Here’s what you need to do in a dental emergency

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Here’s what you need to do in a dental emergency

Let’s be honest no one wants a dental emergency, but what is a tooth emergency, or dental emergency? A dental emergency is usually considered as severe pain that cannot be controlled with pain medication, you’ve knocked a tooth or teeth out(uh oh), an infection or uncontrolled bleeding from the mouth. When it comes to a dental emergency, A&E might be your first thought, but there are a few options available to you, and we’ll go through them now together.

Who should you contact if you have an emergency in the daytime?

If you are having a dental emergency, NHS treatment is an option if you are a member of an NHS practice. You can call them up and ask for an appointment for a dental emergency. If they are unable to give you an appointment urgently, you can opt for another practice, but remember, this may be private. If you are experiencing pain from an abscess (dental infection) that feels like it is spreading, uncontrolled bleeding or pain that feels like it is spreading to additional areas you need to visit the emergency room. If you cannot visit your dentist immediately, we advise visiting A&E or calling 111 if you are unsure.

Who should you contact if you have an emergency in the nighttime?

Whilst there may be some dental practices open 24/7 as a dental emergency clinic, with a dentist on standby at night, you may need to visit A&E. Most 24-hour dental practices will be privatised so if you are a patient with the NHS, A&E may be a more preferable route for you, but you do have both options available to you. Again, calling 111 is a helpful exercise, they can assess your symptoms over the phone and give you feedback on treatment further forward.

If you have a dental emergency but have no dentist you can speak to dental practices located close to you and ask if they have appointment availability, but be warned they may not always have capacity.

Whilst waiting for medical advice or treatment, is there anything you can do to improve the situation? You may be thinking, do I need a dental emergency kit? If you have a first aid kit, it is probable that you will already have some of the possible aids available to you. Here are some of the must-haves to have in your first aid kit: over-the-counter pain medications that should be your first go-to as a way to deal with the pain, ibuprofen is usually preferred due to its anti-inflammatory properties, dental floss, bottled salt water, sterile gauze, ice packs and tweezers. In terms of home remedies to try, there aren't a lot of options when you have an emergency, as this typically requires medical interventions.

To summarise if you have any of the symptoms listed earlier on in this blog we suggest you call your dental practice if you are able to or 111 if you are unable to access a dental emergency clinic. However, if you do find yourself in unbearable pain or with uncontrollable bleeding you will need to be seen immediately as a matter of emergency.

Toothache can be caused by a multitude of things, but don’t shrug it off as if you have a dental abscess (infection) that is causing the toothache or an impact injury you will need to seek urgent medical care, as dental emergency care is really important to protect your mouth from long term damage. Do not ignore a dental emergency, as with all things the sooner you act the better the outcome should be. You can expect dental emergency charges if you visit your dentist however A&E is free of charge.

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