Help in a Flash
Comprehensive emergency treatment with after-hours care
A dental emergency can be both stressful and painful, so you’ll want to get it sorted as soon as possible.
If you're not sure if a dental problem qualifies as an emergency, we offer this advice. If it hurts, it’s an emergency. Even if your injury seems small, it may be compromising the health of living tissue inside the teeth. Quick treatment improves the odds of saving injured or damaged teeth and, consequently, damaged nerves or blood vessels. Ignoring dental pain or a dental injury is risky because there’s also a risk of getting an infection, which is potentially life threatening.
Our friendly and understanding staff will give you the very best care in a comfortable, safe environment, even after normal working hours.
We offer emergency treatment to existing patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We also keep time slots free every day just for emergencies, to make sure we can fit you in when you need it most.
For new patients, we offer early morning, evening and Saturday appointments.
Most dental emergencies involve the relief of acute pain, an emergency root canal treatment or an extraction. In some circumstances, these emergencies may involve:
• chipped or broken teeth
• a knocked out tooth
• abscesses and infections causing swelling
• lost crowns and veneers
• broken dentures or partials
• wisdom teeth
A knocked out tooth
If your tooth is displaced or completely knocked out, it’s important to call us as soon as possible. Sometimes a tooth can be reinserted and saved if you act quickly.
• If your tooth is knocked out completely, take care to handle the tooth only by the crown (the part that’s normally above the gum line), not by the root.
• Clean the tooth in running water.
• You may be able to gently push the tooth back into its socket (making sure it’s the right way around first). If you’re unsure, place the tooth in milk and bring it with you to see us immediately. Teeth that are reinserted into their socket within 20 minutes have the best chance of surviving.
• Do not store the tooth in water. If milk isn’t available, place the tooth carefully between the cheek and gum and come to see us immediately. Don’t let the tooth dry out.
• Cold packs (or even ice cubes placed either inside the mouth or above the injured tooth) can help reduce pain and swelling.
• The sooner we see you, the greater the chance of saving your tooth.
• If you play sports, it’s more likely you’ll damage your teeth if you’re not wearing a protective mouth guard. The cost of a fractured tooth may be more than the cost of a professionally made, custom-fitted mouth guard that provides the best protection for your teeth.
If it hurts when you bite or chew, especially if there’s also a foul smell and a bad taste in your mouth, it can be a sign of an abscess that needs immediate treatment. An abscessed tooth will cause an intense and spontaneous pain that may last anywhere from 30 seconds to hours at a time. The pain may or may not be triggered by food, heat or cold. It may be accompanied by swelling and it may also hurt to swallow.
If you think you might have an abscessed tooth, it's important to see us as soon as possible. One of our gentle, friendly dentists will examine the tooth and discuss the best course of action for you. This may include antibiotics. Of course, we'll also sort out any pain and ensure you're comfortable.
In some cases, an abscessed tooth can cause the root of the tooth to die. Because the root of the tooth is where the nerves are, you may begin to notice the pain subside without treatment, but it's important to realise this doesn't mean the infection has gone. In fact, the infection will continue to spread and cause further damage. So it’s important to visit us as soon as possible, even if the pain goes away.
Infections causing swelling
If you have any form of swelling in or around your mouth, gums or jaw, it's important to contact us immediately. Infections that cause a fever and/or swelling of the face should be considered an emergency and you should be seen by a dentist that day.
Lost crown and veneers
If you’ve lost a filling or crown, consider it an emergency. Even if you don't have any pain or other symptoms, the tooth has lost its support and could easily become weaker. Pieces could break off or crumble, and this may require more extensive treatment. You may also find the uncovered tooth irritates your tongue. If you see your dentist right away, there's a good chance he or she will be able to repair the damage with minimal treatment.
If your crown or veneer has come out, put it in a safe place and come to see us as soon as possible. Avoid anything that causes pain in the exposed tooth. Often we’ll be able to re-cement your crown without having to make a new one.
Treatment/Emergency/Broken dentures or partials If you have dentures or partials, chances are they’ll eventually need repair. Teeth can sometimes be separated from dentures or partials, or the clasps or plastic base may break. Most of these issues can quickly be fixed in our laboratory, Epsom Dental Lab, during regular business hours. We can often have the repair completed in as little as one day, although occasionally it may take an extra day.
Chipped or broken teeth
Our teeth are incredibly strong, but sometimes they can chip, crack or break. This can happen if you bite something hard, fall or get hit in the face, lose a filling or have a cavity that weakens your tooth. No matter how it happens, a chipped or broken tooth needs attention as soon as possible.
If you or your child has broken a tooth, contact us immediately. In the meantime, rinse the mouth with warm water and apply a clean piece of gauze to any bleeding for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. A cold pack (or a pack of frozen peas) is useful to help stop swelling and reduce the pain. If you’ve found the fragment of broken tooth, bring this with you.
How we treat your chipped or broken tooth will depend on how severely it’s damaged. A small or minor chip can often be quickly repaired straight away, while a badly damaged tooth may require more than one visit. We’ll discuss the best options for your tooth, including costs, at your consultation. If your treatment will involve more than one visit, we’ll take care of any pain and advise you on how to care for your tooth between visits.
Common repair options
• Fillings: These are often a good option for repairing minor cracks, chips or breaks. White fillings are less noticeable than amalgam (silver) fillings and don’t contain mercury, which some people prefer to avoid.
• Crowns: If a large piece of tooth breaks off or there is decay involved, it may be worth repairing the tooth with a crown. A porcelain crown covers the entire tooth and helps provide structural support to make your tooth strong again.
• Veneers: If a front tooth is broken or chipped, we may use a veneer to give a natural-looking, long-lasting result. Porcelain veneers are very strong and can last between 10 and 15 years.