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Dental Emergencies: What to Do When Disaster Strikes

Published: Sep 15, 2023 Last Updated: Dec 14, 2023
Dental Emergencies: What to Do When Disaster Strikes

When it comes to dental emergencies, it’s essential to know how to respond swiftly and effectively. Dental issues can be painful and frightening, but with the right knowledge and quick action, you can minimize discomfort and prevent further complications. In this blog, we will address common dental emergencies, provide practical solutions, and ensure you are prepared for any unexpected oral health crisis.

The Problem: Dental Emergencies Can Happen Anytime

Dental emergencies can strike at the most inconvenient times, causing pain, discomfort, and anxiety. Whether it’s a knocked-out tooth, severe toothache, or a broken crown, knowing how to respond is crucial. Ignoring a dental emergency can lead to more extensive damage and costly treatments.

Solution 1: Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

The first step in any dental emergency is to stay calm and assess the situation.


  • Gently rinse your mouth with warm water to remove debris and clean the affected area.
  • If there is bleeding, use a clean cloth or gauze to apply gentle pressure.
  • Examine the tooth or affected area for damage, and if it’s a knocked-out tooth, handle it by the crown (top part), not the root.

Practical Tip:

  • Keep a dental emergency kit with essentials like gauze, a small container with a lid, and the contact information of your dentist.

Solution 2: Preserve a Knocked-Out Tooth

A knocked-out tooth can often be saved if handled and preserved correctly.


  • If possible, gently place the tooth back in its socket and hold it in place.
  • If reinsertion is not feasible, keep the tooth moist by placing it in a glass of milk or using a tooth preservation kit.
  • Get to your dentist or an emergency dental clinic within 30 minutes for the best chance of saving the tooth.

Practical Tips:

  • Avoid touching the root of the tooth.
  • Do not let the tooth dry out.

Solution 3: Manage Pain and Swelling

Dental emergencies often come with pain and swelling that can be alleviated temporarily.


  • Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage pain, but avoid placing them directly on the affected area.
  • Applying a cold compress to the outside of your mouth can reduce swelling and provide relief.

Practical Tip:

  • Consult with your dentist before taking any pain medication.

In Conclusion

Dental emergencies can be distressing, but with the right knowledge and quick action, you can navigate them effectively. Remember to stay calm, assess the situation, and take appropriate steps to address the issue. Preserving a knocked-out tooth, managing pain and swelling, and having a dental emergency kit on hand are essential components of being prepared. Always seek immediate professional dental care in case of an emergency. Your oral health is valuable, and knowing what to do in a dental emergency can make a significant difference in the outcome.

For expert care in dental emergencies and all your dental needs, contact MP OrthodonticsOur team is here to provide you with prompt and compassionate assistance.

Visit us today!

MP Orthodontics is an orthodontic practice based in Cheltenham, Melbourne. Working from the belief that orthodontic treatment is much more than working with teeth and creating smiles, treating orthodontists – Dr Martin Poon and Dr Geoff Hall – approach patients as people first. Their approach is to work together and plan and implement treatment that meets each individual’s needs. Drawing on 30 plus years experience of helping children gain confidence through tailored treatment, MP Orthodontics, is a truly unique orthodontic practice.

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