Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies should never wait

Got a dental emergency? Find your nearest DCN emergency dentist here!

The need for emergency dental care should be taken seriously.

If you require emergency dental work or oral surgery due to accident or injury we recommend you visit the dentist straight away. Delaying treatment may cause further complications and lengthen the recovery process.

Some practices in the Dental Care Network offer out of hours emergency services, and can deliver urgent dental care, seven days a week. Search by your postcode and emergency out of hours care in the find a dentist search bar on the right of this page.

Contact us if you need to make an emergency dental appointment.

Consider the following guidelines as they could prove valuable if you ever do find yourself or someone else in need of emergency dental care.

How to cope with dental emergencies

No matter where you are if you experience pain or injury to your teeth or gums, you can visit an emergency dentist. It is important to seek advice and assistance as soon as possible as time can be of the essence. Luckily, some emergency dentists are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

When should I seek emergency care for a toothache?

If you feel pain when you bite down, you may have an abscess, which is a dental emergency requiring immediate treatment. You should also seek emergency dental care if you are in severe pain. You can rinse your mouth with warm water which may help to minimise the pain while you get to a dentist.

What is an avulsed tooth and should I seek immediate care?

An avulsed tooth is one that has become dislodged or is loose. It may still be partially attached by the nerves - in which case it can probably be saved. Make sure you keep it in your mouth until you reach the emergency dental clinic. You can place ice packs on it if you are in pain. Your dentist will try to reattach the tooth back to the gum.

What should I do if I have lost a filling or crown?

Although painful, this is rarely a dental emergency. Make an appointment with your regular dentist who can refill the tooth or reattach a crown or filling.

I've broken my braces and wires - what should I do?

Broken wires can affect anyone with braces, and in some cases may require assistance from an emergency dentist if the wires are traumatising your soft tissues (gums and cheek for example). You could put orthodontic wax on the end of the wire to prevent it from injuring your cheek or gums while you wait for an appointment with your dentist.

Are soft tissue injuries a dental emergency?

If you damage your soft tissues - your tongue, cheeks, tongue or lips - you should place pressure on the area to stop the bleeding. If this does not stop within a few minutes, you will likely require treatment. In this instance you will need to visit an emergency dentist if you can’t get in to your own dentist immediately.

FAQs about dental emergencies

My tooth was knocked out, what should I do?

Go to the dentist immediately. Getting to the dental specialist within 30 minutes can make the difference between saving and losing a tooth. If a tooth is put back into its socket within 30 minutes, there is a good chance of the tooth re-attaching.

  1. Handle the tooth by the crown (the top), not the root. Touching the root (the part of the tooth below the gum) can cause damage to the cells
  2. Gently rinse the tooth in water to remove dirt. Do not touch, rub or scrub the tooth
  3. Place the clean tooth in your mouth between the cheek and the gum to keep it moist
  4. Do not let the tooth dry out
  5. If it is not possible to store the tooth in the mouth of the injured person, wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze and immerse in milk (not water).

My tooth was cracked, what should I do?

If it is cracked badly, acting fast is important to avoid infection and help save the tooth. We recommend getting in touch with a dentist quickly.

My tooth was chipped, what should I do?

Visit the dentist as soon as possible. Try to keep the chipped part of the tooth if it was large and take it to the dentist with you.

Can I visit an emergency dentist if I am pregnant?

You can seek emergency dental services if you are expecting. In fact, this is recommended so the risk of developing any potential infections can be reduced. Most treatment is safe for mother and child.

How much will emergency dental care cost?

The cost of emergency care will depend on the emergency treatment you require and dentist you choose. You may be eligible for some rebates from your private health insurance which you will need to check. Ask your dentist before you are treated so you know what costs you are up for.

What can I expect when I visit an emergency dentist?

When you visit an emergency dentist, you will be asked questions about what happened and what your pain level is. This is so patients can be seen based on the severity of their problems. So you may need to wait, depending on your circumstances. The dentist will aim to reduce or stop your pain and treat your problem.

Do health funds cover emergency dentistry?

Cover from your health fund will depend on the level of cover your private health insurance policy has and the dental treatment required. You will need to check this directly with your private health insurer.

What if I am an anxious patient?

Make sure you tell your dentist you are anxious about treatment so he or she can do their best to help you. You may be able to be sedated in order to make treatment easier and more comfortable.

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