Emergency dental care

If you or a family member has toothache or an injury to your teeth or gums, get help as soon as possible.

Minor problems

  • If the problem isn’t too bad, phone your dentist, tell them you have toothache (or an injury) and make an appointment.

More serious problems

  • If the toothache is bad or the injury appears serious, get to an after-hours dentist. (If it’s normally safe for you to take painkillers such as paracetamol, you can do this before you see the dentist.)

Finding an after-hours dentist

  • Dentists in your region may provide an after-hours service. Your dentist’s answer phone will tell you where to go.
  • Your doctor may be able to provide relief from pain or infection – but you'll still need to see a dentist later.
  • Your local hospital may provide emergency dental treatment (eg, to relieve pain) but this should be your last option. You may still have to follow up with a dentist later.
  • If you have a serious injury affecting your mouth, teeth or gums, go to the emergency department at your hospital.

Related websites

Healthy Smiles
A New Zealand Dental Association website with useful information for the public.

ACC can help with the costs of your dental treatment if it’s needed because of accident or injury.

Dental Council
The Dental Council is the regulatory body for all dental practitioners.

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