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Frequently Asked Questions

Dental Emergency

What do I do first?
This is dependent on the severity of the problem. If there is a slight bruise or cut to the lip or tongue there may be no need for treatment.
More severe lacerations will require treatment by your doctor of dentist. Any chips or fractures of teeth should be assessed and /or treated by a dentist.
Traumatic injuries to the teeth and oral structures must be followed up in order to assess healing of tissues and provide further definitive treatment where indicated.
What if a tooth is broken, loose or missing?
It is common for a small chip to break from a tooth, a tooth to fracture, a tooth to be pushed out of position, or a tooth to be completely knocked out.
Generally speaking, you should not try to replace a loose baby tooth, but you should always make an appointment with your dentist to have it checked. However, a loose, displaced, or knocked out adult tooth is a different story and requires immediate attention from your Dentist!
What can be done?
Small chips broken from teeth do not normally require urgent treatment. Often your dentist will just need to smooth the rough edges, or if the chips are larger, repair them with some tooth coloured resin. Make sure you try to find all the broken bits as some pieces can be re-bonded to the tooth with excellent results.

A tooth that has more than a small piece fractured needs careful assessment. If the tooth is acutely sensitive to breathing air, this is usually a sign that the fracture is deep and needs urgent care. Once the fracture is covered by a protective layer, the sensitivity usually subsides.

Your dentist should assess loose permanent teeth. An x-ray will often be taken of the tooth to rule out the possibility that the root has been fractured. If the tooth is very loose, your dentist may need to splint the tooth to the neighbouring teeth to stabilise it while the injury heals.

Teeth that have been displaced are easiest for your dentist to reposition very soon after the injury, so it is best to seek immediate treatment.

Additional information