Blog Post:

Do You Know What to do in Case of a Dental Emergency?

We prepare ourselves for several types of emergencies such as earthquakes, fires and vehicle breakdowns… but how prepared are you to deal with a dental emergency? Here’s what to do in the most common dental emergency situations:

Knocked out tooth

If the knocked-out tooth is an adult (or permanent) tooth, your dentist may be able to put it back. If the tooth is put back in place within 10 minutes, it has a fair chance of taking root again. After 2 hours, the chances are poor.

If the tooth looks clean, put it back in its place (its socket). If this is not possible, or if there’s a chance that the tooth might be swallowed, put it in a container of cold milk. Go to your dentist, or to the nearest dentist, right away. If you get help within ten minutes, there is a fair chance that the tooth will take root again.

Chipped or broken tooth

Broken teeth can almost always be saved. Call your dentist and explain what happened. If it’s a small break, your dentist may use a white filling to fix the tooth. If the break is serious, a root canal may be needed and/or a crown.

If the injury results in a toothache, a cold compress on the cheek and ibuprofen may help relieve the pain. If your toothache is so severe that you are unable to sleep or bite down, or if over-the-counter medications are not helping to reduce pain, you should seek immediate treatment.


Something stuck between teeth

First, try using dental floss, very gently and carefully, to remove the object. Never poke between your teeth with a pin or similar sharp, pointy object; it can cut your gums or scratch the tooth surface. If you can’t get the object out, see your dentist.

Lost filling

Put a piece of softened sugarless chewing gum in the spot where the filling was lost. This will protect the area for a short period of time. See a dentist as soon as possible.

Of course, the best protection against dental emergencies is prevention. Do not chew hard objects that can crack your teeth such as ice, popcorn kernels or hard candy; use scissors to cut tape and threads, not your teeth; and wear a mouthguard if you are participating in sports or recreational activities to reduce the chances of damage to your teeth, lips, cheek and tongue.

Regular dental care and early diagnosis and treatment of problems before they become a dental emergency is key. If it’s been a while since your regular exam, visit to request an appointment online or call 250.374.2615.

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