Dental emergencies are much more common than you might think. In fact, they have become the main reason for child admission to hospital in the UK. Dental emergencies come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from a broken tooth through to an infection or damage caused by a trip or fall. Not all dental incidents need urgent treatment so when do you know that it’s time to take action and see an emergency dentist?
A broken tooth
If you can clearly see that a tooth has been damaged and part has broken or chipped off then this counts as a dental emergency. Not only could you damage other parts of your mouth if you don’t take urgent action but you may also find a problem more difficult to fix the longer you leave it.
As children, our teeth fall out naturally so that they can be replaced by a new set that we are supposed to have for the rest of our lives. However, as adults it’s not natural to lose teeth and so – when we do – this needs to be dealt with quickly. Try to handle the lost tooth as little as possible – you could even put it back into the socket and bite down on it until you’re able to get to a dentist. The main thing is to take action quickly and try to keep hold of the tooth that has fallen out.
Toothache is one of the most uncomfortable of pains, as it affects such an important area of the body. However, there is a difference between toothache – which you can make a regular appointment for – and severe tooth pain that needs an urgent response. We all have different pain thresholds, however, most people would categorise a severe pain as one that interrupts your ability to live normally, rather than simply infringing on it. So, if tooth pain is stopping you sleeping, making it impossible to concentrate and/or you feel physically incapacitated, an emergency dentist is a good idea.
Lost filling, bridges and crowns
Fillings, bridges and crowns are designed to be semi-permanent solutions to dental problems and when they are damaged or infected this needs urgent attention. A lost filling can leave vulnerable parts of the tooth exposed and damaged bridgework can cause problems in your mouth, for example – and that’s before you consider the pain and discomfort involved. As soon as you notice a problem with fillings, bridges or crowns, taking action is a good idea.