Dental Emergency

If you or someone you know is in need of emergency dental service, call our office immediately!

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(408) 340-6480

If this is a life-threatening emergency, call 911!

If you're not sure if a dental problem is an emergency, we offer this advice: If it hurts, it's an emergency. This is because even injuries that seem small can affect the living tissues inside the teeth. Quick response to a dental problem improves the odds of saving injured or damaged teeth.

Any obvious damage to a tooth should be treated as soon as possible. Chips or fractures can affect the living tissue inside the tooth, causing more problems in the future. We can prevent the damage from getting worse with early treatment.

The same is true of a lost filling or crown. Even if you don't have symptoms, the tooth has lost its support and it could easily become damaged. Pieces could break off or crumble, and you would need more extensive treatment. If you see us right away, there's a good chance we will be able to repair the damage more easily.

105 N Bascom Ave, Suite 201
San Jose, CA 95128

(408) 340-6480

Map / Driving Directions

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding specific dental emergencies.

Injured tooth: What Should I Do?

As with any trauma to the mouth, you should consult with us immediately to determine if treatment is required. We will examine the area and take necessary x-rays.

If you are in pain from a broken, cracked or chipped tooth, you may want to take an over the counter anti-inflammatory pain reliever such as Advil or aspirin. If possible, keep any part of the tooth that has broken off and bring it with you to your appointment. Avoid chewing on the injured tooth and avoid extreme temperatures.

Chipped tooth, Cracked tooth or Broken Teeth

If there is no pain and the chip is small, it's up to you to decide if, when and how the tooth should be repaired. Depending on the size of the chip, it can be smoothed or cosmetically corrected. Ask us to explain the options available to you. If a filling or artificial tooth becomes chipped, it should be replaced. Cracked or broken teeth should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Keep in mind that cracks are not always visible, even on x-rays. Symptoms may involve pain while chewing and sensitivity to cold and possibly hot foods and liquids as well as air, which may over time, become more pronounced.

Teeth knocked out

To improve the chances of the tooth being saved, Dr. Lim suggests doing the following:

  • Handle the tooth carefully. Avoid touching the root of the tooth (the part of the tooth that was embedded in the gum).
  • If the tooth is dirty, hold it by the upper part (the crown) and rinse it off with milk or contact lens solution until most of the dirt is washed away. If you don't have either of those available, then it is best to leave the tooth alone. Wiping it off with a handkerchief or shirttail may cause additional damage to the microscopic cells still on the root surface.
  • It is important to keep the tooth moist. If possible, drop it into a glass of milk. If no milk is available, then place the tooth in the mouth between the cheek and gum.
  • A young child who has had a tooth knocked out may not be able to safely "store" the tooth in his or her mouth without swallowing it, so don't give the tooth to a young child for safe-keeping in his or her mouth. Place the tooth in milk or have the child spit into a container and place the tooth in the cup with the saliva. The most important thing is to keep the tooth moist. Use a cup of water if nothing else is available.
  • Come see us as quickly as possible. If getting to the office immediately after a tooth has been knocked out is impossible, then you may want to try slipping the tooth back into its socket. In many cases, it will slip right in. Make sure it's facing the right way. Don't try to force it into the socket. If it doesn't go back into place easily and without pressure, then its better just to hold it between the cheek and gum or to keep it in milk, saliva or water.
Partially dislodged tooth

Sometimes a tooth is knocked loose or comes partway out of its socket because of an injury. We call this an extruded tooth. If the tooth is not broken, and the nerve and blood vessels are still attached, the tooth may be saved. To save the tooth, you need to contact us right away. Leave the tooth in your mouth even though it is partially out of the socket. Take an over the counter pain reliever and apply a cold pack to relieve pain until you reach our office.

Lost filling or a crown came off

Sometimes fillings or crowns fall out. In some cases, a filling or crown may become loose because there is decay underneath it. The decay destroys part of the tooth, so it no longer has a tight hold on the crown or filling. These situations are rarely an emergency. However, it can be painful because the exposed tooth tissue is often sensitive to temperature, pressure or air. If you lose a crown, put it in a safe place and make an appointment to see us as soon as possible.

Don't wait too long. What is left of the tooth will not be as strong as your crown. It could be damaged more without the crown to protect it. Also, when a crown is missing for a long time, your teeth may move into the space where the crown was. If this happens your crown may no longer fit.

Severe pain (not from trauma)

Any injury to the gums or teeth can be very painful. At other times, you may have dental pain and not know why. For example, sudden pain may be caused by pieces of food that come in contact with a decayed area of the tooth. Food, heat or cold may create pressure near the nerve and cause pain. The nerve inside the tooth also may be exposed if you lose a filling or crown.

Pain that gets worse over time can also be caused by food that's stuck between your tooth and gum. If you don't brush and floss well, the bits of food remain. Bacteria multiply in this area, and an infection of the tooth and gum may develop. This type of infection is called an abscess. It can be at the root end of the tooth (in bone) or in the gums. An abscess can be a serious health problem if it is not treated. If swelling inside or outside of the mouth is occurring, you need to seek help immediately either through our office or your medical doctor.

Call us to make an appointment so that we can evaluate the cause of your pain and get you back to health quickly.

Injuries of the lips and/or gums

Trauma to the lips, tongue and inside of the mouth is quite common. The soft flesh of the lips and their exposed location make them vulnerable to injury. Any cut inside the mouth usually bleeds heavily because of the rich supply of blood to the area.

Many lip and tongue injuries occur during sports activities. They often can be prevented through the use of a mouth guard. We can create a professional, custom fit mouth guard for you. Contact our office for more information.

At home, you can clean injured skin surfaces with mild soapy water and a soft, clean cloth. To clean cuts inside the mouth, rinse with salt water or a hydrogen peroxide solution (one part hydrogen peroxide and one part water). Be sure not to swallow this peroxide rinse. However, do not be concerned if it foams. This is what the rinse normally does when it contacts mouth tissue.

If your lip is swollen or bruised, apply a cold compress. If there is bleeding, apply pressure with a clean cloth for at least 5 minutes. Using ice can help limit swelling, bleeding and discomfort. Wrap crushed ice in clean gauze or a clean piece of cloth and hold it on the affected area.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • Bleeding cannot be controlled with pressure and a cold compress
  • You have a deep cut
  • A cut crosses the border between the lip and facial skin
  • The lip is punctured
  • An infection develops after an injury
  • Swelling of the neck or floor of mouth occurs
Mouth burn due to hot foods (such as pizza)

What is it? Your pizza arrives, you're hungry and it smells good. You take out the first piece, take a big bite..... And burn the roof of your mouth. Now you have pizza palate!

Other hot foods can also burn the roof of your mouth. These types of burns have come to be called "pizza palate" because they are most commonly caused by pizza.

These burns are usually minor and heal within a few days. Warm salt water rinses after meals will help keep the area clean. To make the rinse, dissolve 1/8 tsp of salt in 8 ounces of water.


Center For Advanced Dentistry (Reviews)
Overall Dental Practice Rating - ★★★★★ 5 out of 5 based on 14 ratings.
Fourteen San Jose Dentist Reviews.

★★★★★
Super friendly and inviting office.... but I hear they're moving to an even better location two doors down!
The staff is welcoming and friendly, and Dr. Lim is awesome, makes you feel like family and you've known him forever.
Recently went in for impressions and WOW, they rocked it. I've had braces 3x and every time I swear they mix the paste wrong and choke me! Not here. They had just finished up some safety standard meeting with a trainer. It's always nice to know they're staying informed about sanitation and cross contamination to keep their patience safe.
Location is a little hard just because it's a divided road, you'll have to flip a u-ie if you're going back toward Santa Clara. Totally worth a visit.

★★★★★
The motto of this dental practice should be "come for the dental work, stay for the view!"
Seriously, this office has the most amazing view of the bay; it's up on the 6th floor above Union Street and from your little dental chair of doom one can enjoy sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the rest of the postcard perfect sights while biting down on that evil little piece of plastic to get your x-rays. We're talkin' a penthouse suite, big balla type view - if this was a hotel room it would be $1,000 a night. But instead of paying big bucks, I just have to put up with a little bit of scraping and grinding and I can enjoy it for FREE! (Thanks dental insurance!)
I've been coming here since I was a kid (when it was Dr. Bolan's practice) and somehow the fabulous views and kind staff always made getting my teeth cleaned much easier. My dental hygienist, Stephanie, is gentle, efficient, and detail oriented, and the front office staff are always pleasant and helpful.
Dr. Lim is the newest member of the practice (which used to include Dr. Keith and Dr. Chao) and I believe he has pretty much taken over for them. He is young, smart, knowledgeable, and easy to talk to. He's a prosthodontics and dental implant specialist, so since I basically just come in for cleanings and the occasional tiny cavity, it's kind of like having Thomas Keller fix you a grilled cheese sandwich - he's way too talented and educated for my minor dental issues, but he always treats me like I'm as important as anyone else.

★★★★★
Dr Steven Lim sold his practice to Dr Potesta-Knoll and Dr Knoll this past year but they're ALL awesome. I had Dr Lim remove a tooth for me in November and since he sold the practice he incorporated Dr Potesta-Knoll and Dr Knoll into my treatments. The transition was WAYYY easier than I was afraid (no one likes change) but they're all so nice and helpful. Dr Potesta always has a smile on her face and Dr Knoll was very warm and understanding to any little issues I had with my dental implant.
And their Nurses and support staff make appointments so simple and always glad to see me! Especially Sue who I've been dealing with since last year when she saw me through my worst!
Ada and Bella are also super duper real and they're so nice I don't think "nice" is the best way to define this team! And Dr Potesta has a few new nurses/support staff who I don't know the names of but I just don't think there's every been a grumpy person in that office.
Although I have no insurance coverage and I am paying for everything myself, they're one of the few that I will say, money well spent and well worth it!

★★★★★
Great service!! Friendly nice professional staff. Very gentle but still great, they make you feel very comfortable and welcome. If your looking for a nice reliable trustworthy spot this is it!

★★★★★
After feeling not very well attended to at my previous dentist, and having my wife be very happy with hers. I started considering switching to hers: Dr Lim.
Another reminder was the quality of her mouth guard (that Dr Lim made) compared to mine. Mine was just way cruder, bigger and I assume less comfortable.
So I switched. I have been there about 5 times now, and had both routine and substantial dental work done. Every time I have had the experience that Dr Lim and his staff are attentive, committed to quality work and a happy me, and able to deliver on both :)

★★★★★
Having lived in San Francisco for nearly 5 years, I can say with out hesitation that Steve Lim is the best dentist I have found, after visiting many. I found his practice being referred by a friend after I had a filling done by another dentist (I will not mention) which was causing me pain.
Dr. Lim identified the problem that my previous dentist had broken the filling and did not repair it correctly, he re performed the corrective procedure, and now it is better than it ever. I would enthusiastically recommend Dr. Lim and his friendly staff to any friend.

★★★★★
Dr. Lim and his staff are simply the best. I have had so much dental work done I feel like a professional critic by now! I have gone through oral surgeons, ortho's and prosthodontists and he is by far the best I have seen. He is honest, easy to talk to, and he listens. But most importantly, his work is really good. I received a dental implant from him that was painless, I was not even swollen the next day. I think I took one ibuprofen. He is completely comprehensive in his care, meticulous, and humble. He is the only dentist I see now.
It is so important to put you dental care in the hands of a true professional, I am grateful to have found him.

★★★★★
You won't find a better dentist, seriously, I know. I've moved many times and have had to jump around to many different dentists, but Dr. Lim and his staff are so good, that no matter where I end up, I'll always come back. The staff is super friendly and the teeth cleanings are not your normal run of the mill cleanings...they are seriously no joke! She takes her time and gets into every possible nook and cranny. I can't help but flash a huge smile every time I leave the office and walk down Union St. showing off what feels like a whole new set a squeaky clean teeth. Dr. Lim always remembers little things about me and treats me like I feel he would family. He's very personable and acts like he cares a lot. He always explains what he's doing and prepares me for what's to come next. The implant I had to get ended up being a far less scary procedure than I expected and couple years later, it still seems perfect. He walked me though the whole thing and even followed up after the procedure to see how everything was going, which again shows that he really cares about the patient and his work.

And the cherry on top is the incredible view!! It really doesn't get any better. Laying down on that super comfy leather recliner, having someone clean my teeth and enjoying the amazing view of the Palace of Fine Arts, the GG Bridge and the Bay makes me feel like I'm treating myself to a spa day! I actually look forward to my visits to Dr. Lim's office and go in a lot more regularly to get my teeth cleaned. Highly recommend a visit to Dr Lim's office...you won't be disappointed!

★★★★★
I used to dread going to the dentist especially for fillings but Dr. Lim is amazing. I couldn't feel a thing and I have a ridiculously low pain threshold!! Don't hesitate to see him...

★★★★★
Best dentist, Best dental hygienists, Best office staff, Best Location! Highest marks for this extraordinarily well qualified (academics, experience, specialized training in several areas of state-of-the-art dentistry) San Francisco dentist. Dr. Lim's dental practice is run with the patient's comfort and high quality care as first priority. You know you are being treated by a dentist and staff who are highly qualified and professional, as well as current on the latest in dental health and state-of-the-art dental procedures

★★★★★
I can only say positive things about Dr. Lim and his office. I had a couple of implants put in just yesterday and I wasn't even nervous at all. He did a fantastic job as always. I will never go to any other dentist office again! They have the newest technology equipment. The staff personnel is very professional and super nice. The office itself is super clean...even the restroom! Actually I was quite impressed with the restroom because it was/is exceptionally clean and all new. Thank you so much for all the great work you have already done and are going to still do!

★★★★★
We found Dr.Lim since his new office is located near us off Bascom. My husband went to him first came back raving about how great they were. I booked my appointment a week later. He was so right! They are awesome! They did such a great job cleaning and the Dr.even did a little extra sanding on one tooth that was chipped and causing staining. What I really loved most was how nice they were and that they didn't turn into a car dealership and just try to sell me garbage like my last dentist in Los Gatos. I highly recommend this office to anyone looking for a dentist.

★★★★★
I highly recommend Dr. Lim, as he is a world renowned prosthodontist - the best one in the Bay Area (trust me, I did my research!).
I've been going to his office for cleanings and cavity fillings for over 2 years before I decided to trust him with one of the most important things in my life - my smile make-over for my wedding. Dr. Lim did an amazing job! I used to always smile with my mouth closed, never showing my teeth. Now, my smile is so open and radiant. I'm not afraid of showing my pearly whites and I am constantly getting compliments on them. This literally made me a 'happier' person - I smile widely all the time!!!
Dr. Lim and his staff are caring and professional. Everyone who works at his office seem to genuinely enjoy what they do, and they are always cheerful and helpful. No one likes going to the dentist, but this place makes it as enjoyable as it can be. And if you're looking for a smile make-over, Dr. Lim is your guy!

★★★★★
Love this dentist office They are always so friendly and efficient! Dr. Lim is such a nice guy and knows his work.