Best Way to Handle Dental Emergencies While Traveling

Imagine you are on a trip reveling in the sheer beauty of your dream city. What could go wrong?

Suddenly, you feel a slight toothache while biting into a moist chicken. Upon retiring to your room, it worsens and becomes unbearable, or your tooth feels weirdly loose.

Code red: you have a dental emergency.

Dental emergencies, like any other emergency, strike anytime, regardless of where or what you are doing, even when you are far from home; this sometimes makes finding an emergency dentist difficult.

But if you are prepared for it, you can sort it and return to tanning on a beach. The last thing anyone wants is to struggle to fix their dentition in an unfamiliar place.

If you ever experience these pesky pains or discomfort, you had better be ready to handle it. This guide is your tour guide to handling dental emergencies while on a tip.

What Qualifies as Dental Emergencies?

When you notice a dental problem that requires urgent or immediate treatment, it’s a dental emergency. You may need the treatment to save the tooth from falling off or alleviate severe pains.

Dental emergencies range from broken teeth to bleeding gums, severe pain, loose teeth, etc.

It’s best to react as soon as you notice such an emergency. The immediacy of your response can determine the overall outcome.

For instance, a professional can reinsert a knocked-out tooth within 60 minutes. Such situations require speedy treatment.

Ignoring it could cost you more or cause complications sometimes down the line.

How to Prepare Ahead of Your Trip

Most times, you don’t see a dental issue coming. But sometimes, it could have been avoided. As the famous saying goes, a stitch in time saves nine, and a quick checkup before a trip saves aggravated health issues.

A proven way to avoid health emergencies is preparation. Always start a trip with your dental check-up.

Your dentist may spot signs of a brooding dental condition and treat it before you fly across the world. A pre-trip checkup helps you address any troubles that may aggravate your trip.

Most importantly, pack a dental emergency kit. Having one on your packing list is pretty unusual, but it comes in handy. What should your kit contain?

  • Temporary filling from over-the-counter stores to replace lost fillings
  • Dental floss to get debris off of your tooth
  • A small case with a lid to store the knocked-out tooth
  • Over-the-counter pain reliever
  • Contact details of reputable dental clinics at your destination

What You Should Do During Dental Emergencies?

Even when you take precautions and do everything right, emergencies may occur. You can’t stop that.

How do you handle such a situation immediately after you notice it? Here’s how to deal with these emergencies:


One quick remedy for toothaches is rinsing with warm water. Sometimes, the pain results from food logged in your teeth. You can use dental floss to get the food out. Use cold compression on your cheek if you notice any swelling in your gum or mouth.

Note: don’t use aspirin on the spot or in affected areas. You can take over-the-counter pain relievers if the pain is unbearable. After this immediate response, contact a local dentist.

Lost Fillings or Crowns

Remember the over-the-counter dental cement in your first-aid kit? It’s show time for it. If you lose your fillings, seal the area temporarily with dental cement. Alternatively, use a chewed sugarless gum.

If the crown falls off, try reinserting it with dental cement. You may also use a denture adhesive until you see a local dentist.

Knocked-Out Teeth

A knocked-out or a cracked tooth requires immediate attention. Try your best to get to the dentist as soon as possible. In case of any delays, pick every fragment of the affected tooth that you can find.

Note that you should hold it by the crown and avoid washing or cleaning a knocked-out tooth. Instead, just rinse it with clean water.

Reinsert a knocked-out tooth into its socket and hold it in place until you see a dentist. Contrarily, place it in milk and seek medical attention within 60 minutes to save the tooth.

Broken Dentures

If you have issues with your dentures, don’t try to be a dentist yourself. Get a temporary fix, or wait to see your dentist back home.

How to Find Emergency Dental Care Abroad

As one precautionary step, research local dental clinics at your destination before traveling. Look for clinics with great reviews and check for accredited dentists.

But in the case of an emergency, try out the following responses:

  • Contact your host or hotel concierge to refer a trusted dentist in town. They would know better!
  • Contact your travel insurance for guidance. Your travel insurance will provide access to approved clinics.
  • Use embassy resources that can recommend local dental care providers that communicate in a language you understand.

The Importance of Dental Insurance for Dental Emergencies

Are you stuck in a rut wondering if you should invest in dental insurance? Here are the perks; see if it’s worth it!

Financial Protection

While dental tourism is a thing, it doesn’t work in all cities. So, dental procedures in a foreign country sometimes cost an arm and a leg. Instead of paying through your teeth, dental insurance may cover substantial costs.

Access to Immediate Care

Dental insurance grants you immediate access to medical care. You wouldn’t bat an eyelid because most of the cost isn’t on you.

Conversely, managing unexpected expenses during a vacation could strain you financially.

Peace of Mind

You can enjoy your travels and relish the experience knowing you’re insured. It allows you to live an adventurous life to the fullest!

What Should I Do After the Emergency?

You successfully received medical care. What’s next? A follow-up with your dentist is necessary. So, once you travel back, schedule a visit to check your tooth.

Sometimes, emergency care temporarily resolves the problem. You may require further treatment to fully restore your health.

Furthermore, this helps with recovery if you have a significant procedure abroad. It’s best to stay honest with your dentist.

In A Nutshell

No one plans to visit a dentist while on vacation. But unplanned events occur all the time. And you don’t want to be caught unprepared. This guide gives you the best defense against a dental emergency.