Visiting the dentist for many of us is thankfully just part of our routine 6 monthly check-up. Dental emergencies on the other hand can be very serious and being prepared and knowing what to do could help make sure your dental issue is taken care of safely should it occur.
Although there are many ways that you feel you may need urgent dental treatment, you can normally break down a dental emergency into three reasons:
- Visible damage to your teeth that has been the result of an accident or injury
- The onset of sharp unmanageable pain
- Severe bleeding that won’t stop
Damage to Teeth
Visible damage to you or someone else’s teeth is a common occurrence. Teeth can get chipped, break, crack and even get knocked out. One of the main reasons for teeth damage is through playing contact sport which is why many sports players invest in a mouth guard to help minimise tooth loss – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-32318614. If the tooth has been knocked out completely, avoid handling the tooth as much as possible especially the root. If possible replace it into it’s socket. If this is not possible, wash it off and put it in a container with milk or the owner’s saliva whilst you contact your emergency dentist.
If you or someone else suddenly suffers from severe pain that will not subside, despite taking over the counter pain killers, you need to talk to a dental professional urgently. The pain could be the result of an abscess which if left untreated could cause a serious infection. If you are suffering from flu like symptoms, have a high temperature as well as pain in your mouth, contact your dentist immediately.
Bleeding in the mouth is normal if you have just had surgery for a tooth extraction for example. But if your mouth is still bleeding excessively 12-24 hours post-surgery it’s best to seek help. Your dentist will be able to undertake immediate investigations and find out why the bleeding is still occurring. Other traumas to the mouth may also result in significant bleeding which again, if you cannot control, you must seek urgent dental assistance.
Who to contact
As a first port of call, contact your own dentist like Sharrow Dental Care. They may have an out of hours dental emergency phone number that you can call. You will be able to describe the situation with someone from your dental practice who will then give you help and advice as to what to do next.
If you do not get a response and do not have contact details of an emergency dentist, call the NHS helpline on 111. They will be able to assess your situation and give you details of where you can get urgent dental care.
You can also visit the NHS website for further details: https://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/AboutNHSservices/Emergencyandurgentcareservices/Pages/nhs-out-of-hours-services.aspx
Alternatively, if you think the situation needs immediate medical help, go to your local A&E Hospital or call 999.