What you should do in a dental emergency?

Published on 21/07/2015

No matter when you suffer from a dental emergency your first point of call should always be your dentist. If it is during the week most dentists will have emergency appointments available each day and so should be able to see you quickly. If you have a problem out of hours still ring your dentist’s number and there should be a message explaining the procedure for out of hours’ treatment. This may involve ringing another number or going through a central emergency triage centre.

You may require urgent treatment if you have:

  • A toothache or swelling

This is the most common cause of a dental emergency and is most often caused by an infection in the tooth or gum.

  • Trauma to the face, mouth or teeth following an accident or injury

If at any time you receive direct trauma to your face, mouth or teeth, there is the potential for damage to occur. It is possible for teeth to become loose, crack or chip, if this is the case it is advisable to see your dentist as soon as possible so a full assessment can be carried out.

  • A permanent tooth knocked out

If a permanent tooth is knocked out by direct force it may still be possible to reposition the tooth. Where possible replace the tooth in the socket immediately and seek dental treatment straight away. If there is the potential for the tooth to be swallowed, keep it in a container of body temperature milk. Ensure that the milk is not cold, if it is this will shock the tooth and make it unviable.

  • Bleeding following an extraction that does not stop or a dry socket

If you are taking blood-thinning medications such as Warfarin or Aspirin there is the potential that following an extraction the blood may not clot properly and the socket may continue to bleed. If this is the case it may be necessary for a couple of sutures to be put in place to hold the socket together and allow for the gum to heal.

There is also the potential if the blood does not clot for infection to get into the socket. If this happens it can be extremely painful and may smell quite unpleasant. In this case, the dentist will need to clean the socket out and put an antibacterial dressing in place. You will be advised on the best ways to clean the socket to prevent any further infection.

  • A broken tooth or lost filling

A broken tooth or lost filling may cause pain because of the sharp tooth edges left behind and because the underlying dentin may be exposed.

There are a number of treatment options then available, you may need antibiotics to clear any infection present, the tooth may be re-filled, crowned, have root canal treatment or if the prognosis is poor it may need to be extracted. The dentist will be able to discuss all the possible options with you before you make the decision on how you would like to proceed.

If you feel that you need emergency dental treatment during the working week, contact us at Leigh Dental Centre, emergency dentists in Southend as soon as possible and we will arrange for you to be seen in one of our emergency slots.

If you have a problem out of hours please still call the surgery and there will be a message on the answerphone of how you can receive emergency treatment.

All our Denplan patients have this service covered under their Denplan Supplementary insurance.

For Private patients please call us on 01702 472929 there will be a call out charge and any treatment charged on top of this.

For Denplan patients who are away from home. Please contact the Denplan Emergency line on 0800 844999 if within the UK or +44(0)1962 844999 if abroad. Denplan will then help to find you a suitable dentist within the local area to help you.

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