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Emergency Dentist

What is an emergency dentist?

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What does an emergency dentist do?

Knowing what to expect is the first step to gaining confidence in making the right decision for your health

Emergency Dentist explained

Dr. Sarah explains everything you need to know
about emergency dentist services at the dentist

An emergency dentist makes every effort to see you when you need it most, usually within 24 hours of you contacting the practice or an after-hours emergency dentist hotline in your area.  The goal for an emergency dentist is to get you out of pain or fix a recently broken or damaged tooth quickly so that you can get on with life.  An emergency dentist will most likely not have time to do a thorough examination of your entire mouth on the day as they will use the appointment time to focus on your emergency dental concern only.  Since an emergency appointment time is limited, you may be asked to return for follow-up treatment to complete any treatment started on the day.

An emergency dentist may offer the following services on the day of your emergency dental consultation:

When to see an emergency dentist?

The moment you notice an issue it is best to contact the emergency dentist right away before things develop into a situation that could cause you severe pain, threaten your overall health or result in the loss of a tooth. 

It is recommended you seek consultation with an emergency dentist if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms;

  • Sensitivity
  • Toothache – mild to severe
  • Chipped or broken tooth
  • The loss of a dental filling or dental restoration
  • Jaw pain
  • Swelling in or around the mouth
  • Bleeding of the gums
  • The sudden loss of a tooth
  • Excessive bleeding following a tooth extraction
  • Tingling sensation in the jaw or around the ear
  • Tenderness when you bite or chew
  • A color change or lump on the soft tissue (lips, tongue, gums, or cheek)
  • Trauma to the tooth or teeth from an accident
  • Broken dentures (false teeth)
  • You are undergoing a course of dental treatment and something breaks, falls off or feels wrong
Free to use...

Visiting an emergency dentist on AirSmile.



Free to use...

Every dental practice listed on AirSmile is eager to offer emergency dental care to those in need.  If you need an emergency dentist now, simply download the AirSmile app or join online for free and search for a preferred AirSmile dentist near you.  Once you’ve found your perfect match, click BOOK, select ‘Emergency’ and reserve the soonest available appointment time.  Our AirSmile dentist members are the best emergency dentists in town and are ready and eager to help you get out of pain – fast!

Best of all, you will know the cost of your consultation upfront with our transparent fee system where we provide emergency consultation quotes right there on the AirSmile directory.  The consultation fee listed against each practice is the fee they will charge to diagnose your dental emergency on the day – often this also includes an x-ray!  Once the AirSmile emergency dentist has diagnosed your condition, provided you with treatment options and quotes, you’re now in complete control to make an informed decision on what you would like to proceed with next.  

That’s Dental. But Fair. 

airsmile dental patient

Get even more savvy with our FAQ'S

Understanding your condition is the key to making the right choices for you


To help the emergency dentist make a quicker and more accurate diagnosis on the day, it is helpful if you can clearly explain the history of the tooth causing you trouble and details about the symptoms, condition, and situation that brought you in. Having a copy of your previous dental and health records available for the dentist to view on the day, such as dental x-rays, clinical notes, dental photos and referral information to specialists you may have been given by a previous dentist can help speed up the process of diagnosis your complaint and save you some serious money if the dentist can use these records to make their overall diagnosis. For example, using recent x-rays of the tooth instead of having to take new ones on the day could save you up to $170!

You can make a request to get a copy of your previous dental records by filling out a Record Release form available at any dental practice or online. However, having the records sent over to the emergency dentist from the previous practice may take some time, therefore, it is ideal if you can obtain records before your appointment to allow the dentist to review them prior to your arrival making them better prepared to address your concerns.

Another useful step to follow is to arrive at least 10 minutes prior to your emergency dental appointment. This will allow you enough time to complete the medical and dental history forms and settle into your surroundings prior to being escorted into the clinical room to meet the dental team. The emergency dentist only allocates a certain amount of time to address and treat your concern so it’s best not to waste any of this completing paperwork because you arrived when the appointment was due to start.

In Australia, the emergency dentist consultation cost is between $39 – $102. If the emergency dentist needs an x-ray on the day to provide a clear diagnosis this is estimated to cost between $30 – $56 on top of the emergency consultation fee.

The emergency dentist will do their very best to get you out of pain on the day, provided you agree to the recommended treatment and the costs associated with the service. An emergency dentist may only have enough time during the appointment for a temporary fix and request that you return at a later date for a more permanent treatment solution. However, if the treatment needed is minimal, the emergency dentist may be able to complete your treatment on the day. The purpose of an emergency dental visit is to diagnose your condition and get you out of trouble so that you can continue on with life with a plan to return when you and the dentist have more time for a more comprehensive treatment appointment.

A general dentist and an emergency dentist are considered the same. The term emergency dentist is used to describe the service needed by the patient when they are in need of urgent care. An emergency dentist must hold the same tertiary qualifications and registrations to perform dentistry as a regular general dentist.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms and are unable to get an urgent appointment with an emergency dentist at a private dental clinic it is advised that you go to the hospital to have your condition assessed and treated by a medical professional immediately.

Seek immediate medical attention if you have;

Experienced trauma to the mouth or face
Excessive bleeding in your mouth that will not stop
Swelling in your mouth or neck is making it difficult for you to breathe, swallow or speak
Severe toothache or jaw pain that will not ease with over-the-counter pain relief
Developed a fever
Vomiting, nauseousness, and feel faint
You have a broken tooth that is causing severe pain or trauma to your tongue or cheek
Any other dental emergency that is not tolerable or is a threat to your wellbeing if left untreated

It is important to note that certain dental emergencies are life-threatening if left untreated. If you can not reach an emergency dentist, please seek help from a general medical practitioner or go straight to the hospital emergency ward.

Although you might find advice online or be given suggestions by a well-meaning friend or family member on ways to treat a sore or broken tooth, it is not recommended that you treat a true dental emergency at home yourself unless professional help can not be sourced urgently. Trying to fix a dental emergency yourself using inappropriate equipment and materials could cause more damage and severely impact your health and safety and the long-term prognosis of the condition you are trying to fix.

However, if you are experiencing tooth pain, have a broken tooth or an obvious infection there are some short-term solutions you can consider if you are unable to book an appointment with an emergency dentist right away.

Visit your local GP – Medical Practitioner. If you are suffering from an infection or are in tooth pain, a GP might be able to offer an appropriate script for antibiotics and perhaps a strong pain relief to help you get some sleep and survive until you can get in to see the emergency dentist and have the issue addressed.
If you have a broken tooth, make a trip to the chemist or local pharmacy and pick up a tube of temporary tooth filling cement which sets hard after moisture is applied to cover over the broken area and sharp edges until it can be repaired permanently by the emergency dentist.
Another product that is safe to use when you have a toothache that can be purchased over the counter at your local pharmacy is called clove oil costing you around $10 a bottle. Clove oil contains eugenol which acts as a natural anesthetic to provide temporary relief of pain on the gum and exposed tooth nerve for 2 – 3 hours. In most cases, it will help reduce the severity of a toothache for a short period of time until you can seek help from a dentist.
If you develop a fever, nausea or the pain becomes too much it’s time to visit the hospital emergency rooms for medical attention.

Although you won’t have a lot of time to ask questions during an emergency dental appointment as their first priority is to get you out of pain, however, there are some important questions you should ask to better understand your situation so that you can make an informed decision on treatment options and care moving forward.

Question 1: What are all of my options to fix my dental emergency issue, costs aside?

It is important you hear all of the options the dentist has to offer to treat the condition even if they are not within your budget so that you have all of the facts and can make the right decision for the future of your overall health and finances

Question 2: What are the pros and cons of each emergency dental treatment option?

You want to know the good, bad, and ugly of each option being presented so that you can be confident you’ve made a well-informed and the right decision for you come the time. If you are not given all of your options you might later find there was an alternative solution that you would have chosen if given the choice. Remember the decision is yours to make and all emergency dental treatment options should be discussed without your financial situation clouding the conversation.

Question 3: What are the costs involved today, in the near future, and the long-term maintenance costs?

It is important to understand and commit to the associated costs now to have the emergency dental treatment completed and also to the long-term costs to maintain the quality and function of the treatment.

Question 4: How long will each option last?

You should want to know the life expectancy of each option. How long will the filling, crown, denture, or whatever emergency dental treatment option you decide to go with will last? That way you can better prepare for the future if and when a replacement is needed.

Emergency Dentist

  • Removing an infected or badly broken tooth
  • Place an antibiotic material inside the tooth canal for temporary relief from a dying nerve
  • Providing a script for painkillers and/or antibiotics to treat an infection
  • Place a temporary or permanent filling over an area of a broken tooth
  • Flush out bacteria and debris causing infection below the gumline
  • Repair damaged teeth and soft tissue trauma from an accident or injury
  • Smooth off a broken or rough section of a tooth
  • Offer a referral to a GP or oral specialist best suited to your needs
  • If time permits, a more permanent solution might be possible on the day

Most dental practices will allocate time in their daily schedule to emergency dentistry to both new and existing patients, however, these emergency dental appointments do fill up fast so it’s best to contact your preferred practice the moment you need to see an emergency dentist nearest to you to ensure you get the next available appointment time.

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Everything you need to enhance practice efficiency. For clinics that want to offer better dental.
patient login on airsmile


Compare quotes, manage your appointments, store dental records, and more. For people who want better dental.
dentist login on airsmile


Everything you need to enhance practice efficiency. For clinics that want to offer better dental.