Ngā rata niho me ngā ratonga ototata mō ngā niho Dentists and emergency dental care

Find out what a dentist does to help keep your teeth and gums healthy, including check-ups, cleaning and treatment. If you or a whānau member has toothache or an injury to your teeth or gums, get help as soon as possible.

Checks your teeth and gums

Your dentist will do a visual check of your teeth and gums. They may take x-rays. If they find decay or holes in your teeth (cavities) or other problems, you may need another appointment to get those fixed.

They will let you know how much this will cost, and talk to you about payment options.

Cleaning teeth

Dentists use professional cleaning instruments and techniques that clean your teeth much more thoroughly than you are able to at home.

Your dentist may have a dental hygienist in their practice. If they do, the hygienist will do the cleaning and can give you advice on cleaning and caring for your teeth.

Treatment plans

If you need major work done, your dentist may work out a treatment plan for you. This will tell you:

  • what needs to be done
  • when it might be done
  • what the costs will be, and payment options.

Minor problems

If the problem is not too bad, phone your dentist. Let them know you have a toothache or injury and make an appointment.

Serious problems

If the toothache is bad or the injury appears serious, get to an after-hours dentist.

If it is normally safe for you to take painkillers such as paracetamol, you can do this before you see the dentist.

After hours dentists

Dentists in your region may have 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 will still need to see a dentist later.

Your local hospital may provide emergency dental treatment, for example 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.

Find a dentist in your area

Search the New Zealand Dental Association website for by the dentists name or their practice location.

Find a dentist — New Zealand Dental Association (external link)

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