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Dental Care when you most need it

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Early morning and Late evening appointments available throughout the week

Dental Emergencies

We know dental emergencies can be a real worry, not to mention painful, which is why we aim to see you as soon as possible so we can minimise any discomfort and sort out your unexpected dental problem.

Harpenden Smiles is open every day of the week, except Saturday afternoon (after 2pm) and all day Sunday. We also provide extended opening hours until 7.30pm on Monday through to Wednesday.

If you have a dental emergency we offer different options, depending on when it occurs:

  • If you have a dental emergency during our opening hours please give us a call at the practice on 01582 763420. You can speak to a dental professional who will give you appropriate advice and offer an appointment if necessary.
  • If you have a dental emergency outside our opening hours, please call 111 for NHS guidance. Otherwise you can leave a message on the practice number and we will get back to you as soon as we are next open to arrange an appointment.

Our emergency tips

Of course we will try to see you as soon as we can, but in the meantime, here are a few handy tips that may help you out when you suffer a dental mishap.


Thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water. If you have any swelling, this can be eased with a cold compress. You can also take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen – but make sure you follow the instructions on the packet.

Chipped or broken teeth

Try to keep any bits of broken tooth and then rinse your mouth with warm water. A cold compress will help reduce any swelling and you can apply a piece of gauze to any parts of the mouth that may be bleeding.

Knocked out tooth

Keep the tooth but hold it carefully by the crown (the part that normally shows in your mouth) and rinse gently with water. Try not to scrub it clean or remove any fragments of attached tissue. If possible, put the tooth back in place but make sure it is the right way round. If you can’t do this then put it in some milk (or water containing a pinch of salt). Remember we will be much more likely to save a knocked out tooth if you see us quickly.

Lost filling

Your tooth may feel tender without its protective filling, so try sticking a piece of sugar-free gum into the cavity or use an over-the-counter temporary filling cement.

Lost crown

Try to keep your crown and bring it with you when you attend your appointment. In the meantime, you can slip the crown back in place with some dental cement, toothpaste or denture adhesive but please DO NOT use superglue!


These infections, which occur around the tooth root or in the space between the teeth and gums, can cause serious damage to surrounding tissue and teeth if left untreated, so please try to see us as soon as possible if you discover a painful spot-like swelling on your gum.

In the meantime, you can rinse your mouth with warm salty water several times a day. If you experience severe pain and swelling along with flu-like symptoms, then head straight to A&E.

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