Things to Do in Case of a Dental Emergency


When you are experiencing an emergency dental problem, your dentist is your first call. But what happens if the problem occurs on the weekend, the middle of the night, or even while you are on holiday? If you are dealing with a severe dental issue outside of regular business hours, you may need to see an emergency dentist or even make a trip to the local A&E department.

If you are unsure if your situation is an emergency ring NHS 111 for advice before you contact a dentist; they can also help you locate an emergency dentist.


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How Dental Emergency Affects Your Life?

A dental emergency can occur at any time, and some can even lead to life-threatening conditions like a serious infection. Permanent damage to your teeth or your jawbone can occur if emergencies aren’t handled properly and promptly.

Even if your unique situation isn’t serious, it can still prevent you from getting on with your daily routine. You may feel long-lasting discomfort that can prevent you from eating or cleaning your teeth properly.

Do not allow dental emergencies to put your life on hold. Make an appointment with a dentist as soon as you can to prevent your dental issue from becoming a costly complication.

Self-Care Advice in Case of Dental Emergencies:

Even in the case of an emergency, you might not be able to see a dentist immediately. While you wait for your appointment give the damaged area plenty of self-care to ease your symptoms until you can be professionally examined.

  • If a Tooth Knocked Out

If your tooth is knocked out, you may experience bleeding, discomfort and difficulty eating. Exposing your gum to bacteria while it is unhealed may also lead to infection if you don’t seek immediate treatment.

With quick action after a tooth has been knocked out, it is possible your dentist can preserve it. Carefully pick your tooth up by the crown (top) and if possible, reinsert it into the socket. If you can’t, then place your tooth into a small container of milk and see the dentist as quickly as possible to increase the chances of saving your tooth.

An over-the-counter painkiller should be enough to ease discomfort. Additionally, an ice pack can be applied to the area to reduce swelling and provide some relief.

  • If You Have Cracked, Broken or Chipped Tooth

Another common dental emergency is a cracked or chipped tooth. A serious fracture can cause discomfort and sensitivity, and the new opening in the tooth may allow for harmful bacteria to access the vulnerable dental pulp inside the tooth, leading to infection.

Rinse your mouth out with warm water, apply ice or a cold compress to your cheek to reduce swelling and call your dentist.

An emergency dentist in Amersham can assess the level of damage to your tooth. Your dentist may recommend crowns, fillings, inlays, onlays, bonding or a root canal to restore the tooth’s original functionality.

It may also help to take ibuprofen to help ease any discomfort.

  • If You Have Lost Filling

Lost fillings might not cause significant discomfort, but it is still important to seek dental treatment as soon as possible.

If you still have your filling, keep it somewhere safe, as your dentist may be able to re-seal it into the tooth. In the meantime, the exposed part of the tooth may be sensitive to temperature or pressure, and you can temporarily protect the area by sticking a piece of sugarless chewing gum over it until you see your dentist.

  • If You Have Bleeding Gums

Never ignore bleeding gums, as they may be a sign that you have gum disease.

If you notice blood when you brush or floss, book in to see your dentist as soon as you can. Make sure to keep up a good oral hygiene routine, brushing at least two times a day, and flossing every day.

  • If Paining When You Bite

If you experience discomfort when you bite down, such as when you are eating foods, it is likely you have a dental issue, such as a cavity, gum disease, an infection, or tooth decay. You may even have cracked tooth syndrome which requires a crown and possibly a root canal as soon as possible to prevent tooth loss.

In the short term, discomfort when eating can be managed by taking ibuprofen and avoiding biting down on hard foods or applying too much pressure to the tooth.

  • If Injured in a Dental Procedure

Although every care is taken to ensure dental treatments are carried out effectively and safely, it is possible for a routine procedure to go wrong, causing additional damage to the tooth, such as a filling that hits the nerve and requires a follow-up root canal treatment.

If you have been injured in a dental procedure, your tooth may become infected, which can lead to discomfort of the area. While you wait for your emergency dental appointment, take over-the-counter painkillers if necessary.

  • If You Have Toothache

Toothache is a common dental issue and can be caused by infection, a cavity, or even gum disease.

The best form of at-home discomfort management for a toothache is taking an over-the-counter painkiller as recommended.

  • If Something Stuck in Between Your Teeth

Getting something lodged between your teeth can trigger a foreign body reaction, where the body attempts to attack it by sending blood to the affected area, causing inflammation and swelling.

If you have something stuck in your teeth, you can try knotting dental floss and then flossing as you usually would. The knot should catch behind the lodged item and help to force it free. Any associated discomfort can be alleviated with ibuprofen.

  • Dental Insurance

Consider purchasing dental insurance to help you cover the costs of your dental work. Although dental plans can vary and can be capped, they typically cover routine check-ups, costs of all dental work, including dental accidents and emergencies – even abroad.

As a UK citizen, you have the option to choose between NHS and private insurance. Many dental practices provide NHS care, or they may provide NHS care to some patients, and private care to others. The treatment you receive determines which insurance option you select. Discuss your options for coverage with your dental practice because a dental emergency can occur at any time.

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