Identifying Which Symptoms Are Urgent
What would you do if you lost a tooth or a filling fell out? Do you know who to call and the recommended action to take?
Over 39 million dental treatments are carried out in a year, of which approximately 60% of these are classed as being urgent. If you’ve ever required dental treatment in an emergency situation, then you’ll know how much anxiety and pain this can cause. Dental emergencies may arise following 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 severe tooth ache that is causing swelling and sensitivity. However, not all dental problems are classified as being urgent, even if they occur suddenly, so this guide will help you identify what to do in a true emergency and who to contact if you need treatment outside of regular hours.
Do Your Dental Symptoms Need Treating As An Emergency?
Although you may become anxious if one of your teeth breaks, or you experience bleeding from the gums, these are not usually classified as true dental emergencies. Similarly, broken fillings or dentures alongside lost crowns can often by sorted out by booking a routine appointment with your surgery. The exception to these is if there is any accompanying pain, swelling or sensitivity which may be the case if you have experienced injury to your facial bones, for example if you’ve been hit in the face.
In serious cases, you can visit the Accident and Emergency department of your nearest hospital, although it may be best to check with the NHS 111 service first.
What To Do Following A Dental ‘Event’
If your tooth has been knocked out, then try to find the missing tooth and call your local dentist in Chelmsford for an emergency appointment. Time is of the essence when it comes to knocked out teeth, and if you’re quick enough then there’s still a chance that the body will accept the re-implanted tooth. The condition of the root is an essential factor in determining whether the tooth will survive, so it’s important to avoid touching it until you’ve arrived at your appointment. Call your dentist as an emergency who may be able to offer you advice on how to handle the tooth in the meantime.
In the case of chips, cracks and breaks, your dentist will often be able to sort these out during a regular appointment which you’ll need to book in quickly. You may require an emergency filling or crown, or else the tooth can be smoothed down somewhat in the case of a chip. In slightly worse cases, it might be necessary for you to have an extraction followed by a dental implant.
Facial Swelling Can Be Serious
If your dental emergency is accompanied by facial swelling, then this is the sign of an infection and must be treated as an emergency! Infections can become extremely serious and affect the health of your entire body, so don’t adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach. Book in for an emergency appointment and try to stay upright whilst drinking plenty of fluids. You need to stay hydrated, even if it hurts too much to eat anything.
If you don’t attend a dentist regularly, remember that dental emergencies are most likely to occur to those who fail to have their 6-monthly checkups! Find a quality, reputable dentist who is open 7 days a week to accommodate emergencies on any day of the week. Outside of regular working hours, you should contact the NHS 111 service for advice on your symptoms!