If you paid attention in health class, you would understand the importance of maintaining oral hygiene, and probably have picked up habits such as:
- brushing your teeth twice a day
- getting comfortable with the use of dental floss and mouthwash on the regular
- going to the dentist for yearly check-ups
The last point is the most important as it helps to nip signs of decay and gum disease in the bud. Without it, your oral health would become a ticking time bomb, with insidious ailments lurking around the corner without you knowing.
Before you get the chance to address those issues, you would be faced with sharp pains and a sudden dental emergency.
Nevertheless, if you find yourself in this situation, there is no need to fret. Singapore is home to a host of private and public clinics that cater to emergencies.
Here is a brief guide on what you should do and what it will cost.
How to tell you are having a dental emergency
Before you go knocking down the door of your neighbourhood dental clinic, it is imperative to first understand what constitutes an actual dental emergency.
Among the tell-tale signs are:
- severe pain and bleeding
- the loss of a tooth
- the presence of an infection in the mouth (leading to gum and facial swelling, and even a high fever)
- having loose teeth.
If you can wait a couple of days to be treated, such as in scenarios where the discomfort is mild or nonexistent, chances are, it is not an emergency.
You could also try to alleviate some of those symptoms on your own first by taking painkillers for temporary relief; gargling salt water to disinfect and treat inflammations; or using over-the-counter denture adhesives to fix loose dental crowns and bridges.
In the case of lost fillings, a nifty trick is to cover the cavity with a piece of gum (and make sure it is free of sugar, of course!).
If waiting is not an option, below are a couple of private dental clinics and public institutions, each with its own price estimates for emergency treatments, that you can go to for more immediate help.
The cost of emergency dental services at five private dental clinics in Singapore
Dental clinics in Singapore
Ashford Dental Centre
215 Upper Thomson Road, Thomson Ridge, Singapore 574349
15 Teck Chye Terrace, Singapore 545723
Dental consultation: $30
Wisdom tooth surgical extractions: $950 to $1,200
Root canal treatments: $600 to $1,200
*Subject to surcharges for emergency dental services
Elite Dental Group
1 Grange Road, Orchard Building, #12-03, Singapore 239693
Surcharge for emergency dental treatments after 8pm: $500
Dental consultation: $120 to $180
Wisdom tooth surgical extractions: $950 to $1,500
Root canal treatments: From $1,000
Burlinson Dental Surgery
697 East Coast Road, #01-01, Singapore 459060
Emergency dental consultation: $45 to $100
Wisdom tooth surgical extractions: $150 to $1,250
Root canal treatments: $450 to $1,200
Bukit Timah Nam Seng Dental Surgery
144 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Beauty World Centre, #01-16, Singapore 588177
Wisdom tooth surgical extractions: $150 to $1,200
Root canal treatments: $800 to $1,200
3 Temasek Boulevard, Suntec City North Wing / Sky Garden, #03-317, Singapore 038983
6 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square, #B1-11, Singapore 039594
Emergency dental consultations after operating hours: $100
Wisdom tooth surgical extractions: $950 to $1,250
Wisdom tooth normal extractions: $250 to $350
Root canal treatments: $500 to $1,000
Disclaimer: The above figures are ballpark price ranges that are subject to changes. For a more accurate quotation, visit any of these local clinics and schedule a personal consultation for an emergency dental treatment.
While most dental clinics in Singapore don’t run 24 hours a day, many of them do offer a 24-hour hotline and have a rostered dentist to attend to emergencies late into the night, on weekends and public holidays.
The surcharge for such urgent attention isn’t cheap though. Elite Dental Group, for instance, charges a fee of $500 for dental treatments done after 8 pm. You can also expect slightly higher rates for emergency dental consultations.
A general examination and consultation cost $100 after the usual working hours at NoFrills Dental, while Burlinson Dental Surgery charges between $45 and $100 for emergency dental consultations.
Not to mention, dental treatments such as root canal therapy, tooth reattachment and wisdom tooth extractions, which is typically among the most common procedures for dental emergencies, can cost up to $1,500 on a regular day.
In an urgent, last-minute scenario, it would drive up the overall cost if you factor in late-night and off-hours surcharges.
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The cost of emergency dental services at a public institution (including polyclinics and hospitals) in Singapore**
Hospitals and polyclinics in Singapore
National Dental Centre Singapore
5 Second Hospital Avenue, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore 168938
Emergency consultations: $121
Wisdom tooth surgery: $910
Root canal treatments: $430 to $860
National University Polyclinics
190 Jurong East Avenue 1, Jurong Polyclinic, Singapore 609788
580 Stirling Road, Queenstown Polyclinic, Singapore 148958
Emergency dental consultations: $28.20 to $68.80
National Healthcare Group Polyclinics
21 Ang Mo Kio Central 2, Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic, Singapore 569666
89 Hougang Avenue 4, Hougang Polyclinic, Singapore 538829
2003 Toa Payoh Lorong 8, Toa Payoh Polyclinic, Singapore 319260
10 Woodlands Street 31, Woodlands Polyclinic, Singapore 738579
Emergency dental consultations: $28.20 to $68.80
Changi General Hospital
2 Simei Street 3, Singapore 529889
Attendance fee for emergency services: $126
Wisdom tooth surgery: About $990
Root canal treatments: $320 to $880
Ng Teng Fong General Hospital
1 Jurong East Street 21, Singapore 609606
Attendance fee for emergency services: $120
Wisdom tooth surgery: About $950
Root canal treatments: $290 to $1,100
Tan Tock Seng Hospital
11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore 308433
Attendance fee for emergency services: $128
Wisdom tooth surgery: $380 to $830
Root canal treatments: $450 to $820
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital
90 Yishun Central, Singapore 768828
Attendance fee for emergency services: $122
Wisdom tooth surgery: About $815
Root canal treatments: $450 to $850
Disclaimer: The price ranges listed in this table for wisdom tooth surgeries and root canal treatments are rough, average figures. Schedule a consultation for a more accurate quotation.
If you are strapped for cash, consider public medical institutions such as polyclinics, which offer subsidies for Singaporean citizens.
At a polyclinic, the consultation fee for dental emergencies cost about $28.20 for children and senior citizens, $31.20 for adults, $48.20 for permanent residents, and $68.80 for non-residents.
The procedures and services offered are generally much more affordable across the board as well.
The same cannot be said for emergency treatments done at a hospital however. This is where one might go to seek help for serious cases such as:
- uncontrolled bleeding
- facial swelling
- dislodged or broken teeth
- injuries to the gum and jaws.
For less critical needs, it is best to head to a regular dental clinic.
Although procedures such as wisdom tooth surgeries and root canal treatments might cost a little less at a hospital than at a private clinic, you might be subject to an attendance fee, ranging between $120 and $128.
This goes beyond your typical consultation and comprises basic investigation (such as a urine test and blood sugar test), basic treatment (such as wound dressing), and a maximum of a week’s worth of standard medication.
Another tidbit to note is that not every hospital in Singapore offers dental treatments. Those that do include:
- Changi General Hospital
- Ng Teng Fong General Hospital
- Tan Tock Seng Hospital
- Khoo Teck Puat Hospital
These hospitals cover both the east and west side of Singapore so anyone can get easy access to emergency treatments.
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What to do when you are having a dental emergency**
At the end of the day, it goes without saying that if you think you are having a medical emergency, you should get in touch with your usual dentist immediately. If you don’t have one, call the nearest clinic to you and get your afflictions sorted.
For other, non-critical dental treatments, head to this online directory, compiled by Human, to research on and find a sufficiently qualified medical practitioner in Singapore to attend to your needs.
Need more information about certain procedures? You can also pose questions to the healthcare platform’s network of doctors about your choice of dental procedure here, or skip straight to scheduling a complimentary (only for select doctors) tele-consultation here.