Emergency Dental Care (2024)

Emergency Dental Care (1)

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Referral Information for Patients

Are you being referred to us by an existing dental provider?

Crowns and other single restorative procedures: you need to be a patient of record and have all your dental treatment done here; referrals for crowns and other restorative procedures will not be accepted.

Extractions/Oral Surgery: If you are experiencing dental pain, you can come to our Emergency Services clinic and they can refer you for oral surgery. In non-emergency situations, you must obtain a referral and then call our Oral Surgery Department at 415.929.6473.

Endodontics: Please obtain a written referral so we have medical documentation of the issue for which you are seeking treatmentand then call the main clinic at 415.929.6501 to register for a screening appointment.

We are not accepting patients at this time for

  • Orofacial Pain
  • Special Care and Hospital Dentistry
  • Periodontics

We have compiled a list of resources and referrals to dental services in the San Francisco Bay Area. Download in English, Spanish and Chinese from the links below.




We remain vigilant to ensure the safety of patients who seek care in our clinics as well as providers and other staff. Infection control has always been our top priority, and our infection control processes ensure that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. All our clinics follow infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the guidelines of these agencies so that we are up to date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.

As we continue to protect all who seek and provide care in our clinics, please note the following:

  • As of 4/3/2023 masks are optional for patients in our clinical areas.
  • If you feel unwell, please let us know as soon as possible so we can reschedule your appointment.

Your student doctor will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice.

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and appreciate you for making the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry your dental home.

ER protocol beginning Monday, June 21

  • Emergency services are first-come, first-served based on availability. Please note that the wait time to be seen in emergency can be prolonged due to the nature of emergencies presenting. The Emergency Clinic is located on the 2nd floor in clinic 2D. Emergency hours are from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, with no patients seen between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm. We begin registering for Emergency appointments at 8:00 am and 1:00 pm. However, patients are advised to arrive earlier than these registration times to get in line, as we have limited appointments available and they fill up quickly. Please note that in order to provide adequate time for appropriate care, patient intake will close at 3:00 pm. There is no guarantee that you will be seen in Emergency if you show up, as we only have a limited number of slots available each session.
  • If you are already a patient of the school, in active treatment, with an assigned student dentist, please contact your student dentist to arrange an emergency visit.
  • Patients who have already been screened but not accepted as patients of the school because their required treatment was too complex and beyond the scope of dental students' ability, are not eligible for dental school emergency services.
  • We cannot guarantee same-day availability but will make every effort to accommodate your needs. Please note that some root canals may be too complex for our dental students and you may be referred to an outside provider.
  • Please see Fees and Payment Plans below.

Upcoming Clinic Closure Schedule

Monday, June 10: Last day of Spring Quarter
Tuesday, June 11 – Friday, June 14: Clinics Closed, ER services for active patients of record only
Monday, June 17: HOLIDAY CLOSURE
Tuesday, June 18 – Wednesday, July 3: Clinics Closed, ER services for active patients of record only
Thursday, July 4: HOLIDAY CLOSURE
Friday, July 5: Clinics Closed, ER services for active patients of record only
Monday, July 8 – Friday, July 12: ER services open to all on first-come, first-served basis

Forurgent dental emergencies during school closure, after hours or weekend emergencies, please call 1.888.372.0892.


When you have an unexpected dental problem, we are ready to provide emergency care. We focus on relieving pain, swelling or bleeding. Care is provided by dental students who are supervised by faculty members.Our daytime emergency services are available to patients over 14 years of age.

How to Become a Patient

Our daytime emergency services are available to patients over 14 years of age. Please bring a current valid photo identification card and Denti-Cal card if you are covered by Denti-Cal.You will be asked to complete a demographic questionnaire, answer all questions on the health history form and fill out other forms. If applicable, please bring a copy of your medication list which includes dosages and frequency. If you have diabetes, please consume a meal on the day of your appointment and take your medication as directed.


We offer a broad range of emergency services. Limited in scope to the emergency condition and temporary in nature, emergency treatment includes placement of temporary fillings in a sensitive tooth and beginning root canal therapy in most cases. Patients requiring extractions or other emergency surgical procedures are referred to our Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinicand will be appointed as soon as their schedule allows.

Fees and Payment Plans

Our emergency dental fees will vary depending on the procedure. Patients must pay at the time of service. We accept cash, check, credit card, most private insurance plans, and some DentiCal plans. PLEASE NOTE: There are many different types of plans under DentiCal, and we do not accept all of them. Some DentiCal plans, particularly Medicare Advantage Plans (also known as Part C), include an HMO insurance component, and we cannot accept these plans.

When you call our intake staff to be registered, we will gather your DentiCal information and check what type of plan you have, and we will contact you and let you know if we cannot accept your insurance here, prior to your first appointment. Please bring a current valid photo identification card.

Location and Hours

Emergency Care
University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry
155 Fifth St.
(Patient Entrance is at the corner of Fifth Street and Minna Street)
San Francisco, CA 94103

Monday through Friday, registration for emergency services begins at 8:00 am, and the afternoon session begins at 1:00 pm.

We begin registering for Emergency appointments at
8:00 am and 1:00 pm. However, patients are advised to arrive earlier than these registration times to get in line, as we have limited appointments available and they fill up quickly.

Emergency services are available year-round except during holidays and school breaks. Hours and days are subject to change based on availability.

Emergency Dental Care (2)


Afterhours/Weekends: 1.888.372.0892

Emergency Dental Care (2024)


What can the ER do for a tooth? ›

What can an emergency room do for a toothache? Emergency room providers can give you medications, such as antibiotics or pain relievers, to alleviate pain and swelling. But they don't perform restorative treatments, such as fillings or crowns.

What is classed as a dental emergency? ›

What is considered a dental emergency? A dental emergency means you require urgent assistance for severe pain in your mouth. This could be caused by a number of things such as infection and dental injury. Common emergency dental problems include severe tooth decay, dental abscesses and knocked-out teeth.

When to go to the ER for an abscess tooth? ›

Sometimes a tooth infection can be severe and require emergency treatment. If you have trouble swallowing or breathing, this could be a sign that your dental infection has spread to nearby tissues. In severe cases, an infection that has spread to the neck can block the airways and lead to death.

Is tooth decay an emergency? ›

As the decay penetrates deeper into the tooth, it can reach the sensitive inner layers, including the dentin and pulp. This can cause tooth sensitivity, pain, and even infection. At this point, a cavity becomes a dental emergency and requires immediate attention from a Mission Valley emergency dentist.

How to stop unbearable tooth pain? ›

  1. take painkillers, like ibuprofen or paracetamol (children under 16 should not take aspirin) – a pharmacist can advise you.
  2. try rinsing your mouth with salt water (children should not try this)
  3. use a pain-relieving gel for your mouth – this can be bought from pharmacies or supermarkets.

Can the ER pull an infected tooth? ›

While hospitals provide essential medical care, treating dental abscesses falls under the purview of dental professionals. Hospitals are equipped to handle medical emergencies and certain oral conditions, but dental abscesses require the specialized care of a dentist.

How to get rid of a tooth abscess without going to the dentist? ›

Can a tooth abscess go away naturally? A tooth abscess will not go away without dental treatment. You may choose to seek relief from symptoms of a tooth abscess by trying natural remedies like saltwater rinses, baking soda, fenugreek tea, cold compresses, garlic, oil pulling, essential oil, or hydrogen peroxide rinses.

Will an emergency dentist extract a tooth? ›

If you're in a lot of pain due to a tooth, it can be difficult to know what to do. Some people may rush to urgent care or to the hospital thinking this is the best thing to do, but visiting an emergency dentist is your best option for fast care. An emergency dentist can perform a tooth extraction if needed.

What will draw the infection out of a tooth? ›

Hydrogen peroxide is one of the best home remedies to pop an infected tooth or gum abscess safely. You must use a 1:1 ratio or equal parts of peroxide and warm water to make the solution and rinse your mouth with it.

What does dental sepsis feel like? ›

A persistently high fever, dizziness, lightheadedness, a rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, confusion, and digestive problems are potential signs of sepsis and should be treated as a medical emergency.

Will urgent care drain a tooth abscess? ›

Urgent care relieves your pain and prevents potential complications, such as the spread of infection or damage to nearby teeth and tissues, by promptly draining the abscess.

Can the ER do anything for a bad tooth? ›

While most emergency rooms don't have the facilities to provide routine dental care, they can help in emergencies when urgent care is needed. The ER staff can get patients stabilized, control bleeding, and give treatment for dental fractures.

What do dentists do for severe tooth decay? ›

If you have a typical cavity, your dentist will remove the decayed tooth tissue and then restore the tooth by filling it with a filling material. Root canal. If the damage to the tooth and/or an infection spreads to the pulp (inside of the tooth), you might need a root canal.

Is a dying tooth an emergency? ›

It's important to treat a dying or dead tooth as soon as possible. That's because left untreated, the bacteria from the dead tooth can spread and lead to the loss of additional teeth. It could also affect your jawbone and gums. Your dentist may treat a dead or dying tooth with a procedure known as a root canal.

Can the ER take out a bad tooth? ›

This may include prescribing pain medication, administering antibiotics for infections, or performing basic procedures like tooth extraction to alleviate immediate discomfort. While emergency rooms can offer initial assistance for dental emergencies, they are not equipped to provide comprehensive dental treatment.

How do I know if a tooth is infected? ›

Sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold. Swelling of the gum over the infected tooth, which may look like a pimple. Swollen glands of the neck. Swollen area of the upper or lower jaw, which is a very serious symptom.

Will antibiotics stop tooth pain? ›

Can I have antibiotics for toothache? Your dentist will decide whether antibiotics are appropriate for your dental issue. Antibiotics on their own do not remove the infection or stop pain. Dental treatment is usually needed as well.

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