What to do when you have a dental emergency while travelling

Travelling is an experience like no other! You get to see the world, experience cultures unlike your own; it can change you forever. Sometimes, when you go off travelling through, you end up getting hurt. This could be from a slip and fall, or maybe a sting from a jellyfish, or you could have a dental emergency. Most people do not even think about the possibility of a dental emergency when they travel, but if it does happen, it can ruin your trip and the only memory you will have is a toothache. So what should you do if you have a dental emergency while you are travelling?

Plan Ahead

When you are travelling somewhere, you always need to prepare beforehand. Just like you make an itinerary, you should familiarize yourself with medical facilities in the area. Find out where there are medical clinics and where you can go if you have a dental emergency. In a pinch, most hotels will have information of a place where you can go if you have an emergency.

Travel Insurance

Some people have travel insurance built into their health insurance coverage at their place of work, and some travel credit cards include it as well. If you are travelling anywhere, you need to make sure that you get travel insurance before you leave. Travel insurance will keep you safe so that if there is an emergency when you are abroad, even if you are just travelling between Canada and the USA, you will be covered. Make sure that the travel insurance you get covers emergency dental care as well, then you will not have to worry about the bill.


You can actually experience toothaches due to flying. This is because of air pressure imbalances when you fly. Air enters your teeth through various means, such as space in your fillings, a crack, or a cavity. This air then expands due to the air pressure changes while flying. This kind of a toothache should go away once you land, but if it persists, rinse your mouth out with water. If a toothache lasts more than a day you may want to go visit a dentist.

Breaking or Cracking a Tooth

This needs emergency dental care right away. If you cracked or broke your tooth because of some kind of impact, put a cold compress on your face to help with swelling. Make sure that you bring the broken part of your tooth, preferably submerged in milk, with you as sometimes the broken piece can be reattached.

Fully Dislodged Tooth

If you have a tooth completely knocked out, then you need to respond quickly so that it can be reattached. Just like with a broken tooth, submerge the tooth into a cup of milk. Do not touch the tooth by the root or any tissue fragment, merely hold it by the crown and rinse any dirt from the tooth. If possible, you should hold the tooth in the socket, instead of putting it into milk. After 30 minutes the chance of reattaching the tooth shrinks, so be fast.

Once Home

If you have had a dental emergency when travelling, you will want to see your dentist once you get home to make sure that everything is ok. When you get back, come in and see our team, so that we can inspect your teeth and give you a clean bill of health.   All credit goes to Dr. Jason Harvey

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