Emergency dentistry can be categorised into two broad categories: visible damage and pain.
The former usually represents a superficial and obvious issue, while pain indicates a more subversive and underlying dental problem such as tooth decay.
To qualify as an emergency, whichever category your issue falls into, it must require urgent treatment. Moreover, the treatment required can vary greatly depending on the nature of the issue.
With that in mind, let’s explore precisely what issues qualify for urgent dental treatment in further detail.
Dental trauma-induced issues such as a knocked-out tooth can be treated in several ways.
First up, if you have managed to retain the tooth and it remains intact, your dentist might be able to replace it into your mouth. As part of the preservation process, it’s important not to touch the root of the tooth; clean it with, and keep it in, milk or saliva.
During your emergency appointment at your dental surgery, your dentist will proceed to clean the tooth, replace it into the vacant socket and then fix it to the teeth on either side. this will hold the tooth in place while it heals and reattaches to the gum.
In the event that the original tooth cannot be salvaged, your dentist will replace it with a false tooth via means of a bridge or, eventually, an implant.
If your dental emergency involves a chipped or cracked tooth, and you have retained the separated fragment, your dentist might choose to glue it back in place using dental cement.
If the broken fragment cannot be repaired, your dentist may opt to affix a crown to cover the broken tooth, thus restoring your smile to a full compliment.
However, if your tooth is severely chipped, it might require root canal treatment before further, more aesthetic procedures can be implemented.
This will be conducted under a local anaesthetic and will prevent or remove a bacterial infection from establishing at the centre of your broken tooth.
Dental abscess treatment involves the removal of the source of infection and draining away any puss that has accumulated.
That being said, emergency dental treatment of abscesses varies depending on the severity of the issue and any one of three treatments may be employed under local anaesthetic:
Root canal treatment – the removal of the abscess from the root of an infected tooth, following which the tooth is sealed with a filling and/or crown.
Tooth extraction – the complete removal of the infected tooth. This action is taken if root canal treatment is unviable.
Incision and drainage – a small cut is made in the gum in order to drain the abscess. However, this is (generally) a temporary solution used to reduce pain, and the issue may need further treatment.
Perhaps the most routine dental care procedure on the list, if you have lost the crown of one of your teeth, your dentist will clean the remaining tooth and replace the crown with a new one.
However, crowns must be bespoke, and so it may take a few days before your replacement can be fitted.
If you have undiagnosed oral pain, your dentist will conduct a thorough check-up and evaluation of your mouth. This will include the integrity of your teeth, gums and jaw.
Once complete, your dentist should be able to identify the source of the issue and implement a treatment plan.
If you have a severe or recurrent mouth ulcer, your dentist may first suggest some personal, home-based treatments such as using a soft-bristled brush, eating a healthy, balanced diet, and drinking through a straw.
Combined with these techniques, your dentist might also prescribe some strong medicine to help combat the issue.
Treatment for teeth damage from facial trauma can be as varied as the source of the trauma.
As such, having ensured that the jaw and structure of the mouth are intact and able to withstand treatment, your dentist will implement the dental emergency treatments most necessary.
These might include a combination of procedures such as root canal, tooth repairs, bridging and more.
You can locate an emergency dentist near you using our handy search tool.
All you need to do is choose the area you’re looking for dentists in, choose a category, and click search – you’ll then be able to see all the practices in your area, plotted on a map for your convenience.
Together, we’ll get you sorted in no time.
Most dental practices provide emergency dental treatment. As such, if you’re in need of an emergency dentist, you should contact your local practice first.
Depending on the severity of your condition and the availability of appointments, typically, you will be able to receive emergency NHS dental care within 48 hours and, more often than not, on the same day.
The best treatment for severe dental and oral pain varies depending on the source of the issue.
While you wait for your treatment, over the counter pain killers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can provide some much-needed pain relief.
Apart from purely cosmetic practices, yes, the majority of dental surgeries will provide an emergency dental service.