Dental Emergencies

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I have spent 20 years in general dental practice and I would like to share some tips on dental emergencies and how they can be avoided below followed by some useful telephone numbers:


What are dental emergencies and how can I avoid them?

Dental emergencies can occur when your tooth breaks, cracks, becomes loosened, or is knocked out. They can also happen if a filling or other dental work fails, or if you have an acute dental infection.


What should I do if a tooth is knocked out?

If your tooth is knocked out, you should call your dentist immediately and book an emergency appointment. If you can see your dentist within an hour of the incident, your tooth will have the best chance of surviving the trauma.

Try to handle the knocked out tooth by the top, not by the root or the part on the bottom. Touching the root of the tooth can damage the tooth and the chances of success of re-attachment of the tooth to the bone.

Gently rinse the tooth for ten seconds in cold running water to remove any dirt, but be careful not to scrub it. You can either place the tooth in between your cheek and gum to keep it moist (not recommended for young children as the may swallow it). Alternatively, put the tooth in a clean container and cover it with milk before seeking urgent dental attention.

With any excess or prolonged bleeding patient should go to hospital.


What should I do if my tooth is pushed out of position?

If your tooth is loosened and pushed out of position you should call your dentist and arrange an emergency dental appointment. In the meantime, attempt to reposition the tooth using very light finger pressure being careful not to force it. For children, do seek advice before any attempt of repositioning. With any excess or prolonged bleeding patient should go to hospital.


How should I handle a chipped or fractured tooth or filling?

If you fracture a tooth, rinse your mouth with warm water and use an ice pack or cold compress to reduce any swelling. Take Ibuprufen, not Aspirin, for pain (not for Asthma patient, pregnant or sensitive to Ibuprufen)

Minor fractures and chips can be smoothed out by your dentist, larger ones may need a restoration, such as a filling, crown or inlay.


What should I do if the tissue of my mouth is injured?

Injuries inside the mouth include tears or cuts, puncture wounds, and lacerations or cheek, lips, or tongue. Wounds should be cleaned immediately with warm water, and you should go directly to a dentist for emergency care. With any excess or prolonged bleeding, patient should go to hospital.




If you would like advice about what to do in a dental emergency, or you need help finding a dentist then you can call following numbers. If you are a member of Denplan call our Emergency Helpline Team on 0800 844 999.

If you are local to us or visiting the area and you are not registered with a dentist, then you should try to call our mobile number on 07391633876. One of our member of staff would call you back if they are available.


It is not easy to find a dentist when you most need one and the experience could be very stressful and painful. Your dental emergency may be a minor or a serious problem. But how you should know and what can you do? Well the first thing you should do is to call your dental practice and make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. If you are away sometimes your dental practice can help you to find one.

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Last updated: 27/12/2017



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