When to Make an Emergency Dental Appointment

Dental pain can be anything from mild to excruciating, negatively impacting every aspect of life, but how do you know when it has become a dental emergency? Here’s our guide on identifying dental emergencies, to help you know when to make that emergency dentist call.

What doesn’t constitute a dental emergency?

Chipped or cracked teeth

Generally speaking, chipped or cracked teeth are not dental emergencies, but it is still advisable to call your dentist to discuss your needs and make an appointment. If you’re in severe pain because of a chip or crack, that becomes a dental emergency, and the same applies if there are sharp fragments of the tooth protruding in the mouth. If in doubt, call your dentist!

Mild toothache

Mild to moderate toothache is not considered an emergency and can usually wait for a regular dentistry slot. However, if the pain becomes severe then an emergency appointment should be made.

Missing crowns or fillings

A missing crown or filling is not usually treated as a dental emergency and can wait for a regular dentist appointment unless the pain becomes severe.

What constitutes a dental emergency?

Severe pain

Toothache can become unbearable, making it impossible to function in a normal manner. It may also indicate an urgent problem in the mouth such as an infection, so severe dental pain is a clear sign you need to make an emergency appointment.

A knocked-out tooth

If your tooth has been knocked from your mouth, place your tooth in a glass of milk and make an emergency appointment. The quicker you act, the likelier it is your tooth can be saved and re-implanted.

Uncontrolled bleeding from the mouth

Uncontrolled bleeding is always considered a dental emergency, especially if accompanied by pain or swelling, and you shouldn’t hesitate to make that emergency call. See your dentist as soon as you possibly can!


An abscess is an accumulation of pus, which can become an emergency if infected. An infection of this sort in the tooth can be life-threatening and should be treated as an emergency. If you have a painful, swollen mouth, raised lymph nodes in the neck, or a protruding lump next to the infected tooth, call your dentist to make an emergency appointment right away. If left untreated, the infection could spread to the jaw and other parts of the body.

Do you have any of the serious symptoms above?

If so, contact our dental clinic in York today. If out of hours, you can reach us on 01904 654889. If your symptoms don’t constitute an emergency, call us to discuss your needs and arrange a regular appointment.

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