What to do if you have a dental emergency

dental emergency
06 Dec 2021

What to do if you have a dental emergency

In the run up to Christmas, should you have a dental emergency please ring Teeth & Smiles on 020 7352 7049 prior to 10am and we will endeavour to fit you in as quickly as possible.

Should you have a dental emergency over the Christmas period, please ring the surgery on 020 7352 7049 and the answerphone message will give details of what steps to take to access emergency treatment.

Unsure what constitutes a dental emergency? Here we look at the most common problems people experience.

  • A toothache or swelling

toothache or swellingA toothache or swelling is the most common reason people seek emergency dental treatment. Toothaches are often caused by infection being present in the tooth or gum. If this is the case the dentist may need to open the tooth up to help drain away the infection and will pack the tooth with an antibacterial dressing to help remove any remaining infection. If the infection is severe, they may also prescribe antibiotics.

It is important that you complete the full course of antibiotics and then return to the surgery for a review appointment. Although the pain will have gone it is necessary to put in place a permanent solution to the problem to ensure that the infection does not reoccur.

  • A broken tooth or lost filling

broken tooth or lost fillingIf you break a tooth or lose part of an existing filling the tooth can become very sensitive and even painful if the dentine becomes exposed. The treatment options will depend on the amount of the tooth that has broken away and the amount of healthy tooth remaining. It may be possible to repair the tooth with a filling, it may need a crown or in the worst case scenario it may need to be extracted.

  • A dry socket

If the blood does not clot properly following an extraction, there is the potential for infection to get into the socket. This is known as a dry socket, and you will notice a bad smell emanating from the socket and will find that it is very painful. The dentist will need to clean the area with a warm saline solution and will also pack the socket with an antibacterial dressing to help remove the infection. The site will need to be regularly cleaned to ensure that the infection does not reoccur.

  • A permanent tooth knocked out

If a permanent tooth is knocked out by force, it may still be replaceable. If possible, put the tooth back into the socket it came from, otherwise the tooth should be kept in a glass of body temperature milk and dental help should be sought immediately. The dentist will need to complete a full assessment to determine if the tooth is viable.

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

If you receive a direct trauma to your face, mouth, or teeth there is the potential for damage to occur. It is possible for teeth to become loose or chipped due to the force and if this is the case you will need to see a dentist as soon as possible for a full assessment

happy Christmas and New YearEveryone at Teeth & Smiles would like to wish our patients a healthy and happy Christmas and New Year. We look forward to seeing you all in 2022.

However, should you have any dental emergencies over the festive period do not hesitate to call 020 7352 7049 to access emergency dental treatment.