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What Is Considered a Dental Emergency?

What Is Considered a Dental Emergency

A dental emergency is a situation that requires immediate attention from a dental professional due to severe pain, significant damage to the teeth or gums, or a risk of permanent tooth loss. Examples of dental emergencies include a knocked-out tooth, severe toothache, chipped or cracked tooth, bleeding or aching gums, swollen jaw, or an abscessed tooth.

Not all dental situations are true dental emergencies. In this article, you will find out for yourself if that dental situation you experienced requires emergency dental care or not.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dental emergencies can happen at any time and without warning.
  • Some common dental emergencies include broken or chipped teeth, toothaches, lost fillings or crowns, and knocked-out teeth.
  • Prevention is key, and simple steps such as practicing good oral hygiene, avoiding hard and sticky foods, and wearing a mouthguard during sports can reduce the risk of dental emergencies.
  • If a dental emergency does occur, prompt and appropriate treatment is important to minimize pain and prevent further damage to the teeth and gums.
  • The cost of emergency dental care can vary depending on the type of treatment required and the location of the dentist.
  • Without dental insurance, the cost of emergency dental care can be quite high, ranging from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.
  • Many dental insurance plans cover some or all of the cost of emergency dental care, so it is important to check your insurance coverage before seeking treatment.
  • If you do not have dental insurance, there are alternative options such as dental savings plans, credit financing, and low-cost clinics to help you access affordable emergency dental care.
  • It is important to have a plan in place for managing dental emergencies, including knowing who to call and what to do in case of an emergency. This can help ensure that you receive prompt and appropriate treatment and minimize the cost of emergency dental care.

What Is Emergency Dental Care?

Dental emergencies are issues that require immediate medical attention to correct, treat, and preserve oral health. They are potentially life-threatening and require urgent medical attention to control and alleviate pain.

Examples of common dental emergencies include:

  • Uncontrolled bleeding,
  • Trauma to the facial bone may obstruct an airway and make breathing difficult,
  • A tooth abscess
  • lacerations
  • Chipped tooth
  • Jaw fractures and dislocations
  • Severe tooth decay or cavity
  • Broken tooth from an accident
  • Impacted wisdom teeth
  • Urgent denture repair

Sometimes, the dental pain you feel may be more than ordinary. It could be more serious and life-threatening, so it is advisable to act quickly to avoid compounding issues. These dental issues often defy over-the-counter medications; the emergency room is your best option.

Signs You Need Emergency Dental Treatment

Determining if you need emergency care can be challenging. Here are a few signs to know when a condition is considered an emergency.

Knocked Out Tooth

If you experience a knocked-out tooth, take action by visiting a dental emergency clinic. Take the fallen tooth and its crown, and rinse gently. Then get a milk container or a glass of milk and place your tooth in it. Placing your tooth there helps to preserve the tooth.

You can also rinse your mouth in salt water a few times to reduce inflammation. After this, you can now take the tooth to your dentist, and if you act on time, you may be able to save the tooth.

A loose tooth can also be a sign of emergency dental care. A loose tooth indicates a tooth injury and requires immediate medical attention. A loose tooth can also be a red light for infections; your emergency dental care may include oral exams and X-rays to determine the infection’s cause and commence early treatment.

Chipped or Cracked Teeth

A chipped or cracked tooth becomes an emergency associated with severe pain, and the broken tooth fragments are still in the root. Sharp fragments in the mouth can cause damage. Therefore, it is best to demand emergency dental care to avoid causing further damage. When the tooth is chipped or cracked severely, it can cause intense pain.

You will need pain relievers like ibuprofen to help relieve pain. However, if there is not much pain, you can wait a few days to see the dentist.

Severe Toothache

The severity of your toothache can indicate that it is time to visit the emergency unit and get immediate relief. The toothache can indicate further dental issues and will only be discovered with your visit to the dental clinic. Don’t take all toothaches for granted; run to the nearest emergency clinic when the pain worsens.

Gums Bleed And Ache

Your gums bleeding after flossing can signify that all is not well. A bleeding gum can be an early sign of gum disease or gingivitis. If your gum bleeds are excessive, frequent, and aching, it is time to visit emergency dental care.

Swollen Gums

Swollen gums may indicate gum disease. Even though you don’t remember experiencing any mouth injuries, you can have swollen gums. It would be best not to disregard this for too long because the illness may spread to other bodily areas. You can apply a cold compress to reduce the swelling.

Abscessed Tooth

An abscess forms when the tip of the root becomes infected. Abscesses can cause severe pain and create other health complications. You may need to find yourself in the emergency room, and the solution can be either a root canal or an extraction.

An X-ray result will help with the prognosis. An abscessed tooth will require surgery to ensure the infection is drained and treated properly.

Take over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help relieve the pain.

What To Do During Dental Emergencies

Emergency Dentist in South Perth

Not all cases are considered a dental emergency, but if you experience one or more of the signs above, you must receive emergency treatment immediately. Severe dental problems can lead to worse problems if left untreated immediately.

Book an appointment with your dentist if there is a dental emergency, or visit an emergency hospital. Your dentist may be able to tell you where you can seek care if he is not around. Otherwise, the emergency room is the next call. If no dental clinics are known to you at the moment, visit the hospital emergency department. They will direct you on further actions to be taken.

What’s Not Considered As A Dental Emergency?

Not all dental issues are dental emergencies; the following conditions are not considered dental emergencies;

  • Routine checkups and cleaning
  • Consultation
  • Extraction of painless tooth

Cost of Emergency Dental Care

The cost of emergency dental care for simple procedures like fillings can range from $100 to $300, while more complex treatments like root canals can cost between $800 and $1,500. It’s important to consult with your dentist for an accurate cost estimate based on your specific situation. The cost of emergency dental care in Australia can vary depending on the nature and complexity of the procedure.

How to Prevent Dental Emergencies

Preventing dental emergencies is important in maintaining oral health and avoiding pain and discomfort. Here are a few tips to follow to prevent dental emergencies:

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss regularly to prevent plaque buildup and tooth decay. This can help reduce the risk of developing toothache, gum disease, and other dental problems.

Wear Mouthguards: If you play sports or engage in activities that put your teeth at risk, consider wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth from damage.

Avoid Chewing on Hard Objects: Chewing on hard objects, such as ice, hard candy, and popcorn kernels, can damage your teeth and increase the risk of a cracked or chipped tooth.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly: Regular dental checkups and cleanings can help identify potential problems before they become serious. Your dentist can also provide advice on how to maintain good oral hygiene and prevent dental emergencies.

Stop Grinding Your Teeth: Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can cause damage to your teeth and increase the risk of toothache, gum disease, and other dental problems. If you grind your teeth at night, your dentist may recommend a nightguard to protect your teeth.

Seek Treatment for Tooth Decay and Gum Disease: If you have tooth decay or gum disease, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent the progression of these conditions and avoid the need for more serious and costly treatments.

By following these tips, you can reduce your risk of dental emergencies and maintain good oral health.


Dental emergencies can be scary, but immediate medical attention makes everything normal. You must know the signs that develop to determine if you are experiencing a dental emergency. Never procrastinate about any tooth pain or decide to push away any treatment you deem an emergency to a later date.

When not treated immediately, emergency dental issues can lead to other complications. The best way to prevent dental emergencies is to keep up with regular dental appointments with an experienced emergency dentist. It is advisable to find a dental clinic that offers emergency dental services in case of any emergency.


Should I Go To The Emergency Room For Unbearable Tooth Pain?

If you experience unbearable tooth pain, you should visit the emergency room.

Will The Emergency Room Treat An Infected Tooth?

The emergency room can provide antibiotics for bacterial infections and transfer you to the hospital if needed.

When Is a Tooth Injury an Emergency?

A tooth injury becomes an emergency if you have suffered trauma to your mouth, an infection developed due to an injury, severe tooth pain, and uncontrollable bleeding.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Tooth Infection Spreading?

You will know if a tooth infection has spread if you experience the following symptoms; fever, swelling in your face, and trouble breathing.

What Is The Most Common Dental Emergency?

Toothaches are the most common dental emergency. They can cause unbearable pain.

Written By: Dr Kent Tan
Edited By: Dr Zaheer Kadwa
Reviewed By: Dr Ealin Lee


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Dr. Kent Tan - Author Bio

Dr Kent Tan is the top dental implant and cosmetic treatment expert. On average, he performs 500 to 1000 dental implants yearly, making him one of the most experienced dental implant surgeons in Perth, Western Australia.

Dr Kent is a certified Invisalign provider and has helped many patients achieve straighter teeth with a transparent braces system. In addition, he is skilled in performing a wide range of cosmetic dental treatments such as teeth whitening, dental veneers and bonding.

Dr Kent graduated from the University of Queensland and then went on to lecture in dental implants. He furthered his qualifications by graduating from the Master Clinician Programme in Implant Dentistry in Los Angeles, USA. This additional education allows him to provide his patients with the best possible care.

Customers Review

Mark TaylorMark Taylor
03:15 12 Mar 24
Rob SmithRob Smith
12:33 24 Feb 24
I was at a really low point in my life, had an accident 2 years ago which broke 3 of my teeth and a bridge in between my 2 front top teeth. From that moment I became extremely conscious of going out,socialising and found my self withdrawn and depressed as I didn't know what to do.Then a friend told me about My Implant Dentist. I plucked up the courage and went for my first consultation at Mindarie Quinns dental practice with Dr Zaheer who explained all my options and advised all on 4 top and bottom.Not only Dr Zaheer but all the staff and doctors at both Mindarie and South Perth were amazing and extremely professional and made the whole process seemless.Having the treatment has given me back confidence and enabled me to socalise and do things with my family and friends that I couldn't do before.I would like to thank Dr Zaheer and all the team at My Implant Dentist for everything they have done for me and recommended them to everyone I speak to.I just can't stop smiling!!!
Vicki DatsonVicki Datson
22:00 16 Feb 24
From the lovely girls at the front desk through to the dentist and his off sider I couldn’t be more happy with the treatment and the service provided. So incredibly satisfied with the end result it’s taken a while but we got there. Thank you so much.
Toby HawkesToby Hawkes
12:19 02 Feb 24
From start to Finnish i felt very comfortable. The whole experience for me was more than just new teeth.For me it was a journey of self discovery that changed my whole life.I found that everyone that I encountered was very professional &friendly &made my experience so pleasant.They deserve more than 5 stars.Thank you so much🥰
Selina HansonSelina Hanson
09:19 01 Feb 24
My experience with My Implant Dentist has been excellent from start to finish. The staff at the front desk were incredibly kind and helpful. The medical treatments throughout were professional and pain free. I would definitely recommend them to anyone considering this service
08:14 30 Jan 24
So grateful to have found this place. I needed a wisdom tooth out. They were able to x-ray and fit me in promptly. Extremely high quality and professional service at an affordable price! I feel lucky to have found an honest and helpful Dentist especially in today's economy. Lovely staff all round. I will be coming here from now on.Thanks again :)
Catalina Te MaroCatalina Te Maro
12:02 21 Nov 23
From the moment I walked in the door My Implant dentist were very caring and professional. As a dental nurse myself I knew I would be a very hard case as other specialists said they could not help me. After my first consultation with Dr Kent he was confident that he could help me and I was provided with a clear plan for my top and bottom all on four procedure. My new teeth are perfect and so natural looking. He has made the impossible possible for me. I can smile and eat the foods I love again and this has changed my life. Thank you so much to all staff and especially Dr Kent Tan who I can say is the best implant dentist in Perth.
Bec SmithBec Smith
11:30 14 Aug 23
I can’t thank the team and dentists at My Implant dentist enough! From the girls working the front desk to the dental nurses assisting the dentist’s, Dr Kent Tan and Dr Ealin. I had the All on four implants and I can’t explain how much this has transformed my life in such a great way.I will always be thankful to be able to have this treatment!Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Adam ByersAdam Byers
02:39 20 Feb 24
Great service and very professional both admin and Dentists
Mussie KirosMussie Kiros
23:09 12 Feb 24
My implant Dentist Mooorooka is an amazing team. The receptionist staff are very welcoming and super lovely to talk to. The dentists are very experienced and knowledgeable. The assistants are very lovely. The service 10/10. Highly recommend!
moonira Bassamoonira Bassa
03:55 25 Nov 23
Dr Zaheer is an amazing dentist, very knowledgeable and very detailed. He’s an amazing dentist. Definitely recommend My Implant Dentist Brisbane
Yacoob BassaYacoob Bassa
03:42 25 Nov 23
Dr Zaheer is an excellent dentist, very experienced and very detailed. Highly recommend My Implant Dentist Brisbane
solomon issaksolomon issak
00:27 18 Nov 23
The receptionist team have been very helpful, helped me organise early super release for my implant treatment. Dr Zaheer is an amazing implant dentist, discussed with me on what type of surgery I needed and have also treated the surgery on me. Dr Reza is very kind. The dental assistants are very friendly. Highly recommend My Implant Dentist Brisbane
Tan Binh NgoTan Binh Ngo
02:59 31 Oct 23
I picked up”Moorooka Dental Care” contact details from the web. I rang for a few questions and the happy voice of Frances had calmed my anxiety down quickly!Dr Kadwa greeted me from the front bench, took me in for the X-ray, dental assessment, carefully explaining the procedure, answered my questions and quoted for the works. He offered to breakdown work items to suit with my needs. The quote was surprisingly very compatible with my previous quote from overseas. (I know I am going to have my dental treatment in the safe zone, most medical advances in Australia).The implant work went smoothly, so smooth that the team had to remind me “Done!”, well beyond my imagination.When he saw me off with the aftercare instructions, I could feel his professional manners with caring characters. I know he has done a few thousand implants but I still received the care of his first. Thanks Zaheer!I requested X-ray images, Fatimatu responded promptly with friendly chatting.I also would like to thank Dr Linh Trần who was in the operation team at the treatment and follow up cares.
Melrey LudivicoMelrey Ludivico
05:10 26 Oct 23
My implant dentist brisbane 5/5. Dr Linh, Dr Zaheer and Dr Reza have been amazing and have looked after me in my procedures. Frances the receptionist was the first person to contact me to get me to come in since I have been looking around. Excellent service and friendly staff
Matthew WinkelmannMatthew Winkelmann
22:33 17 Oct 23
Moorooka dental have been a pleasure to deal with. I did a bit of research into dental implants and most companies had hidden fees. I booked a consult and was contacted within a few hrs to get me in and get the ball rolling. I choose to go with he implants using my super. They helped me to do all the paperwork to release the money. Definitely a good dental clinic.

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