Generally, if your tooth hurts, it’s a dental emergency.

Nowadays, there are many options for dealing with dental emergencies because of the advances in pain control and tooth restoration. We can have you out of pain and mended pretty rapidly. Quick dental treatment improves the odds of saving damaged teeth and restoring lost fillings and crowns. Even dental injuries that seem small can affect the living tissues inside the teeth.

An untreated tooth infection could spread to other parts of the head and neck and cause serious health problems. We can prevent any damage from getting worse and send you back to the pain-free world.

Our out-of-hours dental emergency number is 07794 135 190.

Frequently asked questions

My child's tooth has been knocked out.

If the injury involves a severe blow to the head or jaw, please go immediately to your nearest casualty department, particularly if there has been any loss of consciousness.

Once you have ruled out a more serious injury, please call us on 020 7638 7100 (working hours) or our emergency out of hours number of 07794 135 190.

This is a distressing event for parents and children alike, but we can help you. And it’s important to act quickly.

Permanent tooth knocked out:

Find the tooth. Rinse it gently in cool water. Please do not scrub it or clean it with soap. If possible, try to put the tooth back into its socket and hold in place with a clean gauze or tissue. If you cannot put the tooth back in the socket, put the tooth into a clean container with milk, saliva or water. Call us for treatment. It’s important to act quickly to save the tooth.

Chipped or fractured tooth:

Rinse your child’s mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce any swelling. Try to locate the tooth fragment. Call us for treatment. We can help to save the tooth and prevent infection.

Baby teeth knocked out:

We will establish whether any roots remain and whether there is damage done to any other teeth. It is not standard practice to save baby teeth, in the way that we’d try to save adult teeth. Do not try to replace the tooth back into the socket.

I am an adult and my tooth has been knocked out

When a tooth has been knocked out, the nerves, blood vessels and supporting tissues are damaged, too. The nerves and blood vessels can’t be repaired but the tooth can be put back in place within an hour of it having been knocked out.

There’s a good chance that the supporting tissues will re-attach and hold the tooth in place.

Please get to a dentist as soon as possible.

In the meantime:

Pick the tooth up by the upper portion (the crown).

Avoid touching the root end.

If the tooth is dirty, rinse it under running water for a few seconds. Don’t scrub it because the tooth can be damaged easily.

The most important thing is to keep the tooth moist.

Tuck it between the cheek and gum or, preferably, place it back into its own socket. Make sure it’s facing the right way. The tooth has a better chance of surviving if it’s kept in its natural environment.

Another option is to put the tooth in a cup of milk or a cup of your saliva.

Use a cup of water if nothing else is available.

What can I do about painful toothache?

Until you get treatment, here are a few things that you could try:

Medication: Take an over-the-counter pain relief. Ibuprofen is best, if you are able to take it. Alternatively, take paracetamol.

If Ibuprofen alone doesn’t help, you could take one paracetamol as well or try Nurofen Plus with codeine. (Please follow the instructions on the label and adhere to the recommended dosages.)

Even if pain relief helps, you still need to have treatment to avoid further spread of any infection.

Salt water: Rinse your mouth with warm water with a teaspoonful of salt dissolved in it. Do so every hour or so.

Rinse the area: If the pain is caused by food stuck in a cavity, washing the area may help you feel better.

Ice pack: Put an ice pack on your face over the area that hurts. Apply the ice for 10 to 20 minutes of every hour, if possible.

Air travel: Try to get dental treatment before travelling by air as the changes in pressure can make the pain worse.

I have a cracked tooth.

Cracked teeth vary in nature from pain-free chips right through to cracks running from the biting surface of the tooth towards the root and maybe even extending into the root itself. The softer, inner centre of the tooth may even be damaged.

Larger cracks, if left untreated, can lead to nerve death and abscesses. If this is so, it could need root canal treatment or extraction.

In severe cases, the tooth may actually split in two. If so, immediate dental attention is required.

We can treat cracked teeth in a variety of ways, depending on the type of crack:

Bonding: Plastic resin is used to fill the crack and to repair small chips on the biting edge of the tooth.

Cosmetic contouring: Where the chip is very small, we can round off the rough edges of the tooth and polish to blend away the crack.

Veneers: A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain or plastic material which fits over the front surface of the tooth. These are ideal for a tooth that still has a fair amount of structure remaining.

Crowns: A crown fits over what is left of the tooth, making it strong and giving it the appearance of a natural tooth. They are a last resort for a tooth that is not suitable for a veneer.

If the nerve has been damaged and becomes infected, you may need to have root canal treatment first. This involves removing the infection from the root canal, cleaning the root and filling it to prevent any further infections.

The tooth would then be fitted with a crown to give it extra support.

I grind my teeth and I think I've cracked one

People who grind or clench their teeth are more susceptible to cracked teeth because of the constant forces put upon them. Sometimes certain cusps on the molars (the highest points of the tooth) exert so much pressure on the opposing tooth that it cracks. We can treat the problem and make you a night guard to prevent the problem in future.

I think I have an infected wisdom tooth

Please visit our wisdom tooth section for more information.

I have terrible pain. I need root canal therapy but it sounds dreadful.

The aim is to relieve discomfort rather than create it.

It’s a painless treatment that puts an end to often excruciating pain. And with technological advances, we are able to gently save teeth that would have been extracted in the past.

The aim of the treatment is to remove all infection from the root canal. The root is cleaned and filled to prevent any further infection. We use a local anaesthetic and it feels no different to having a regular filling.

Root canal therapy is the good guy really.

Why might you need root canal therapy?

Extensive decay or trauma can cause teeth to die. The nerve becomes highly inflamed as it is dying and causes acute pain. Once the tooth has died the nerve endings and blood vessels (the pulp) in the tooth become infected, producing a swelling or abscess. This too causes severe pain.

Root canal therapy will relieve the acute pain and restore the tooth to its normal happy state.

What does root treatment involve?

Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure and is often carried out over two or more visits.

At the first appointment, the infected pulp (blood and nerve supply) is removed. Any abscesses can also be drained at this time. The root canal is then cleaned with special antiseptics and shaped ready for the filling. A temporary filling is put in and the tooth is left to settle.

The tooth is checked at a later visit. Once all the infection has cleared, the tooth is permanently filled and restored to its natural-looking normal state.

What about payment options?

We offer 0% finance loans, subject to the usual terms and conditions and status requirements. We also offer corporate and personal dental schemes and we are happy to accept personal insurance. E.g. Denplan or BUPA. Please click here for more information.

I'd like to ask a question?

We’d love to hear it especially if it’s dentally related. Please bear in mind that our dentists are attending to patients for most of the day.

They will reply to you as soon as they are able to do so. Ask us a question.

What do I do next?

If you’d like to book an appointment, you can call us on 020 7638 7100, or email us on bite@dentistry100.co.uk.

  • We can prescribe anti-biotics to treat dental infections.
  • Our dental surgeries are state of the art. They’re also calm and relaxing places to be.
  • You can ask Nancy or Peung, our dental nurses, to hold your hand if you need a little bit of extra reassurance.
  • We have instant digital x-ray so you can see what we see within seconds. It speeds up diagnosis considerably.
  • We use a special anaesthetic gel before we numb you.