Guidance on Emergency Dental Care

Chipped or Broken Teeth

Although your teeth are extremely strong, accidents do happen, and teeth can become chipped or broken. Knocking your teeth, biting down too hard, or having cavities or ineffectual fillings, can damage the teeth and result in the need for emergency dental care.

Problems that may require an emergency appointment include:

  • A lost filling or crown
  • A chipped or broken tooth
  • Tooth ache or facial pain
  • An accident or injury causing trauma to the teeth, mouth or face
  • Swelling or toothache that indicates a tooth or gum infection
  • External swelling of the mouth or face
  • Incessant bleeding after any oral surgery

In these instances we would advise that you contact your dental practice as soon as you are aware of the problem to arrange an emergency appointment and most practices will see you the same day, if not within 24 hours (except weekends and Bank Holidays.

If you have a dental emergency and your practice is closed there is normally information given on the answer phone service for the out of hours emergency service. An out of hours dental emergency would include:

  • Severe facial swelling
  • Unmanageable toothache
  • An accident or injury causing severe mouth trauma
  • Incessant bleeding after any oral surgery

If your tooth has been knocked out, it is vital to try and put it back in position, following these steps:

  1. Hold the tooth by the crown and clean it in water.
  2. Adults should place it back in position as soon as they can as it will be more likely to re-embed itself into the gum. (For babies and children, reinserting it could cause damage to the adult tooth growing underneath so it is best to leave the tooth out and see your child’s dentist immediately.)
  3. Using a handkerchief or cloth, bite down hard to hold the tooth in place.
  4. If you cannot reinsert the knocked out tooth, place it in milk and see your dentist straight away.
  5. Visit an emergency dental practice as soon as possible. Your dentist will be able to splint the tooth to the surrounding teeth, so that it can be held in position for a couple of weeks.

For more information on dental emergencies visit our website or call us on 01494 442 922.

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