What to do in a dental emergency
Dental emergencies can happen when you least expect, so it’s important to be prepared.
Knowing what to do in an emergency situation will help to keep you and your loved ones safe and calm until you have a chance to see a professional dentist.
What is a dental emergency?
Any sudden problem that affects your mouth and causes you pain or discomfort can be considered a dental emergency.
Some emergencies require more urgent attention than others, but it’s not always easy to tell the difference. What seems like a minor injury can quickly become serious if it leaves you vulnerable to infection, and prompt treatment can mean the difference between saving or losing a tooth.
That’s why you should always have the number of an emergency dentist available, in case anyone in your family ever needs urgent advice or to make an emergency appointment.
Take immediate action
Even if you’ve made an appointment to see an emergency dentist, the action you take before you arrive at the dental clinic can affect the outcome of your treatment and your recovery.
Your dentist will offer instructions over the phone to stop any bleeding, alleviate pain and prevent further injury or infection, so you should make sure you have basic first aid supplies to hand.
If you damage your tooth
Whether it’s a sports injury, a fall or other accidents, chipped, cracked and broken teeth need immediate attention.
Rinse your mouth with warm water to remove any debris and keep the area as clean as possible. Apply a cold compress or ice pack to numb pain and reduce swelling, and arrange to see an emergency dentist as soon as possible.
If your tooth is knocked out
Even if a tooth is knocked clean out of your mouth, there’s still a chance it can be reattached if you see a dentist right away. Keep the tooth as clean as possible by rinsing it in water and either holding it in place in the socket or storing it in a glass of milk.
If you bite your tongue or lip
Bitten tongues and lips usually heal by themselves. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after a short time, you should visit the emergency room or see an emergency dentist, applying a cold compress to numb the pain.
If you injure your jaw
Jaw injuries can be serious, and may require immediate hospitalisation. You should see a doctor or dentist as soon as possible in case you have a fracture. You can apply ice or a cold compress to reduce swelling and pain.
If you lose a filling or crown
Dental crowns, fillings, veneers and other dental work can be dislodged by impacts, hard food or if the tooth beneath is affected by decay.
You need to see your dentist as soon as possible to have a replacement crown or filling fitted, as your tooth will be very sensitive and prone to damage. You should bring your crown and keep it clean in case it can be reattached – never try to fix it yourself.
If you damage your brace
If a wire comes loose or breaks in your orthodontic appliance, you should fix a cotton ball or gauze to the exposed end so that it won’t damage your mouth until you have a chance to see your dentist.
If the wire lodges in your cheek or other areas of your mouth, don’t try to remove it yourself. See a doctor or emergency dentist as soon as you can.
Contact an emergency dentist in Melbourne
If you have a dental emergency, contact All Day Every Day Dental on (03) 9853 1811.
Our emergency dentists in Melbourne will offer immediate advice, dental repair and treatments to help you on the road to recovery.