Dental Emergencies Requiring Immediate Treatment

Most dental problems can be dealt with during regular dental office hours. However, if you have any of the symptoms listed below, you may need more immediate treatment, and can contact Dr. Mak after regular office hours.

You may have a dental emergency if you have any of the following:

  • A traumatic injury to your mouth, jaw or teeth
  • Severe pain that you cannot control with over-the-counter pain medication
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Severe swelling in your mouth, face or neck

NOTE: if you have trouble breathing or your mouth continuously fills with blood, call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest hospital emergency department.

Patients can also contact HealthLink BC by visiting online or by phoning 8-1-1. This is a 24-hour service that gives you easy access to non-emergency health and dental information and services. You will be able to speak to a registered nurse about your symptoms, get more details about your condition or speak to a pharmacist about your medical questions. Further information can be found in this document.

Dental Emergencies – Dental First Aid at Home

If You Lose a Filling

Pain is the issue here. If you are not in any pain, simply keep the area clean and see your dentist as soon as you can. If it hurts, take clean tweezers and grab one of the cotton pellets. Dip it in a little bit of clove oil and place it in the tooth. Don’t just dab it; put the whole cotton pellet in the tooth and leave it there. This should minimize the pain until you can get to a dentist. Caution: NEVER put an aspirin on your tooth or gum. Aspirin is an acid and can burn the tissue.

If a Crown or a Bridge Falls Off

Coat the inside of the cap or crown with petroleum jelly or toothpaste and gently place it back on the tooth. See your dentist as soon as you can to have it re-cemented.

If You Knock Out a Tooth

  • Hold an ice-pack over your mouth where you lost the tooth to minimize swelling
  • Very gently rinse off any debris, but DO NOT scrub the tooth
  • Hold the tooth in your mouth, between the cheek and gum, to keep it moist. But if that’s not possible to hold the tooth in your mouth, submerge the tooth in a glass of milk or gently wrap it in a clean, damp cloth until you get to your dentist’s office.
  • No matter where you hold the tooth, get to a dentist as quickly as possible. It’s likely the tooth can be saved IF you get to the dentist within 30 minutes of losing the tooth.
  • Teeth that have been knocked out will almost always require a root canal, but they can often survive for years if treated within one hour after the injury.

If a Tooth Becomes Dislodged or Loose

  • Get to a dentist immediately. Many dentists will make room in their schedule to tend to dental emergencies.
  • Avoid moving the tooth. Gently bite your teeth together to hold it in place

If You Chip Your Front Tooth

  • Hold an ice-pack over your mouth to minimize swelling
  • Try to keep the fracture piece-sometimes it is possible to bond it back onto the tooth
  • If the chip is very large (more than 1/3 of the tooth surface), you may have exposed the nerve of the tooth.
  • Get to a dentist immediately