When should I see an emergency dentist?

When it comes to frightening issues with our health, it’s often difficult to decide how to handle them. If you’re experiencing dental pain or bleeding then you may not know whether it’s appropriate to call an emergency dentist so here’s a quick guide to when a regular appointment is fine and when you should be seen quickly.

What counts as a dental emergency? 

Problems resulting from an accident or injury are generally regarded as something that might require immediate action, as opposed to waiting for your next check up. This could be damage that is causing you serious dental pain, teeth that have been broken or knocked out of position and damage to one or more teeth that has resulted in a significant volume of blood loss. Something like an abscess is not regarded as a dental emergency, as it does not develop quickly, but if you have an infection resulting from an abscess – i.e. flu like symptoms as well – then this could be an emergency, particularly if you are struggling to breathe or swallow.

What should I do in a dental emergency?

If you are struggling to breathe or swallow seek a medical opinion, call NHS 111 and you may need to visit A&E. In most other cases, making an emergency appointment with your dentist should be sufficient. In terms of when to call an emergency dentist if your condition does not require A&E but cannot wait for a regular appointment, this should be done as soon as possible so that you can be treated quickly and be made more comfortable.

When to see an emergency dentist 

There are some situations in which you don’t need to see an emergency dentist. These include the following: where you have lost a crown or a filling (although you should try to see a dentist fairly soon after this happens), toothache, losing a veneer or breaking your braces. All you need to do is make a regular appointment if you experience any of these problems.

Out of hours options

As mentioned, A&E should only be an option if you have a dental injury that is severe, where you are losing a lot of blood and/or are experiencing a pain that is resistant to painkillers. For other issues, it’s normally possible to find an out of hours dental option by calling your usual dentist and they can arrange emergency treatment. If you don’t already have a dentist then emergency treatment can be obtained from your closest practice.

If you need to arrange an emergency appointment with Smile Pad we have an expert team who have experience of dealing with a range of situations that require urgent care. After an initial assessment, we will identify the issue and then create a plan to deal with the problem as soon as possible. If you need an emergency dentist now, contact our team today.


Alternatively you are unsure if the pain you are experiencing requires dental treatment you can use dental pain flowchart.

The health, safety and well-being of all of our patients is our top priority and we are taking all necessary precautions to ensure this. We are continuing to undertake a number of additional cleaning procedures, so the highest possible hygiene standards are upheld throughout the practices at all times. It is our intention to remain OPEN and continue to offer dental services including all emergency services to both our existing patients and any other patients in need of treatment. This will be subject to evolving government and NHS advice. Please contact your nearest practice for availability either by phone or email. We do ask that if you have any COVID-19 symptoms or have been in contact with anyone with confirmed Coronavirus to please call NHS 111 before making or attending your appointment.
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