Dealing with dental emergencies

You can have the most diligent dental routine, be the most punctual patient and boast the most beautiful smile, but sometimes dental emergencies just happen.

Whether it’s a broken tooth or a missing one, here’s what you should do in a dental emergency.

What is an emergency

A dental emergency is a situation that needs to be treated as quickly as possible in order to ensure your comfort and the wellbeing of your teeth and/or mouth.

An emergency can range from a knocked out or cracked tooth to agonising tooth pain. But in the interim, the way you respond immediately to a dental emergency can assist.

Types of dental emergencies

Tooth knocked out

Whether it’s due to a sporting injury, a fall, or another type of trauma, if your tooth has been knocked out, handling the situation calmly and effectively is paramount.

It’s important to find the missing tooth if possible, then clean it with either saliva or milk. If you can readily position the tooth back in its socket and gently hold it there, do so, and contact your dentist immediately.

If the tooth cannot be reinserted, keep it moist by holding it in the side of your mouth (next to the cheek) or by submerging it in milk (not water).

Time is critical when it comes to saving a tooth that has been knocked out, so make your way to the dentist as quickly as possible.

Chipped, fractured or cracked tooth

Chipped, cracked or fractured teeth can range in severity, but a dentist is the best person to determine how serious the issue is and whether emergency treatment is required.


Toothache can come on suddenly or build steadily over time, but it is an indication something isn’t right with your teeth, and you should see a dentist sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, you can reduce the symptoms of toothache using over the counter pain relief and, if swelling is present, apply an icepack or cold compress to the face.

Lost filling or crown

Fillings or crowns can dislodge for a couple of reasons, such as biting too hard, tooth grinding or additional decay.

A lost crown or filling can be very uncomfortable. That’s because the exposed dentin can be sensitive to hot or cold foods.

Even if the site isn’t sore, it is important you have it attended to quickly because while that crown or filling is missing your tooth is being exposed to additional bacteria.

If you have the filling or crown that has come out, keep it and take it to the dentist with you, meanwhile keep the area clean by brushing gently and rinsing with water.


An abscess is a local infection and site of extreme inflammation beneath the tooth or in the gum around it. Abscesses can be very painful and can also cause further damage to the tissue, bone and surrounding teeth. They can also lead to more widespread infection, so it’s very important these are treated quickly.

In the interim, rinse your mouth with warm salty water to alleviate pain and reduce the chance of the infection spreading.

About Brite Dental

Brite Dental is a community-focused dental practice, committed to ensuring you and your family receive the highest quality of care in a warm and professional environment.

Offering a full range of dental services ranging, from children’s dentistry through to high-end cosmetic dentistry, we are conveniently located in central Panania.

You can learn more about our dental services, or contact us to book your next appointment.