dental emergency

What To Do In A Dental Emergency

We are all at risk of breaking our teeth, and by participating in seemingly harmless everyday activities such as eating and exercising. While we can try to be as cautious as possible, the best thing is to know what to do should a dental emergency occur.

What is a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency is when your tooth breaks, cracks, becomes loose or is knocked out completely. This includes crowns coming off of teeth, or any other previous dental work being damaged. Cuts to gums, lips and cheeks can also be considered a dental emergency.

What Should I do if My Tooth is Knocked Out?

If your tooth is knocked out, you should get to your dentist as soon as possible – preferably within the hour. This will give your tooth the best chance to survive the trauma. Always handle the tooth by the crown (top), not the root (the pointed part on the bottom) to avoid damaging the cells that are needed to reattach the tooth to the bone.

Gently rinse the tooth in water to remove dirt, but do not scrub it. If you can, place it in your mouth between your cheek and gum to keep it moist. If this isn’t possible, wrap it in clean cloth or gauze and soak it in milk or saline solution.

If a baby tooth is knocked out, it will not be replanted but a trip to the dentist is still necessary to check that there aren’t any pieces remaining.

What Should I do if My Tooth is Fractured?

There are different types of tooth fractures, with chipped teeth usually being considered relatively minor. If you have any damage to the enamel, tissue and/or pulp, this is more moderate. If a tooth has been traumatised to the point that it cannot be recovered, then you have suffered a severe fracture.

In all instances, the first thing to do is rinse your mouth with warm water and use an icepack or cold compress to reduce swelling. Take anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, but avoid asprin. Then call your dentist to book an emergency appointment.

Minor fractures and chips can be smoothed out with a sandpaper disc, but restorative procedures may be required to fix a tooth that has sustained a more serious fracture.

If you break or chip a tooth that is part of dentures then take them out and wear your spares until you can see your dentist. If you don’t have any spare dentures, use cyanoacrylate (aka ‘super glue’) to glue the piece of tooth back into place. Do not, under any circumstances try to glue your natural teeth.

What Should I do if My Tooth is Pushed Out of Position?

If your tooth becomes loosened for whatever reason, you should call your dentist right away. If it has been pushed out of place, use very light finger pressure to coax it back to its normal position, but don’t force it.

If you need emergency dental treatment, then look no further than Smile Pad. We offer emergency dental treatments in Bristol and Chertsey.


We are pleased to inform all patients seeking dental treatment that our practices are, and will remain open to cater to all your dental needs and maintain your oral health. We are available should you need advice, urgent care, or simply wish to attend for any other dental treatment. Our practices operate under the strictest government guidance and coronavirus protocols. Your safety and the safety of your family remains our priority. We look forward to welcoming you to our practice.
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