Dental Emergencies at Your Vancouver Dentist

What is a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency is generally a fracture, infection, or any case that requires immediate attention in order to reduce the risk of long term complications or pain.

What to do during a dental emergency? 

Dental emergencies often happen at the most inconvenient of times, but if you are prepared with the knowledge of what to do next, it can potentially save your teeth, your smile, and your wallet. At Arbutus North we can help you find the treatment you need when you need us most. We understand that every minute counts.

Here are some of the most common types of dental injuries and what to do in each situation until you can see our team:

Types of dental injuries:


There are many different reasons that could be causing a toothache, and in some cases, it can be an extremely painful experience. If you have a toothache and are waiting until you can see your dentist, we recommend starting with taking over the counter pain medication and rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater. Put an icepack on the affected area and keep your mouth clean until your dental visit. If there are any changes or the problem worsens quickly, consider visiting an emergency room.

Cracked or Broken Teeth

Similar to a toothache, it is recommended to keep your mouth clean with warm salt water and a cold compress until you can visit your dentist. Cracked teeth can lead to other larger problems, so if you allow it to go untreated for a period of time it can become more painful and difficult to treat. Because cracked teeth often turn into broken teeth, the sooner you get in to visit us, the more likely it is to save the tooth.

*If possible, save any pieces of a broken tooth that you find, rinse with water, and submerge the tooth in water or milk.

Tooth Loss

If you are in the unfortunate situation of losing a permanent tooth, you should seek immediate treatment. If possible, you should try to place the tooth back into place, while avoiding touching the roots with your bare hands. If you are unable to place it in the original location, another option is to place it next to the lost tooth between the cheek. Alternatively, you can place your tooth into a cup of milk. If the tooth is lost, you can apply gauze or pressure if there is bleeding.

Tips on avoiding tooth injury:

-Avoid chewing ice, hard candy, popcorn kernels

-Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities

-Do not use your teeth to open bags, containers, beer bottles, etc.

-Maintain a proper oral care routine

At Arbutus North Dental Centre, we are used to seeing a wide range of dental emergencies come through our doors and are prepared to provide the best care possible to you during your visit. We understand it may be a stressful time and nobody can plan to have a dental emergency, but if you know the basics of what to do and see us as soon as possible, it can save you time, stress, and even possibly your teeth.

Want to add our number to your contacts for in the event of a dental emergency? You can find our contact information here.