Emergency dental care

A dental emergency could be:

  • swelling of the face, especially if it is hard to breathe
  • trauma to the face, especially if it is hard to breathe
  • bleeding from the mouth that will not stop
  • an ulcer or sore in your mouth that has not healed for 2 weeks or more
  • severe mouth pain that keeps you awake
  • tooth fracture (an opening the tooth’s nerve)
  • significant dental trauma for example your tooth has been knocked out.

Where can I receive Emergency Dental Care?

Emergency dental care is available at your Local community dental clinic It is also available at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne

What happens when I call or turn up for emergency treatment?

We recommend that you call us first. We will ask you some questions about your condition, pain or injury to determine the priority of your care. We call this triage. Experience staff perform triage and senior clinical staff are on hand to assist when required.

Triage helps us to attend to patients with the most serious dental problems first. Patients with less serious dental problems may have to wait for treatment.

Please note: Waiting times can increase depending on how busy the department is at that time.

How long do I need to wait?

How long you wait depends on the seriousness of your dental problem.

If you need urgent dental care you will receive care within 24 hours.

  • In some instances, you may not receive care on the day, and we may offer you an appointment on a following day.
  • If your condition is not urgent, we recommend you see your local community dental clinic.

Will I be added to a wait list?

You may be added to a wait list for an appointment. The wait list helps us manage patients who need dental care.

Contact your local community dental clinic. or Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne to join the wait list or find out how long you will have to wait.

What should I expect during my appointment?

At the emergency appointment, the dentist will aim to reduce or stop the pain experienced.

If you have many dental problems, we will treat the most serious dental problem at the emergency appointment.

You may need further treatment for the extra dental problems. This dental treatment can be provided at your Local Community dental clinic or at Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne.

What is the cost?

Anyone can receive Emergency dental care at RDHM.  The cost of treatment depends on your circumstances. Please refer to our fees page for more information.

If you hold a concession card or healthcare card, you pay a co-payment fee.

If you don't hold a concession card or healthcare card, you will need to pay an upfront fee. You may need to pay more at the end of your visit or receive a refund.

If you have private health insurance, your insurer will not accept a claim for these fees.