Dental emergency support

We're here to help in a dental emergency

Dental emergencies can be extremely stressful and cause a lot of pain. If you do have one, you should call your dental practice and make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. If you're away from home or can't get to your registered dentist, follow our guide to what to do in a dental emergency.

» Read our guide to what to do in a dental emergency

Denplan’s 24-Hour Worldwide Dental Emergency Helpline 

If you would like advice about what to do in a dental emergency, or you need help finding a dentist in the UK, give our Emergency Helpline Team a call on 0800 844 999

They are available to assist you at any time and can help you decide upon the best course of action in an emergency. If you are abroad you can also call our Emergency Helpline Team, they can let you know what kind of treatment you are covered for and offer you advice. Just phone +441962 844 999 at any time. 

Denplan's Chief Dental Officer, Dr Roger Matthews, spent 20 years working in general dental practice, and has shared his tips on dental emergencies and how they can be avoided below …

Denplan emergencies

We'll guide you through a dental emergency

We have a 24-hour Worldwide Dental Emergency Helpline

What are dental emergencies and how can I avoid them?

Dental emergencies can occur when your tooth breaks, cracks, becomes loosened, or is knocked out completely. They can also happen if a filling or other dental work fails, or if you have an acute dental infection.

Dental emergencies can be avoided by taking some simple precautions, such as wearing a mouth guard during sport, and avoiding hard foods that may crack or break your natural teeth or dentures. 

What should I do if a tooth is knocked out?

If your tooth is knocked out, you should call your dentist immediately and book an emergency appointment. If you can see your dentist within an hour of the incident, your tooth will have the best chance of surviving the trauma.

Try to handle the knocked out tooth by the crown (the top), not by the root (the pointed part on the bottom). Touching the root of the tooth can damage cells that are needed to re-attach the tooth to the bone.

Gently rinse the tooth for ten seconds in cold running water to remove any dirt, but be careful not to scrub it. It is very important that the tooth doesn’t dry out - if you can, place the clean tooth in your mouth between the cheek and gum to keep it moist (not recommended for young children as they may swallow it). Alternatively, put the tooth in a clean container and cover it with milk before seeking urgent dental attention.

If a baby tooth is knocked out, don’t try to insert it back into the mouth. The patient should be seen as soon as possible to make sure that none of the tooth remains in the mouth.

What should I do if my tooth is pushed out of position?

If your tooth is loosened and pushed out of position you should call your dentist and arrange an emergency appointment. In the meantime, attempt to reposition the tooth using very light finger pressure being careful not to force it.

How should I handle a chipped or fractured tooth?

If you fracture a tooth, rinse your mouth with warm water and use an ice pack or cold compress to reduce any swelling. Take ibuprofen, not aspirin, for pain (unless you're asthmatic, pregnant or are sensitive to it).

Minor fractures and chips can be smoothed out by your dentist, while larger ones may need a restoration, such as a filling, crown or inlay.

If you wear dentures and a tooth breaks or chips, wear your spare dentures until you can visit your dentist. If you do not have a spare set or cannot see your dentist in the near future, use cyanoacrylate (heavy-duty, quick-drying "super" glue) to glue the tooth or the piece of the tooth back into place. Make sure it's completely dry before re-inserting.

Remember—this is only a temporary measure until your dentist can properly repair your tooth and should only be used for dentures! Never attempt to glue a natural tooth or part of a natural tooth back into place.

What should I do if the tissue of my mouth is injured?

Injuries inside the mouth include tears or cuts, puncture wounds, and lacerations to the cheek, lips, or tongue. Wounds should be cleaned immediately with warm water, and you should go directly to a dentist for emergency care. If you can't get to a dentist and have persistent bleeding or swelling, visit your closest hospital.