What to do in a dental emergency
What to do in a dental emergency: What do you do if your tooth is broken or a filling is dislodged? Do you know who to call and what the recommended course of action is?
More than 39 million teeth are treated each year, of which about 60% are classified as urgent. If you’ve ever needed emergency dental treatment, you know how anxious and painful it can be. A dental emergency can arise after a routine dental procedure or due to trauma to the mouth. Other reasons for urgent care may not be obvious, for example if you have a severe toothache that causes swelling and sensitivity. However, not all dental problems are classified as urgent, even if they are sudden, so this guide will help you identify what to do in a true emergency and if you need treatment outside of regular hours. If yes, who to contact?
Do your dental symptoms require emergency treatment?
Although you may be concerned that a tooth is broken, or you experience bleeding gums, these are not usually classified as true dental emergencies. Likewise, lost crowns as well as broken fillings or dentures can often be resolved by booking regular appointments with your surgery. The exception to this is if there is any pain, swelling or sensitivity, which can occur if there is an injury to the bones in your face, for example if you have a facial injury.
In serious cases, you can go to your nearest hospital accident and emergency department, although it is best to check with the NHS 111 service first.
What to do after a medical ‘incident’
If you have a broken tooth, try to locate the missing tooth and call your local dentist in Chelmsford for an emergency appointment. Time is of the essence when it comes to tooth loss, and if you hurry enough the body is likely to accept the replanted tooth. The condition of the root is an essential factor in determining whether or not the tooth will survive, so it is important to avoid touching it until you arrive at your appointment. Call your dentist in an emergency who can advise you on how to take care of your teeth in the meantime.
In the case of chips, cracks and wear, your dentist will often be able to address these during regular appointments, which you will need to book in advance. You may need an emergency filling or crown, or in the case of a chip, the tooth may need to be smoothed to some degree. In mild cases, you may need an extraction after the dental implant.
Facial swelling can be severe
If you experience facial swelling along with your dental emergency, this is a sign of infection and should be treated as an emergency! Infections can be very serious and affect the health of your entire body, so don’t take a ‘wait and see’ approach. Book an emergency appointment and try to stay upright while drinking plenty of fluids. You need to stay hydrated even if it is too painful to eat anything.
If you don’t visit the dentist regularly, remember that dental emergencies are more likely to happen to people who fail to get their 6-monthly checkups! Find a quality, reputable dentist that is open 7 days a week to accommodate emergencies any day of the week. Outside of regular working hours, you should contact the NHS 111 service for advice about your symptoms!