Dental emergencies can occur at any time, and usually involve injury to your teeth or mouth, severe toothache, bleeding, oral infections and swelling. During these events, it is important to stay calm and make sure that you take rational steps to minimise further damage and prevent potential tooth loss.
Seeking emergency treatment
In any dental emergency event, seek immediate treatment from a dental professional. Seeing a dentist within 30 min may be a critical window of opportunity if you want to save a severely damaged or knocked-out tooth.
Almost all dentists have emergency slots in their schedules so you can receive emergency promptly. It’s important to call your dentist at the time of the emergency also, because they can advise you over the phone on crucial first aid steps you can take before you make it to the clinic.
If the emergency occurs at night or on a weekend, then look up the nearest clinic or hospital that handles after hours dental emergencies in your area.
Types of dental emergencies
Dental emergencies include the following:
- Severe toothache
- Chipped, fractured and broken teeth
- Knocked out teeth
- Lost crowns, overlays, inlays and crowns
- Bitten lips, tongue or cheek
- Bleeding from lips, teeth and cheeks
- Trauma to soft tissue
- Localised oral infection, abscesses, and swelling in the teeth or gums
- Jaw injury and pain
You can avoid, prevent, or at the very least, minimise the damage from dental emergency accidents – before they happen.
If you engage in contact sports or risky recreational activities, wear the right safety gear. With regard to protection from potential oral injuries and trauma, wear a safety helmet, if appropriate, and a custom-fitted sports mouthguard – even during training sessions.
Don’t use your teeth as a utensil to open packages or plastic containers – you’re asking for trouble. Use scissors instead. Avoid chewing and crunching down on hard foods or objects to prevent tooth chips or fractures, and be wary of some types of chewing candy that can even lift out fillings and inlays.
Last but not least, maintain your oral health by brushing and flossing twice a day, and seeing your dentist twice a year for a preventative check up and clean!