Pelago Dental

Dental emergencies | Pelago Dental

Dental emergencies | Pelago Dental

Dental emergencies | Pelago Dental

Dental emergencies tend to present themselves at the most inconvenient times.  But the most important thing when dealing with sudden dental emergencies like a broken tooth or toothache, is to put your well being before your responsibilities (work is important, but you won’t get much done with a toothache).

It’s important to note that not all cases of broken teeth are the same: some are painful, some are not. Some may be caused by a broken filling and others are a result of tooth decay. Some chips happen obviously (like when you bite down on an apple too hard) and others go undetected. The best move when dealing with a broken tooth is to book an appointment and let the dentist assess and see what is going on.

At least, that’s the ideal response. But sometimes there are no immediate appointments, life gets in the way or the clinic is closed over the weekend. So, what can you do in the meantime?


What to do in a dental emergency

For broken teeth, most chemists sell temporary filling kits which are quite good at sealing off a chip and reducing any sensitivity that might come with it. Although useful, this sealant is not a proper fix: it’s best to organise some time in the dentist’s chair to correct your broken tooth.  The longer you wait, the worse it can get. So, quick action is the best kind of action.

In cases of severe dental emergencies out of hours, where your face is very swollen and you are having trouble breathing or swallowing, visiting the hospital is advisable.  Remember, hospitals are not equipped for treating broken and decayed teeth, or more minor sensitivities, but with severe infections after hours, medical professionals may be able to drain any excess fluid or pus around an infected site and prescribe medication to help contain the infection and pain, if it is overwhelming the body’s own immune response.  If this does take place, remember your tooth will stay broken or decayed unless you also visit the dentist afterwards, even if the pain and swelling does subside. During office hours it is always best to contact your dentist first about tooth emergencies, rather than the GP or hospital.

Our clinic, along with many others, sets aside emergency slots each day to deal with unexpected dental mishaps. We are prepared to help and the best thing to do is call us as soon as the pain starts or the tooth breaks, rather than waiting and hoping the pain will disappear by itself.


Pain relief

For dental pain, anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, taken regularly every four hours, can help in managing this.

For patients with asthma or stomach ulcers, however, ibuprofen can present further complications. Paracetamol, taken every two hours, may be used as a less potent alternative.  Speak with the pharmacist if you are unsure.

Some methods thought to relieve pain can in fact cause you greater grief.  Be mindful of avoiding things like oil of cloves or putting aspirin on your gums—the sorts of remedies a Google search may suggest. These can often do more damage than good, causing painful burns to soft tissue in addition to your throbbing tooth.


No matter the circumstance of your broken or painful tooth, it is important that you respond effectively. Whether that means going straight to the dentist or if it is out of hours buying a temporary filling or analgesics until you find time for a visit, be efficient, safe, and open to asking for professional advice if need be.