Shivani Amin

What counts as a dental emergency?


A typical dental appointment usually consists of either routine cleaning, X-rays, or a general consultation, and this takes place approximately every six months. However, a dental emergency can happen at any time and usually necessitates immediate action to address severe pain, or trauma which has occurred to the mouth. This can include issues which cause bleeding, lacerations to the gums, or fractured teeth.

It is essential to know what constitutes as a dental emergency and what doesn’t to ensure you’re your issues are treated properly. Issues which are UNLIKELY to be dental emergencies include fillings falling out, veneers being chipped, or dental appliances breaking. While these situations are extremely inconvenient, they are unlikely to be deemed a dental emergency. While a dental emergency appointment may not be required, you may however, be able to get a fairly swift appointment to deal with the issue if fairly serious.

Quick treatments for dental emergencies

Dental emergencies can vary and thus, there is not a one size fits all method to deal with all of them. Subsequently, we will look at some of the most common dental emergencies and the quick treatments which should be carried out before your emergency dental appointment.

  • In the event that your tooth is broken or cracked then the following should be done:
    • Warm water should be rinsed around the mouth.
    • A cold compress should be placed on the area to reduce swelling.
  • If a tooth has fallen out or been knocked out, then the following should be done:
    • The root where the tooth has fallen should not be touched.
    • If possible, try and place the tooth back into the socket.
    • If not possible to place in the socket, then keep in milk.
    • A cold and wet compress can be used to reduce bleeding.
  • In the event that you have serious bites or cuts to either your lip or tongue then the following should be done:
    • The area should be cleaned gently using water.
    • A cold compress should be applied to the affected area to reduce bleeding.

After determining if your situation is in fact a dental emergency then you must contact your dental practice immediately. If contacting at very late or early hours, then you may only be able to get their voicemail. In this scenario you should leave a detailed message which includes your contact information and your issue. While waiting for your dental emergency you should follow the aforementioned quick treatment information.

When you receive the dental emergency appointment you will be dealt with and treated as quickly as possible by the dentist. If your case is particularly serious then you may also require referral to a dental specialist clinic or the maxillo-facial hospital department. Check out our emergency dentistry information and guarantee, so you know how we can help you if the need occurs.