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What to do in Dental Emergency

What to do in Dental Emergency

Dental emergencies can often be a difficult time as they are something we can never be quite prepared for. The most important thing to do in any dental emergency is to remain calm. By remaining calm you are able to reduce your risk of making any mistakes or making a situation more emotionally charged than it needs to be.


Chipped/ Broken Teeth

When a tooth or filling breaks unexpectedly it can be a shock. The important thing is to rinse the area with some warm salt water and try to keep the area as clean as possible. The good news is that in most circumstances the tooth is likely to be saved. Book into your dentist as soon as possible where a repair to the tooth can be made and also a long term plan to ensure your tooth is as strong as possible.


Trauma to the mouth is most likely to occur during sporting activities or an accident. The most important thing to do in any trauma to the tooth or mouth is to ACT QUICKLY! The quicker you respond to a trauma the more likely we will be able to save the tooth. During dental trauma a tooth may be chipped, dislodged, or knocked out.

If the tooth does get knocked out caution must be taken in order to save the tooth.

  • Be really careful with the tooth and avoid touching the root surfaces
  • Clean the traumatised area and soft tissues and apply gauze to reduce bleeding
  • Clean the tooth of any dirt or debris very gently if required- Only use Saline, Milk or Saliva

(The pH of tap water or disinfecting materials are too strong and may damage the avulsed tooth further)

  • If possible place the tooth back in the socket and go directly to the dentist/ emergency room. If the tooth cannot be reinserted transport the tooth with you in Saline or the patient’s mouth.

Other traumas to the mouth/ teeth require review by a dentist as soon as possible. Although the tooth may appear healthy and sound there may be some underlying fractures or issues with the nerve that will require further dental treatment in order to save the tooth.

The management of Baby teeth is completely different when it comes to trauma. If a tooth is knocked out please do not try to reinsert it. This can damage the developing permanent tooth below. Manage any trauma to the face and soft tissues and bring your child into the clinic where we can assess the situation from there.


Toothache can have different causes and vary in their severity of pain depending on each situation. If you are experiencing severe tooth pain with throbbing and swelling of the gums it is most likely an infection. An infection of the tooth cannot be settled by only pain relief so it’s important we manage the problem as soon as possible to avoid further pain and spread of infection.

Another cause of toothaches can be from tooth eruption and more commonly wisdom teeth. During the eruption of wisdom teeth the gum and soft tissues in that area may become inflamed/ infected. If you’re experiencing wisdom tooth pain again contact us sooner rather than later so the situation can be managed accordingly.

Broken Braces/ Wires

Most people experience discomfort or pain at some time throughout their orthodontic treatment. Some people choose to take pain relief if required however pain tends to settle after 2 days. Sometimes Braces can feel rough or sharp and that’s where orthodontic wax comes in handy to relieve any irritation. If you run out of wax it is generally available from a pharmacy or use chewing gum until you can get some.

If there is a breakage of your braces or appliance contact us immediately where a repair will be arranged.  It the meantime remove any loose brackets or wires to avoid swallowing or inhaling any parts. If a bracket has come away however and still attached to the wire just secure the area with wax so it will not move around.

We encourage all our orthodontic patients to download the BraceMate App. The app includes information on how to look after your braces throughout treatment to ensure your experience with braces are as hassle free as possible. It also includes Information on how to manage emergencies with braces should they arise.

Dislodged Crowns 

If a crown has become loose or dislodged by accident try to secure it back into position and see a dentist immediately.  If the crown will not remain in place just place it in a safe place until a dentist can re-cement it into place. The last thing we want is for you to swallow or inhale your crown! Do not use super glue or any adhesive products to try and reattach the crown yourself. Also avoid chewing on the tooth and anything too hot or cold which may cause some sensitivity.


When it comes to dental emergencies it’s important to act quickly. Remember to remain calm in an emergency situation as this will help you to manage and think clearly.  If you require urgent attention please contact us at Dentalspa where we can manage the situation accordingly. We even have an after hour contact if need be.

By Ashleigh Lilly

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