How to Get an Emergency Dentist Appointment?

For an emergency dental appointment, contact your chosen dentist directly to assess if it’s urgent or a routine check-up before booking.

Requesting an emergency appointment is simple. You will need to contact the dentist of your choice to arrange. However, before making the call, we suggest determining if your problem is, in fact, an emergency or if you need to schedule a check-up instead. That said, if you’ve been in pain for longer than 48 hours that’s not relieved by over-the-counter medication or accompanied by swelling, we recommend making an urgent appointment. 

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What is a dental emergency?

A dental emergency is pain and discomfort that prevents you from carrying out your usual daily tasks or sleeping. Unlike a medical emergency, a dental emergency does not require you to go to A&E and is handled by your dentist.

Dental emergencies can include:

  • Severe dental pain, toothache or throbbing
  • Uncontrolled bleeding in the mouth or swelling
  • The tooth knocked or come loose from injury or trauma
  • Tooth abscess, infection, impacted wisdom teeth

Understanding when a situation is not a dental emergency can save you money on same-day emergency appointment fees. For example, when you’ve cracked a tooth or lost a crown or filling, it’s unlikely to be deemed a dental emergency, even though you should address these problems as soon as possible. 

Toothache, in some circumstances, is also unlikely to be regarded as a dental emergency unless the pain is severe. 


If you believe your situation requires swift action, and an urgent appointment but is not an emergency, you can still contact the practice to see if they can fit your case in as soon as possible. 

More often than not, we understand that you might feel uncomfortable or have cosmetic concerns and will be able to schedule you to get it sorted.

Getting an emergency appointment

It’s important to note that once you’ve identified whether your situation is, in fact, a dental emergency, you’ll need to contact a dentist to see if they have space to take you.

Practices like ours commonly keep several emergency appointments available, which require patients to be seen within the next 24 hours.

Appointments might also be available outside the practice’s usual operating hours.

However, right now, many NHS practices are limited with the services they can provide as they have reached their capacity, which means sadly, practices across the UK are unable to accept new NHS patients, as well as offer a full NHS service to many of their currently registered NHS patients.

Patients in emergencies, therefore, might have no choice but to seek private emergency and routine care if they are unable to access an appointment.

That said, you can try and speak to 111, who are always available to assist and help you access urgent dental assistance if you cannot go private.

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More information

Waiting for an emergency appointment

When waiting for your emergency appointment, do your best to not aggravate your issue and take specific steps to limit the risks.

For example, if you have a suspected tooth abscess, it’s recommended that you avoid hot food and drink and use a soft toothbrush.

Before your appointment, which can also offer you some pain relief, you can swill your mouth with warm salt water, which will disinfect the area. 

On the other hand, if you’re missing a tooth, clean it with running water and, if possible, place it back into the socket. If that’s not possible, it’s best to keep your tooth in milk before you see the dentist, which will help maintain the tooth's pH balance and preserve the living elements. Keep the socket clean and free from debris in order to avoid causing an infection. 

What to expect during your emergency appointment

Emergency appointments are a little different to your routine check-ups.

For example, the dentist will be more focused on locating and treating the source of the problem.

In some instances, to relieve the source of pain, a tooth extraction might be necessary, if the decay is too advanced and there’s nothing that can be done to save the tooth.

However, all treatments and possible options will be discussed with you before undertaking the procedure. 

If a tooth is missing, the dentist might be able to reinsert it, but this will depend on how soon you can get an emergency appointment and the condition of the knocked-out tooth. If it’s possible, the dentist will use a splint that attaches to either side of the teeth and is removed a few weeks later.

However, if we cannot reinsert your lost tooth, we would have to discover tooth replacement treatments like dental bridges or dental implants. 

If your visit is due to a dental abscess, we will assess the affected area and attempt to remove it. Several procedures can be carried out, depending on the scenario.

However, an incision can be made into the affected area to drain it, although this is a short-term solution to the issue. Subsequent root canals might be required to remove the abscess from the tooth, or an extraction if a root canal is not viable. 

Our dentists aim to see patients on the day of their call or within the next 24 hours.

Make sure to call our practice as soon as possible, especially early in the morning to book of these reserved appointments, and our reception team will do their best to get you seen as soon as possible. 

Dawn SwansonDawn Swanson
10:27 24 Nov 22
I have been with the Gentle Dental Practice for 8 years, the care and service I have received has always been 5 star. I have recently used their new hygienist Nicky who is great. Looking for a new dentist just contact their very friendly and proffessional team.
George HorseyGeorge Horsey
18:54 15 Nov 22
Dental Impant Surgery:I had my dental implants fitted recently and I am extremely happy with the outcome. Ali and the team have done an amazing job since I lost my 2 front teeth over 6 years ago. I had to wait for the surgery for a long time due to my age and the issues surrounding having implants at a young age.I finally had the surgery 12 weeks ago and had my two new crowns fitted last week. They look absolutely amazing and the whole procedure was way less painful than I ever thought it would be.I would highly recommend getting your implants done at the Gentle Dental Practice, you won't regret it!A massive thank you to everyone at the practice!
Deeban SkandalingamDeeban Skandalingam
12:06 03 Nov 22
Fantastic work on my teeth and I would highly recommend! My teeth turned out better than I had even hoped for. If you are in need of any dental work, you would be doing a great disservice if you didn't speak to this practice first. The staff were extremely friendly, there were text updates and all in all an excellent service from start to finish. If you haven't guessed already, I am thoroughly pleased with The Gentle Dentle. Thank you!
Pippa HarveyPippa Harvey
14:54 26 Oct 22
Like many people, I have an immense fear of dentistry, and dentists, due to previous experiences.I had two broken teeth and one that had been treated incorrectly by an NHS dentist. I had been in daily pain for about 18 months, and had been put on a 6 month waiting list by my NHS dentist.I called gentle dental to explain my problem and they offered me a same day appointment. They were kind, compassionate, understanding, patient and validating. I’m not sure anybody ever feels completely comfortable in the chair, but It’s the closest I’ve ever come!The work needed was carried out, all of the staff were kind and welcoming, and it showed me that the dentist doesn’t have to be a dreaded place!Thank you so, so much gentle dental! I will definitely be returning.
Tilesh PTilesh P
15:45 14 Sep 22
Dental Implants - 3 New Teeth - June 2022I had the most professional and pain free experience when getting my new tooth implants at Gentle Dental. Honestly I put it off for some many years because I just didn't want to go through the pain. But my experience was totally the opposite. Ali and the wonderful girls were there every step of the way. All my questions got answered and I was reassured everything would work out well. And it did. I was worried for no reason.I did think about going abroad to have it done but when you consider the risk factor, time and professional standards - it made no sense to me. I have known Ali for a long time and knew I would be in the best hands and if there were any issues these would could be resolved easily.If you are thinking of having dental implants at Gentle - don't waste any more time. Just book and get it done.Was it painful ? No, uncomfortable for a few days, yes for sure.I just wish I had it done sooner. Thanks guys, love my new teeth 🙂
Edward CrameEdward Crame
13:43 04 Dec 21
Very happy with all aspects of the work they have done. Very clean, professional and well run business.
Lynn HuddartLynn Huddart
12:43 24 Nov 21
Dr Ali Rifai was professional and I am very pleased with the outcome of my Invisalign's. I have been with this practice for many years and would highly recommend. The staff are very friendly and nothing is an issue.
Jonathan PlumbJonathan Plumb
11:52 24 Nov 21
Can't thank this practice enough for all their help. I don't post reviews very often, so when I do, it's because an impression has been left! Dr Ali saw me at short notice to help fix a broken tooth. The nurse (I think her name was Danni) was so helpful and kind, as were the rest of the team. Thank you for being there for me in my hour of need (the same day i asked for an appointment!)
Eva AugustEva August
07:11 06 Nov 21
I’m so happy to find this practice. I suffer from anxiety and high sensitivity to pain. It was very stressful for me going to dentist after years of fear. The team not only make me calm and welcome but I FELL ASLEEP during treatment with Dr Marshall ! So understanding and caring. Thank you!
Marc NevittMarc Nevitt
11:35 11 Oct 21
I have been using this dentist for well over a decade and can honestly say my teeth would be in a far worse situation if wasn’t for the Gentle Dental practice.My most recent visit was for a filling .. barely felt the injection!I would highly recommend this dentist to anyone, but especially if you’re teeth require a high level of care like mine.
Emma BrauerEmma Brauer
08:44 04 Aug 21
This place was recommended to me by family and for a nervous patient the best experience. The reception welcome is cheerful and friendly, beautifully modern area with hot drinks and water on offer.I needed implants, crowns and bridges followed by whitening, so lots of appointments. My dentist Mr Ali Rafai was superb from start to finish, so professional and personable. Throughout the whole process I was cared for wonderfully plus lots of laughs along the way. The constant care during appointments was very comforting, no rushing, and I knew I my needs were Mr Rafai's priority. Plus check up call the next day without fail to make sure everything was going well.Absolutely deserves five stars!
Alan SamuelAlan Samuel
13:30 14 Jul 21
Fantastic experience with Ali. It took 18 months including bone grafting, removing and replacing failed dental implants, invisaline for my bottom teeth which were all over the place and some veneers but now I'm delighted with the outcome.Ali was always very clear about how this wasn't an overnight solution in an honest and forthright manner which gave me confidence that he would deliver results.I was offered several overnight solutions from other dentists locally at a fraction of the cost but when I see how much effort and detail that went into my plan, I know i made the right choice.
Kurt JohnsonKurt Johnson
17:48 14 May 21
I have got no complaints about this Dental Practice. They were all very friendly and accommodating and always professional.My dental treatment was also really good, everything went according to plan and the results are great!I am VERY happy with the outcome and would recommend them anytime!
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