Dentists have always been experts at infection control and have COVID-19 policies and procedures in place to keep everyone safe.  Please ensure you contact a dental office by phone before you visit and disclose if you are not well or have any COVID-19 symptoms. To comply with physical distancing requirements, many dental offices may continue to provide initial consultations over the phone. For more information, please visit BCDA's COVID-19 Information for Dental Patients page.

On occasion, a dental problem may arise outside of normal dental office business hours.

What is a Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies can have many causes, including accidents, sports-related injuries, tooth decay and infection. You may have a dental emergency if you have any of the following:

  • a traumatic injury to your mouth, jaw or teeth
  • severe pain that you cannot control with over-the-counter pain medication
  • uncontrolled bleeding
  • severe swelling in your mouth, face or neck

NOTE: If you have trouble breathing or your mouth continuously fills with blood, call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest hospital emergency department. Also seek an immediate medical assessment if you suffer a head trauma.

Emergency Resources for Patients

Emergency Resource Package

More information on what you should do in the event that this happens to you or a family member can be found in the following Patient Dental Emergency Resource Package (PDF).

Sedation and General Anesthesia

Dental procedures/treatment may require sedation or general anesthesia. Whether or not sedation is used for your specific procedure will depend on a few factors: the nature of treatment; your level of anxiety; and your overall health and medical history. Discuss the sedation options with your dentist to make an informed decision for your health.

Also, learn more about the use of sedation and general anesthesia in treating children.