What to do? – Dental Emergency

What to do in a dental emergency Geelong & Lara

Dental Emergencies can happen at any time either day or night and can range from a toothache to a knocked-out tooth.

At LARA dental, we understand that emergencies can happen at any time, and can require immediate care. A rational and calm response can help to prevent the loss of a tooth or permanent damage, so we’ve put together some tips in case of a dental emergency.

How soon should I see a dentist?

Most dental injuries should be seen and treated by a dentist as soon as possible. The difference between saving and losing a tooth can come down to getting to a dentist within 30 minutes. It is important to explain the full condition to the staff so that they can fit you in immediately and accordingly.

Responding to different emergencies

Knocked out tooth:

If a permanent tooth is knocked out, it can be saved with immediate action.

  • Stay calm and if possible, find the tooth. It is important to handle the tooth by the crown (the top visible part) never hold the tooth by its roots.
  • Do not rub or remove any tissue fragments from the tooth.
  • Ensure the tooth is clean. If dirty, rinse the tooth in milk or very quickly in water. Alternatively, the owner can gently suck on the tooth.
  • Immediately try to replant the tooth in the socket, holding it in place.
  • If unable to replant, keep the tooth moist by placing it in milk, or placing in the owner’s mouth.
  • Do not let the tooth dry out.
  • Seek dental treatment immediately.

Chips, fractures or cracks:

  • Seek dental treatment as soon as possible.
  • If the chip or fracture is minor and there is no pain, do not panic. Seek dental treatment.
  • If the damage is extensive, look for any sign of pink, as this may indicate that the nerve is exposed. If nerve is exposed, seek immediate dental treatment.

Bitten lips or cheeks

  • Treat a bitten lip or cheek with warm salt water rinses, this will promote healing.
  • Seek treatment from a dentist if infection occurs.


Dental abscesses are a localised infection that usually forms at the root of the tooth, or in the space between the teeth and gums.

  • Seek immediate treatment by a dentist or a doctor for facial swelling.
  • Over the counter pain medication can be used to control the pain.
  • Use cold compresses to reduce swelling.
  • You may be prescribed antibiotics to reduce infection.
  • Seek prompt dental treatment.

Lost filling or crown

If a cavity develops underneath a crown or filling, it can possibly become loose and may eventually fall out. This can be painful, as the exposed middle layer of the tooth will be sensitive to any hot or cold foods. You should visit your dentist as soon as possible for a solution as a new crown or filling will be required.


  • Rinse mouth with warm water to clean it out.
  • If swelling is present, place a cold compress on the outside of your mouth.
  • Use dental floss to remove any food caught between your teeth.
  • Use over the counter pain relief to ease the pain.
  • If pain persists, see your dentist as soon as possible.

How to prevent a dental emergency?

There are some simple precautions that can be taken in order to prevent dental emergencies. When participating in sport or recreational activities, always wear a custom-made mouthguard that is designed and fitted by your dentist. Never try to use your teeth to open anything and try not to chew on hard objects such as ice, pens or nuts.

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