Emergencies (ED)


Our position on emergencies is very simple: if you think it is an emergency, then we do too.

In this ED (emergency dental) series, we will give you instructions to relieve pain temporary to make things more comfortable before seeing our dentist. Please note that this is a general guide on how to relieve pain or its related symptoms, it does not replace a comprehensive professional advice.

Because of the comprehensive list of suggested solution(s) to common emergency problems, we suggest that you bookmark this page for future reference so that you can always refer to!

But above all else, please contact our office ASAP to arrange a dental appointment so that we will help you get your problem sorted.

I have a really bad toothache! What can I do in the meantime

Here are some tips to help you relieve some pain before seeing us:

  • Take ibuprofen or paracetamol as per the label’s instructions in the meantime.
  • Keep your teeth as clean as practical by brushing and flossing extra carefully and with more time around your pain area
  • Try placing hot pack or cold pack around the pain area
  • If you can feel that your gums start to swell around the painful tooth, most likely the tooth is heavily infected with bacteria. Contact us ASAP or if unable to see us, at least see your family doctor to have the symptoms relieved.
My gums around my wisdom teeth is swollen and very painful while biting down!

Here’s what you can do in the meantime:

  • Choose foods that are soft to eat and not too painful to bite on, and remember to drink plenty of fluids.
  • Take ibuprofen or paracetamol as per the label’s instructions in the meantime.
  • Keep your teeth as clean as practical by brushing and flossing extra carefully and with more time around your pain area
  • Try placing hot pack or cold pack around the pain area
  • Buy a special mouthwash (such as Savacol) which contains chlorhexidine (an antibacterial compound) and rise at least twice a day after brushing.

Contact us ASAP or if unable to see us, at least see your family doctor to have the symptoms relieved.

Knocked out tooth (sports and other trauma)

Follow these steps if you have your tooth knocked out:

  • The key to successful replanting of the tooth is: TIME and STORAGE. (Within 1 hour and preferably in the recommended medium)
  • Check to make sure that you are still fine (i.e. no other major medical problems resulting from the injury). Medical problems are always more important than dental problems!
  • If you can pick the tooth up, do so and it will be visibly dirty. Gently rinse with clean water or milk.
  • DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SCRAPE THE TOOTH, as the cells surrounding the teeth are the key to allow your teeth to be replanted!

These are the best way to store your teeth from the best to the not recommended:

  • Within your mouth in your own saliva
  • Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution (HBSS)
  • Milk (this is especially for kids with adult teeth), try to use fresh milk from the local dairy.
  • Saline

Do not to store the tooth in WATER! As it can be ineffective and damaging to the remaining cells of the tooth.

If the tooth has been knocked out and still within 1 hour of the injury, then the chances of successfully replanting is higher than 1 hour later! Call our office ASAP and we will arrange an emergency appointment for you (we deem this as a true emergency), we will try to see you within the hour to replant the tooth. The best way to prevent these kind of injuries is the use of customised dental mouth-guards.

Please help! I have trouble with my bad breath.

There are many factors which contribute to the cause of bad breath (halitosis). Treatment for halitosis depends on the underlying cause. Commonly, it is caused by sulphur-producing bacteria that live within the surface of the tongue and in the throat. When these bacteria break down proteins they release volatile sulphur compounds that gives rise to the odor produced. Smoking, dry mouth, gum disease or nasal or sinus infections can also cause bad breath. Good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing and tongue cleaning, is important. This problem can usually be remedied by a dental check up and a good clean.

Please help, I have sensitive teeth!

The first step in taking action against dental sensitivity is to find out the cause; we can help you with this.

  • If the sensitivity is due to exposed dentine (the inner layer of your teeth with nerves, similar to a nail-bed), there are a number of steps which you can reduce sensitivity before seeing us:
    • Use a very soft bristle tooth brush
    • Reduce the amount of force while brushing by holding your toothbrush like a pen (three fingers) instead of holding it in a fist (like a tennis racket)
    • Using toothpaste specially formulated to help reduce sensitivity
    • Purchasing and using anti-sensitive mouthwash from your local chemist
  • If the sensitivity is due to dental decay, contact us so that we can get your situation assessed and place a restoration such as a filling.
  • If the sensitivity is due to receding gums (and consequently exposed roots), in the meantime:
    • Use a very soft bristle tooth brush
    • Reduce the amount of force while brushing by holding your toothbrush like a pen (three fingers) instead of holding it in a fist (like a tennis racket)
    • Using toothpaste specially formulated to help reduce sensitivity
    • Purchasing and using anti-sensitive mouthwash from your local chemist

We hope this will help you in your sensitivity for the time being. Please contact us as soon as practical to arrange an appointment.

Swollen face

Swollen face usually indicates infection, which we do see often related to dental pain. We can give you an initial assessment in our clinic but usually if the swelling of your face is severe we may refer to your local general practitioner doctor or local hospital to have intravenous antibiotics. Contact us as soon as practical to arrange an appointment.

My fixed retainer wire has come off! What can I do in the meantime?

If a wire is causing irritation (and really starting to annoy your tongue), cover the end of the wire with a small cotton ball or soft wax (such as your orthodontic white wax). If a wire is stuck in your cheek, tongue or gum tissue, DO NOT attempt to remove the wire! Call your local orthodontist or contact us so that we can remove/replace the wire for your safely.

Sore teeth due to braces being placed in the first 1-2 weeks (Not a true emergency)

Take panadol or hot pad/warm salt washes. You will start to get used to the sensation within 1-2 weeks! It is very normal to feel sore and tender after having your braces placed for the first time.

Wire irritation (From braces, not a true emergency)

Use the orthodontic wax provided to you, pick a small piece of it out and place it on the place where it irritates you. You can also use a clean eraser to apply some part on the wires, or even birthday candles (wax).

Alternatively, you can always chew some gum and stick it on the irritated wire: it does work quite well.

Loose bracket
Call our office first to see if the wire needs to be refitted. Please call asap so we can schedule you the next business day and schedule you for a repair appointment. If the bracket does fall out, KEEP IT in a safe place and bring it to our office, as the brackets are custom made for you and if you lose it we will need to order a new one for you (additional costs may be charge for multiple lost/loose brackets).

Lost separator

If you find a separator lost, call us ASAP so we can schedule you to put a new one in. Otherwise it can delay your treatment. Some patients can lose one or two separators during the appointment, which is COMMON as the tooth will be separated and loosened by the separators.