What to do if you have a dental emergency over the holiday period 2020-2021

What to do if you have a dental emergency over the holiday period 2020-2021

Thank you for your support over 2020 and Merry Christmas.

Our practice will close at 3.00pm on Wednesday 23rd of December 2020 and will re-open 8.00am Tuesday 5th January 2021. While we hope you don’t have any dental emergencies over your summer holiday below is some advice on what you can do if you do have an issue.

Many dental practices do close over Christmas in Wellington and you can contact an emergency dentist on 04 474 2234 over this time.

What To Do In A Dental Emergency Over The Holiday Period | McKeefry Dental

Tooth knocked out in an accident

  1. Find the tooth and pick it up by the crown (part normally visible in the mouth).
  2. If it is dirty, rinse it with milk or a small amount of luke warm water.
  3. Get it facing the correct way and try to reinsert the tooth into the socket it came from.
  4. If you can’t get it back into the socket the best place to store it is in the person’s mouth between the lower teeth and their cheek. If this is not practical then keep it in a small container in saliva (spit) or in milk.
  5. See a dentist ASAP. The chances of saving a tooth are typically better within the first hour of it being knocked out.
  6. Use a cold compress on the face area nearby and take Paracetamol (Panadol) or Ibuprofen (Nurofen).

Partly dislodged tooth

  1. Try to reposition back to the correct spot if easy.
  2. See a dentist ASAP.
  3. Use a cold compress on the face area nearby and take Paracetamol (Panadol) or Ibuprofen (Nurofen).

Chipped Tooth

  1. Retrieve the piece (especially if it is from a front tooth as this may be able to be reattached) and keep it safe until you can get to the dentist.
  2. If there is bleeding bite on a clean hanky or cloth for 10 mins until the bleeding stops.
  3. If this is not in a visible zone and not sore then there is likely no huge rush to see a dentist (just sometime in the next few weeks).
  4. If the broken area is at the back and sharp on your tongue you may be able to cover the area over (temporarily) with chewed up sugar free chewing gum or even some wax.

Lost filling

  1. As a temporary stop gap measure you could plug the hole with sugar free chewing gum or wax.

Lost crown

  1. Keep the crown safe until you can get to the dentist. If it is sore and the crown fits back on, you can use denture adhesive (such as Polident) to help hold it in place until you can get to the dentist.


  1. Rinse your mouth with warm water and see if you can see anything obviously wrong in the tender area.
  2. Oil of cloves applied to the area can help.
  3. Paracetamol (Panadol) or Ibuprofen (Nurofen) can also help. Don’t ever hold a Disprin (Asprin) against the area as this will burn the gum and cause extra problems.
  4. If there is an obvious swelling, hot salty mouthwashes will help to encourage any pus to drain away. Do this at least 6 times/day and hold the solution in the area for at least 30 seconds each time. Facial swellings can be very SERIOUS and so you should see a dentist as soon as possible especially if the swelling is tracking up towards the eye or down towards the throat.


  1. Broken bracket – Put wax on any sharp edges and schedule an appointment for when we re-open.
  2. Detached bracket – Just leave it mobile on the wire and we can re-bond it next time we see you.
  3. Lost ‘O’ ring or wire tie around a bracket – Try not to play with it. We can fix it when we see you next.
  4. Loose or detached metal band from around a back tooth – Try not to play with it. If very loose see if you can pull it out and then keep safe for next visit.


  1. Lost or broken aligner. If you have just moved onto this aligner then move back to the last one. We can order a new aligner when back (this is usually $110 to replace, although your exact costs may differ based on your circumstances). If you have been wearing this aligner for a while then move onto the next one and wear the next aligner for these extra days plus it’s normal wear time.
  2. Lost or broken attachment. Stay on your current aligner and we can replace the attachment when you are next in.
  3. Lost chewies or elastics. Stay on current aligner and then you can pick up more when back.
Reviewed and approved by Dr Sally Woods from Angela McKeefry Dental
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