What To Do If You Have A Dental Emergency

Published on September 02, 2020
What To Do If You Have A Dental Emergency

Dental emergencies can occur without warning and can be extremely distressing. To help ensure you receive the care you need as quickly as possible, National Dental Care Group offers same-day emergency appointments during standard business hours.

In this handy guide, we’ve put together some key information on how emergency dental care works and how to deal with a range of dental emergencies.

Everything You Need to Know About Emergency Dental

Our same-day emergency care can help with a wide range of urgent dental issues, including toothache, lost fillings, and teeth that have been chipped, broken or knocked out.

For some dental emergencies, you may need to visit the hospital immediately before seeking dental assistance - these include a broken jaw or a badly-bitten cheek, lip or tongue.

If you get struck by an unforeseen dental emergency, it’s useful to know what you can do to deal with the situation before you’re able to see your dentist. Here are some tips on what to do in the event of a dental emergency:


If you’ve chipped or broken your tooth

  • Keep the tooth fragment and bring it with you to your appointment - it can sometimes be rebonded.
  • In the emergency appointment, your dentist will establish whether the fracture is complicated (involves nerves) or uncomplicated (nerves are unaffected).
  • Some cosmetic procedures may also be required.
  • If you’re in pain as a result of your chipped or broken tooth, you can use standard pain medication to relieve or reduce pain until you’re able to see your dentist.

If your adult tooth has been knocked out due to an accident or injury

  • See your dentist immediately.
  • When handling the tooth, be careful not to touch the root of the tooth - only touch the very top.
  • Don’t scrub the tooth or scrape off any tissue.
  • If the tooth needs to be cleaned, gently immerse it in a sterile saline solution or some milk.
  • If you can, replace the tooth to its original position and hold it firmly in place; if this isn’t possible, place the tooth underneath your tongue or keep it in a cup of milk.

If your adult tooth has become loose

  • See your dentist as soon as possible.
  • With fast action, they may be able to preserve the nerve endings and blood vessels in order to save your tooth.

If you’ve lost a filling or crown

  • While not always an emergency, it’s best to see your dentist as soon as possible - particularly if there are jagged edges and/or pain.
  • Your dentist may be able to replace or repair your filling.
  • They can often replace crowns on the same day.

If you’ve broken your jaw

  • Go to the hospital immediately so the extent of the damage can be assessed.
  • Before getting to the hospital, it’s important to immobilise your jaw with strapping and apply cold pressure to the area.

If you’ve bitten your cheek, lip, or tongue

  • Clean the affected area by gently swishing warm salt water around your mouth.
  • Hold a cold compress against the area of the bite.
  • If the injury is severe and/or bleeds for more than 15 minutes, arrange to see your dentist or go to the emergency department of your local hospital.

For advice on all dental emergencies, please feel free to call National Dental Care Group on 13 8338 and discuss the best course of action with our staff


How long will my emergency dental appointment take?

We always do our best to treat emergency patients as quickly as possible. In general, emergency dental appointments will take around 30 minutes - however, it’s important to note that this will depend on the nature of your emergency. You may also need to return for a follow-up visit.


What will my emergency dental appointment involve?

First, your dentist will need to assess the emergency. If it’s not clear where the issue is coming from - such as in the case of a toothache - the dentist will work to establish the cause. They’ll then look at providing urgent pain relief treatment if required.

If possible, and/or required, you may receive treatment on the day; if not, your dentist will explain a longer-term treatment plan and arrange your follow-up appointments.


Are there any payment plans available for emergency appointments?

Yes! For treatments of up to $1,500, Afterpay is available. This allows you to receive treatment on the day and split the payment into four equal instalments over an eight-week period.

If your required treatment is more than $1,500, you can apply for SmileFund - an interest-free payment plan for unexpected or unbudgeted dental treatments that may be urgent. If you need financial assistance for a dental procedure that's not covered by a health fund, or you need to pay it off over time, Smile Fund can help:


  • Interest-free payments (up to 24 months).
  • Eligible for treatments over $800 (up to $20,000).
  • 20% deposit required.

Advice for patients who feel anxious about visiting the dentist:

We completely understand you may feel nervous about visiting the dentist, especially in the case of an unexpected emergency. However, we’d like to reassure you that all our dentists, therapists and hygienists are committed to ensuring you have the most comfortable experience possible. We can also make special arrangements to assist anxious patients, to ensure they receive the treatment and care they need.

Remember, having your emergency dental situation addressed as soon as possible can help to avoid further complications going forward, so it’s always best to book in and let us resolve the problem quickly and efficiently.



For more information about dental emergencies, call us on 13 8338 and speak to one of our specialists. To arrange an appointment, Book Online with one of our National Dental Care Group practitioners today!

Related Articles

Make a booking

Please select a practice from the list below