What To Do for Dental Emergencies While on Vacation

Vacation is supposed to be a fun time, a time for resting, relaxing, and leaving the everyday world behind you. But what happens if you have a dental emergency during your vacation? What should you do to protect your teeth and dental health, and to get back to the fun?

Care Dental Center has the answers you need! These are the most common questions we get asked about having a dental emergency while on vacation.

What Counts as a Dental Emergency on Vacation?

Not everything that can happen to your teeth on vacation counts as an emergency, of course, but many things do, and you need to be prepared to deal with them. Here is a list of the most common.

Broken, Cracked, or Lost Tooth

This problem counts as a dental emergency no matter when it happens, but it’s harder to deal with while you’re on vacation. Each of these issues needs to be dealt with immediately.

Damage to Braces

Broken braces and dislodged wires need to be taken care of at once, particularly if the wires are poking you or your child in the gums.

Trauma Injuries to the Mouth, Gums, or Teeth

This is another problem that requires immediate care, whether or not you’re on vacation. If this happens, don’t call the Care Dental Center office even if you’re at home; go straight to the nearest emergency room (not emergency dentist) to make sure there are no medical injuries that need to be dealt with. The dental emergency will be handled afterward.

Losing a Filling

This can expose the root of the tooth and result in terrible pain. The tooth needs to be refilled immediately.

Losing a Crown or Other Dental Appliance

The loss of a dental appliance can expose the tooth to potential cracking, breaking, or other injuries. Sometimes you can use denture adhesive to reaffix the appliance temporarily until you can get to our Care Dental Center office, but if you can’t or it comes off again, you’ll need to get seen to have it reset.

Sudden Swelling or Excruciating Pain

This can be a sign of a serious infection or another significant issue. If you can’t control the pain and swelling with pain medication or it continues to worsen, you’ll need to be seen.

What About a Toothache?

A common toothache is not necessarily a dental emergency. It’s often the result of something you ate, biting down wrong, etc. Start by gently brushing the tooth and using mouthwash. See if you can control the pain with over-the-counter pain medication. If so, you might be able to hold off on a dental visit until you return home. If not, or if it continues to worsen, seek immediate dental care.

What Should I Take with Me in Case I Have a Dental Emergency on Vacation?

The most important things you should take with you are your daily dental hygiene supplies: toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash. You can also take a dental first aid kit, which will include over-the-counter pain medications such as Tylenol or ibuprofen, a topical anesthetic such as Orajel, and denture adhesive.

What Should I Do if I Have a Dental Emergency While on Vacation?

First of all, don’t panic. These things happen. If you’re in pain, take some pain medication or use a topical anesthetic to get relief. If you cracked or lost a tooth, try to find the tooth and keep it safe until you can get into an emergency dentist.

If your crown or other dental appliance comes loose, clean it gently with warm water and a toothbrush. You may try to reattach it temporarily with dental adhesive if you like. If you choose not to, or can’t get it to attach, put it in a safe container and take it to the emergency dentist with you.

You’ll need to get in to see a dentist right away. Many regular dentists will take emergencies during business hours. If the emergency occurs outside these hours or on the weekend, you’ll need to visit an emergency dentist. 

How Do I Find an Emergency Dentist if I Need One While on Vacation?

The best thing to do is to find one before you need it. That is, find a couple of regular or emergency dentists you can call if you need them before you leave for your trip and put the numbers with your dental supplies. This will keep you from searching frantically for a provider if you do have an emergency.

Regardless of when you do it, start the process with an internet search. If you’re unable to find anyone this way, ask around at your destination. Someone will be able to refer you to a local dentist that can help.

Should I Follow Up with My Regular Dentist After My Dental Emergency?

Absolutely. Call our Care Dental Center office as soon as you can to schedule a follow-up appointment. You don’t need to wait until you get home, either; you can call us while you’re still on vacation to ensure you get in to see your provider as soon as you return home.

How Much Does a Dental Emergency on Vacation Cost?

The cost of a dental emergency varies widely depending on the type of emergency, where you are when it occurs, what type of dentist you see (regular or emergency only), and what type of dental insurance you have. Your insurance may or may not cover the cost of emergency dental work. 

Even if it does, there’s no guarantee that the emergency dentist will accept it. You may have to pay out of pocket and then file for reimbursement later. This is especially true if you’re traveling internationally; few overseas dentists will take a foreign insurance plan.

You should contact your insurance company before you leave and find out what they cover and what the payment procedures are. Even if you don’t need the information, it will provide you with some peace of mind.

Are You Ready to Have a Better Smile?

Here at Care Dental Center, we are prepared to provide you the best, most up-to-date dental care. We have experienced doctors and flexible appointments to help fit into your busy schedule. We accept a large number of dental insurance plans as well as self-pay patients.

Give your teeth the care they deserve! Call Care Dental Center at (310) 626-0004 today to schedule your appointment before you go on vacation!


CALL (310) 626-0004

Request Appointment