7 Common Dental Emergencies and What You Can Do to Save Your Smile

  • By Tonya Davis
  • 01 Feb, 2017

No matter how well you care for your teeth on a daily basis, accidents do happen. In the event of any form of  dental emergency , you should make an urgent appointment to see a dental expert. However, the correct action taken at the time of the incident can help to save your tooth.

Here are seven common dental emergencies and the first aid tips you need to know.

1. Knocked Out Tooth

If an adult tooth is knocked out, retrieve the tooth, holding it by the crown rather than the root. Use bottled water to rinse any dirt from the tooth. Don't touch the root or try to remove any tissue that might still be attached.

If possible, put the tooth back into its socket, pushing the top surface down somewhat firmly so it doesn't come out again. Make sure that the tooth is facing the right way with the flat side facing forwards.

If the tooth can't be replaced easily, hold it between your cheek and gums or put it into a clean container with milk or water.

2. Chipped or Cracked Tooth

Try to collect any fragments of a broken tooth; your dentist may be able to re-attach enamel chips by using dental bonding techniques.

If your tooth is cracked, it's important that you don't eat with it or wiggle it about. Your tooth is likely to be very sensitive, especially if the pulp inside has been exposed.

3. Partially Dislodged (Extruded) Tooth

If a tooth is pushed out of place, leave it alone and don't try to reposition it yourself. Your dentist will be able to replace the tooth correctly through using orthodontic techniques or temporarily splinting the tooth to those adjacent to it.

4. Objects Trapped Between Teeth

Foreign objects, such as splinters of bone, can become trapped between your teeth. Try to gently remove the offending object with dental floss. Resist the temptation to poke the object with tweezers or a pin in an attempt to shift it, as you could cut your gums or damage the tooth enamel.

5. Lost Fillings

If you lose a filling, avoid eating with the tooth until you've seen the dentist and had the filling replaced. In the meantime, fill the cavity with a piece of sugar-free gum or an over-the-counter temporary filling. 

6. Lost Crown

If you lose a crown, wash it under the cold tap or bottled water and slip it back into place. To keep the crown in place until you can see the dentist, coat the inside with denture adhesive or over-the-counter dental filling. Never use super glue.

7. Abscesses

Acute tooth pain that has no obvious cause is often caused by an abscess around the root of a tooth or between the tooth and the gum line. Sometimes, the pus inside the abscess can track to the surface of the gum, appearing as a painful, reddened pimple.

If you think that you have an abscess, you should see your dentist as a matter of urgency. In the meantime, rinse your mouth out with a mild solution of salt and warm water to help draw the abscess, and take over-the-counter pain killers. Don't touch the abscess or try to pop it.


In the event of any dental emergency, you should make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. But in the moment, taking the correct action as outlined above could help to save your smile. If you have any questions about what to do, don’t hesitate to call a dental professional, such as Dental Smile Clinic in Frankston. They can offer helpful advice, no matter what you’re experiencing. 

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