What is a 24 hour emergency dentist?
Not everyone will be familiar with this kind of dental service, although more and more clinics up and down the country are investing in 24-hour care to provide treatment for patients who have suffered dental trauma. No one can predict when an accident or injury will occur, so it’s comforting to know that there is help available in the event of an emergency. Lots of regular dentists will provide everyday maintenance as well as emergency care to make sure that each patient has access to treatment whether they need it during office hours or not.
How does an emergency dentist work?
To receive treatment from an emergency dentist you won’t necessarily have to be registered with that specific clinic, although it may certainly help to speed the process up if the surgery already has some of your personal information on record, which includes previous dental treatments and a brief medical history. If you do experience an emergency, you can either approach the clinic for a walk-in appointment or you can give them a call and arrange a booking as soon as possible – most emergency dentists will be able to speak to you within a day of notification, although this can vary from place to place. It is not strictly necessary to phone up beforehand but some people prefer to speak to a professional before seeking further assistance; it may even transpire that emergency treatment is not necessary and a routine appointment would suffice.
If you are attending a clinic that you are not registered with, you will be asked to fill out a brief questionnaire before you can be referred to a surgeon; make sure you are honest and accurate in your answers; otherwise your treatment could be delayed. The dentist needs to know if you have any specific health conditions or allergies that could complicate things further down the line; you are only putting your own health risk if you choose to withhold information. The questionnaire is short and shouldn’t take more than 10 or 15 minutes to fill in.
What constitutes an emergency?
When you are in pain or you have suffered an injury it’s not always easy to decide on the best course of action based on the obvious symptoms; not everyone will be able to tell the difference between a condition that doesn’t require immediate assistance and one that constitutes an emergency. To help you make the right decisions with regards to your own treatment, let’s take a look at some common scenarios that represent a dental emergency:
Knocked-out teeth – no one wants to imagine knocking a tooth out of its socket, but there are treatments available that can help repair this damage without noticeable effects afterwards. If you have managed to injure yourself in this way, try to hold on to the tooth and store it in a cup of warm milk to keep it alive until you can get to the dentists. It’s not always possible to fix a natural tooth if the supporting ligaments have been severed, but the dentist may be able to splint the injured tooth to a nearby healthy one to keep it stable as it heals – this can sometimes turn into a permanent arrangement if the tooth suffered significant damage during the initial impact.
Broken teeth – as with knocked out teeth, you should try to hold onto any broken pieces if you can manage it because the dentist could possibly replace them using composite bonding material, thus avoiding an extraction. Whatever you do, don’t try to pull out any loose sections or sharp fragments that may still be sitting in the socket – this will do more damage and will probably cause you significant pain. If one or more of your teeth have been too badly broken they might have to be removed because fractures that extend beyond the crown into the root will be irreparable in most cases. There are various restorative techniques that can help to rebuild damaged areas, so you won’t necessarily have to live with a gap toothed smile forever.
Toothache – a mild case of tooth sensitivity is not something to get too upset about, but if your condition deteriorates and you are in serious pain then you should certainly make an appointment with the emergency dentist. Some people might tell you that toothache is an affliction that you will just have to learn to live with because it does not constitute a dental emergency; this is highly inaccurate because some types of toothache can be symptomatic of infection and serious disease that requires treatment before it can spread to other areas of the body. As an additional point, no one should have to put up with toothache at any level because it can seriously affect other aspects of life, such as sleeping and eating.
Abscesses – not all abscesses are life-threatening in nature but they can quickly take a turn for the worse if you don’t get the right treatment in time. Abscesses are symptomatic of tissue infection inside the mouth, they need to be drained and sanitised to allow healthy regrowth from beneath the diseased sections. This sort of condition is generally quite painful as it reaches the aggressive stages and it can lead to blood poisoning or septicaemia if it is not dealt with at an early juncture. Infection is something that all medical professionals strive to avoid because it can turn fatal if it is not treated adequately as soon as possible. There’s no need to immediately panic if you notice small abscesses developing around your gum line, but you should certainly make an appointment at the first opportunity because infection is much easier to treat when it is caught in the early stages.
If you would like to speak to someone about arranging emergency treatment, contact the Pearl Dental Clinic to discuss your options or to make an appointment; this London surgery can provide daily check-ups during office hours as well.