Dental Emergency: Here's What You Should Do

Dental Emergencies and Your Dental Plan

August 14, 2018

Chipped tooth. Knocked out tooth. Busted lip. How do you handle a dental emergency when you can’t get to your dentist right away? 

If you’re on vacation, out on an excursion, or it’s after hours, here are some strategies for both emergencies and overall dental care.

Dental Emergency Preparedness

Make sure you have both of your dentist’s phone numbers saved to your mobile device. One being the office number, and the other one being their emergency line so you can call your dentist outside of normal office hours. That way, if you have a dental emergency, you can get in contact with your dentist for instructions on what to do next. 

If you happen to be on vacation during your dental emergency, find an in-network dentist in the area. This will keep your out-of-pocket costs low. Use our national Find a Dentist tool to search for one near you.  

How to Handle 4 Common Dental Emergencies

Sometimes when you’re out and about, you experience an incident with your teeth. Here are some common dental emergencies and what you should do until you can get to the dentist. 

  • Toothache – Keep a pain reliever like acetaminophen with you when you go out so you can take it at the first sign of discomfort. And book an appointment with your dentist ASAP. A toothache can indicate serious trouble.
  • Bitten Tongue or Lip – If this happens, clean the area with a cool damp cloth, and apply pressure to keep the swelling down. Bleeding should stop within a short period of time. If not, head for the dentist immediately.
  • Object Stuck in Your Teeth – If something gets stuck in your teeth, gently remove it with floss. If that doesn’t work, and pain starts to set in, visit your dentist.
  • Chipped Tooth – Keep a cold press on the injured area to reduce swelling, and visit your dentist as soon as possible to avoid further damage or infection. If your whole tooth comes out, put it in milk and get to the dentist ASAP.

Are Dental Emergencies Covered by Dental Insurance?

Yes. We know dental emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere. That’s why dental emergencies are covered by your dental plan.
If your dental emergency happens while you’re travelling in the US, make sure you visit an in-network dentist. It’s the best way to get the most out of your dental coverage.

If you have a dental emergency while travelling outside of the US, here’s what you need to do to use your insurance.

Create or sign in to your MySmile account to review your coverage and find an in-network dentist near you, whether at home or far away.

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Chipped tooth? Busted lip? Dental emergencies can happen anywhere. Here's what you should do and how your dental insurance works.