Emergency Dental Care

Help! I’ve got an emergency.

Our team are ready to assist you when you have an urgent or emergency dental situation. We’re here to give you advice or alleviate your pain or discomfort so you can back to your busy life.

The most common emergency is a tooth ache. Pain that is constant and isn’t helped by pain relief medications needs to be attended to as soon as possible. Other signs of a toothache are pain when eating or drinking something hot, biting down hard as well as physical signs such as bleeding, swelling, a lump and infection. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact us promptly.

Other emergencies include situations such as a tooth fractured by trauma or a fall (which is common in children or out on the sports field), a broken front tooth, wisdom tooth pain, gum infections, loose implants or crown work.

Don’t wait! 

Most toothaches start off as a niggle or slight discomfort. This is the optimal time to have the tooth assessed, before it keeps you up at night in pain.  Addressing any dental problem sooner, rather than later is always beneficial. Preventing emergencies saves you pain, time and expense. Be sure to keep up with your regular dental examinations and hygiene visits so that the dentist can identify potential problems. When you are in pain, call us asap so we can find a suitable time to help you.

What causes a tooth ache?

Most tooth aches are caused by an infection of the nerve inside and a build up of this infection at the tip of the root causes an abscess.  Bacteria from decay in teeth or under old fillings can cause this infection. Once the nerve is infected, the only way to save the tooth is with root canal therapy. Your dentist will assess if this is the right solution for your situation.  In other cases, a fracture or crack can cause pain. Teeth that are heavily filled or are under pressure from grinding and clenching can fracture or split.

What happens in an emergency appointment?

Our goal is to get you out of discomfort. The tooth/area is assessed and often an xray is required to help diagnose. Your dentist will discuss the cause, the prognosis, your options and the costs involved. Once you have decided which option is best for you, treatment can begin to alleviate your pain.

In some cases where an extraction is required, you may need to manage the infection first with antibiotics or organise a special xray called an OPG if it is a wisdom tooth. We’ll let you know if this is necessary to best take care of you. A surgical extraction may be needed for wisdom teeth or more complex cases.

If your tooth is broken or a dental restoration is loose, we can often repair it at your emergency visit. Please be aware, sometimes a follow up appointment may be required to complete treatment.

Call us for prompt care if…

  • You are experiencing pain, swelling, infection or bleeding
  • Pain medication is ineffective
  • You have broken a front tooth
  • Your crown, bridge or implant is loose
  • A tooth has been knocked out

Treatment FAQs

I've just knocked out a tooth, what do I do?

If a permanent tooth is accidentally knocked out, retrieve the tooth if possible and get to your dentist right away. You can try to re-insert the tooth into the socket and brace the area with aluminium foil or place the tooth in a container of milk or a saline solution. Don’t was the tooth in water or soap and don’t scrub it clean. Handle the tooth by the ‘crown’ – the top part of the tooth and not by the root. If the tooth is a baby tooth, see your dentist as soon as possible to assess the area and the need for possible treatment.

I'm experiencing pain after an extraction, is this normal?

You may feel discomfort for a day or so after an extraction, and this is normal as the area starts to heal. Ask your dentist about pain medication to help with this soreness. For most people, paracetamol is sufficient for the first 12-24 hours. If you are experiencing a toothache-like pain 2 or 3 days after your extraction, the area may not be healing properly. Call our office as this requires urgent treatment.

Is root canal therapy painful?

Root canal treatment should not be painful and we always use anaesthetic to make the treatment comfortable.  If the infection in the tooth has caused a large abscess or there is a lot of swelling, numbing the tooth can be difficult. If this is the case, your dentist may recommend allowing the infection to subside with a course of antibiotics first before starting treatment.