What to expect at an emergency dental appointment

When you have a toothache, it can be common to put it to the back of your mind in the hope that it will go away. But, as 1 in 6 dental patients will require emergency dental care at some time in their life, it is important to know what to do should an emergency with your teeth arise.

With that in mind, what are some of the things you can expect when visiting an emergency dentist in Southgate?

Same-day appointment

There are no dental surgeries around that offer a walk-in system anymore, even for emergencies.

So, when it comes to seeing an emergency dental team, you have to call ahead. Luckily, most surgeries that offer this option provide patients with same-day appointments, due to setting aside appointments each day for emergency treatment. Usually, this will occur at midday or around that time and will not typically be with your regular dental professional should it occur at your regular surgery.

Either way, most teams will aim to see you within 24 hours of the issue occurring or will refer you to a different surgery if this is not possible.


You know where your mouth is hurting and want it relieved but, when you attend an emergency checkup, you will still need to have a full assessment.

This is to ensure that you have no deferred discomfort and that the issue you think you have is accurate and not caused by a secondary problem. But don’t worry; emergency dental teams are gentle and will aim to make any assessment as fast as possible.

Pain relief

It goes without saying that if you are looking for same-day dental treatment, you will probably be looking for pain relief.

And, should you have an abscess, lost filling or any other painful condition, your emergency team will provide you with pain relief in the surgery and for when you get home.

So, that’s a great motivation to visit an emergency team if you have a toothache!


In most cases, emergency dental care can be treated when you arrive at the appointment; fillings can be put back in, cracks in the enamel can be filled and bleeds can be stopped.

But, in some cases, treatment is not so straightforward, especially if you have an abscess or have had trauma to your teeth.

In the case of an abscess, your team may fit you with a temporary filling and provide you with antibiotics until the abscess is more controlled. If you have had trauma to your face and teeth, they may refer you to a nearby hospital for more appropriate treatment.


Okay, so if you have an abscess, it is important to keep your follow-up appointments. During these, you will either have an extraction or a root canal performed to prevent the infection from coming back.

This will usually occur within a week of the emergency appointment and, even if you aren’t a fan of getting in the dental chair, it is wise to attend these follow-ups to prevent further issues. If you are concerned that you need to see an emergency dental team, please search online or enquire with your dental surgery for triage.

Apurva Thakur

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