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At Dr J. A Chau Dental Surgeons, we know that even with the best dental care practices, the unexpected can still happen.

Dental emergencies can include toothaches, dental trauma (knocked-out or fractured teeth), facial swelling, or lost fillings. If you experience any of these things the important thing to do is to stay calm and contact our practice as soon as possible for advice and to book an appointment. Our experienced staff will triage you over the phone to decide the best course of action for you depending on the dental emergency you are experiencing. We prioritise dental emergencies and you can feel assured you will be seen in a timely manner.

What you need to know

A dental emergency can mean a variety of situations. Read below for the types of emergencies that can occur and advice on what to do if you are faced with one.

Lost tooth

One of the most common dental injuries is a lost tooth. If a tooth is knocked out it's important to act quickly. Rinse the tooth with milk to wash off any dirt. To increase its survival time, either immerse the tooth in milk or place it back in your mouth.  If your child has lost a baby tooth, do not place it back in the socket. Doing so can damage the new permanent tooth underneath.

Fractured, broken or chipped teeth

Regardless of how damaged the tooth is, you should seek dental advice immediately. 

In most cases your dentist will be able to repair the tooth, but this will depend on the size and severity of the damage and the condition of the tooth. 


If you are suffering from a toothache, take some pain relief that is appropriate for you and seek care as soon as possible. Severe dental pain is often associated with an abscessed tooth which may need antibiotics. 

Facial swelling

If you are experiencing swelling around your jaw-line or cheeks, you should seek medical advice immediately. Either contact your local dentist or, if after hours, visit the emergency department to diagnose the reason for the swelling as soon as possible.

Lost filling

A lost filling can leave sharp edges which can lead to cuts on the tongue and cheeks if left untreated. It is best to make an appointment as soon as possible following the filling coming away, particularly if you are also experiencing pain. A tooth that has lost a filling should be treated in a timely manner to avoid further issues.

Soft tissue injuries

This includes cuts, tears, and punctures to the mouth and face area. Try to clean the wound straight away and visit your local dentist or emergency department as soon as possible depending on the severity of the injury. If bleeding persists, place pressure on the wound using gauze. 


If you need emergency dental care or relief from pain the best thing you can do is call us as soon as possible and we can advise you on the best course of action to take. In a dental emergency, your dentist is the best person to evaluate your situation and devise the best option for treatment and pain care.

The length of your appointment will depend on the treatment required, however; it is best to allow 30-

45 minutes at a minimum for an emergency appointment. At the appointment, you may be asked about your medical and dental history and you will be advised on after-care following the appointment. Depending on the severity of the emergency our dentists or staff will usually give you a follow-up care call the day after your treatment and you may be advised to book a review appointment for more complex situations.

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