentist in Lacey is here to help you navigate your dental emergency whether it means getting you in to see us immediately or walking you through the steps you can take at home until we can see you. Our team of expert dental professionals has compiled a list of frequently asked questions about dental emergencies to help give you peace of mind should a problem occur. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have additional questions or concerns.

What should I do about the pain I’m experiencing?

Tooth or mouth pain of any kind is an unwelcome feeling. When pain associated with a dental emergency occurs, take an over-the-counter pain reliever to alleviate some of the discomfort, if possible. But, remember to call our dental office first. It is imperative that we know the situation and how much pain you are in. If severe enough, you will need to come in to see one of our skilled dental professionals as soon as possible.

What should I do if I experience a dental emergency while out of town?

Waiting until you return to seek help is most certainly not a good idea. Instead, if you suddenly find yourself dealing with a dental emergency while on vacation or out of town on business, get to a local dental office as quickly as possible. This will allow you to receive immediate care and return to your normal activity as soon as possible. Make sure to contact our dental office and alert us to the situation. If necessary, we may recommend that you come in when you return to allow Dr. Peterson or Dr. Cammack to examine your problem area and make sure no additional treatment is needed.

If my pain stops, should I still come in for an appointment?

Yes! While pain is often the most prominent sign that something is wrong, it won’t always present itself when a problem occurs. If your discomfort begins to dissipate, this is a good thing; however, it does not mean you should call and cancel your appointment. Make sure you keep your time slot and let our team examine your smile. It is common for issues to exist beneath the surface, hidden from the naked eye, but with digital X-Rays and specialized equipment, we can easily identify if an infection or other problem is developing. This will allow us to begin treatment quickly and put your oral health back on track.

Should I visit the ER or an emergency dentist?

This is probably one of the most common questions. If it’s an emergency, you often think of the emergency room as the go-to place; however, when it comes to the mouth, dental professionals are often better equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to address these kinds of injuries. Unfortunately, not all mouth-related injuries are best treated by a dentist.

To determine whether you should go to the hospital or your dentist, here are a few scenarios that will point you in the direction of your local ER:

  • You continue to bleed for 15 minutes or more after applying pressure.
  • Your jaw is fractured, broken, or dislocated.
  • There are lacerations to your face that require stitches.
  • A tooth has been knocked out and you’re unable to see us within an hour.
  • Swelling is not going down, or you have an abscessed tooth or a severe toothache that requires antibiotics immediately.

Why is it important to address dental emergencies early?

Injuries to the mouth are nothing to put off. You wouldn’t brush off a sprained or fractured ankle, would you? So why would you wait to see a dentist for a broken or knocked-out tooth? It is up to the dentist to determine how severe the injury is and how it can be treated, but they can’t do that if you don’t call and alert us to the problem.

If we cannot see you immediately, we will offer instructions and steps to take at home that will keep you comfortable until we can get you in, or we will instruct you to visit your local emergency room. A dental emergency that is left untreated could mean years and years of dental work in your future, in an attempt to fix a problem that could be remedied in a matter of minutes or hours.

Will my dental insurance cover my emergency appointment?

How much your dental insurance will agree to cover depends on the type of restorative treatment you receive. If Dr. Peterson or Dr. Cammack recommend a dental crown, filling, tooth extraction, or root canal therapy, each of these will fall into different categories of major or minor services. Depending on how your insurance policy is drafted, you will likely pay anywhere from 20-30% for minor procedures or 30-50% for major procedures. Before moving forward with treatment, make sure you contact your dental insurance company and find out how much you can expect to pay out of pocket for your necessary dental care.