Cartoon tooth with dental emergency light on showing a crack in the tooth

30 Jan “I’ve lost a tooth, now what?”: What to do in a dental emergency.

Dental emergencies can strike at any time. But many of us don’t know what to do or where to turn for help. The good news is that your dentist is trained to respond to dental emergencies and get you smiling again in no time at all.

This article will give an overview of common dental emergencies and what to do if the worst happens.

What’s considered a dental emergency?

The Canadian Dental Association lists these events as common dental emergencies:

  • Toothache
  • Chipped or broken tooth
  • Knocked out tooth
  • Badly bitten lip or tongue
  • Lost filling
  • Something stuck between your teeth (that can’t be dislodged using floss)
  • Any oral infection.

A loose or broken band or bracket and oral disease might also need immediate treatment.

However, not all of the above are dental emergencies in every situation.

So, how do you know if you have a dental emergency?

Sometimes a chipped tooth might be a minor event, or the crown or filling you’ve lost isn’t causing much discomfort. In these cases, you probably don’t have a dental emergency on your hands, and you can wait a few days to see your dentist.

In other cases, you’ll need to schedule an appointment right away.

You need an emergency appointment if any of the following apply:

  • You’re in severe pain
  • You’ve lost a permanent tooth
  • Your permanent tooth is loose
  • You have an infection or abscess
  • You have bleeding in the mouth that won’t stop.

Dentist performing emergency dentistry

What do I do with the tooth I lost?

If you’ve lost a tooth, you should pick it up by the crown (not the root) and very gently rinse it with water to remove visible debris. Do not scrub it.

Then, try to put it back into the opening. If you can, keep it there and contact your True Dental dentist for an emergency appointment.

If you can’t keep it safely in your mouth, put it into cold milk and head to the dentist.

But you need to act quickly.

If you keep it moist and contact us for an emergency appointment, there’s a chance we’ll be able to re-implant the tooth. The sooner you arrive for treatment, the better.

How to prevent common dental emergencies:

While accidents happen, there are steps you can take to prevent some dental emergencies. For instance, dentists can identify potential emergencies and treat them before they happen during your regular checkups.

At home, common sense can help. You should avoid chomping down on hard foods (like ice, hard candy, and popcorn kernels) and avoid using your teeth to tear into anything (other than food).

Wearing a mouthguard during sport can also reduce the likelihood of tooth trauma during your match.

True Dental dentist reception


Where to go in a dental emergency:

That’s easy! True Dental in West Kelowna.

We’re always accepting new patients and we’re usually able to schedule in emergency appointments for existing and new patients!

Get in touch with us today. Our friendly staff will have you smiling again in no time at all!