How to Book an Emergency Dentist Appointment

How to Book an Emergency Dentist Appointment

How to Book an Emergency Dentist Appointment

In an ideal world you can simply walk into your nearest dental practice at any time of day to have your urgent dental issue treated instantly. However, in most cases, you need to call in advance to have your symptoms assessed to book an appointment with the emergency dentist.

There are a few ways to book emergency dental appointments, depending on whether you’re already registered with a practice in the UK or not. With fewer and fewer NHS dentists available, many people aren’t registered with dentists and don’t have regular check-ups making it harder to get appointments and increasing the chances of urgent dental care being necessary.

So let’s see how to book an emergency dental appointment and when it’s absolutely necessary.

What Is a Dental Emergency?

What Is a Dental Emergency?

Not every dental issue is a dental emergency, so it’s important to know what constitutes a dental emergency before calling up your dentist and asking for an appointment as soon as possible. In some cases, painkillers are sufficient to alleviate symptoms, and in others, improved oral hygiene can also treat the condition. However, there are instances where urgent dental care is absolutely necessary to relieve severe pain and prevent further complications or dental issues.

You should see an emergency dentist as soon as possible if you have:

  • Severe toothache
  • Lost a tooth
  • Cracked or broken a tooth
  • A loose tooth
  • Pus seeping from an infected tooth (possibly also with a fever and severe pain)
  • Uncontrolled bleeding from teeth or gums
  • Severe swelling of the eyes, gums, mouth or neck
  • Experienced dental trauma such as a blow to the face causing any of the above symptoms

In general, if you’re experiencing severe pain, bleeding, swelling, or trauma to the mouth or teeth, it’s important to seek immediate dental care. Prompt treatment can help alleviate pain, prevent further damage, and improve the chances of successful treatment and recovery.

If you’re unsure whether your situation constitutes a dental emergency, it’s best to err on the side of caution and contact a dentist for guidance. If it’s not considered a dental emergency, they can advise on steps you can take to relieve your symptoms such as cold compresses to reduce swelling, painkillers for toothache, or rinsing with warm salt water to keep your gums clean and prevent tooth infections.

What Can Emergency Dentists Do?

What Can Emergency Dentists Do?

What an emergency dentist will do for you depends on the severity of the situation. If appropriate they will perform the necessary treatment to fix a broken tooth, remove inflamed tissue, treat an infection or replace missing crowns. However, if it’s inappropriate to start a dental treatment before addressing other issues, an emergency dentist will treat the most pressing concern before arranging a routine appointment at another time.

Emergency dentists are equipped to address various urgent dental concerns, including:

  • Relieving toothache through medicine or other necessary treatment such as tooth extraction
  • Managing dental infections through antibiotics or performing root canal procedures to remove the infected tissue and encourage healing
  • Restoring chipped or broken teeth via dental bonding, veneers, or crowns, depending on the severity of the issue and patient preference
  • Replacing lost fillings or crowns
  • Addressing dental trauma i.e. managing bleeding or replacing lost or broken teeth as necessary
  • Treating gum injuries including bleeding and infections
  • Handling orthodontic emergencies such as temporary fixes for broken braces, wires or dentures before referring to orthodontists if further specialised treatment is required

When urgent dental care is needed, it’s important to act swiftly to prevent the issue from getting worse; tooth infections can easily spread to neighbouring teeth and the jaw, potentially causing a number of complications. Likewise, missing or broken teeth can cause further pain, infections or damage to other teeth so should be dealt with quickly and appropriately by experts.

Even if urgent care cannot be performed immediately, your dentist will need to manage your symptoms to reduce swelling in order to perform the necessary treatment at a later date, so you should still see an emergency dentist as soon as possible.

How to Book an Emergency Dentist Appointment

How to Book an Emergency Dentist Appointment

Booking an emergency dentist appointment couldn’t be easier. Simply call up your regular dentist and describe your symptoms over the phone. Most dental receptionists are trained in at least the basics of dental care and can advise you on helpful remedies to alleviate your symptoms at home, or will book you in for an emergency appointment. Emergency dentists will usually see you within 24 hours to treat your dental issue, but appointments can be much quicker if you have a very severe issue.

If you have to wait for your appointment, the dental receptionist will give you tips to manage the pain and keep your mouth clean to prevent any infection from developing or spreading until you can be seen.

For dental emergencies that occur overnight, or outside of your dentist’s normal working hours, they will have an answerphone message that can refer you to other useful contacts for dental emergencies. You can call the number they suggest, or in some locations in the UK, walk into an emergency dental clinic to be seen as quickly as possible.

What if You Aren’t Registered with a Dental Practice?

If you aren’t registered with a dental practice, you can still access services in the case of a dental emergency. Just call the NHS non-emergency health line 111 to speak to a call handler about your symptoms. They can advise you on what emergency dental services are available in your area and how to access them.

They may be able to book you in for an emergency dental appointment, however, you may also have to take contact details and call the dental practice yourself to arrange your appointment.

Don’t go to your GP or to a hospital as they cannot treat dental issues and will not prescribe antibiotics for tooth infections.

Instead of calling 111, you can also search online for private emergency dental practices near you to see which ones are closer and have sooner appointment times.

Are There Emergency Dentists on the NHS?

The NHS does have emergency dental services which you can find by calling 111, however, there is no guarantee that you’ll be seen within 24 hours. Like other NHS dental care, most people also have to pay a small fee towards their care, and unlike private practices, NHS emergency dental care will likely arrange further routine appointments to perform the necessary procedures to treat your dental issue, while simply relieving symptoms as best they can during the emergency appointment. You will then have to pay a further treatment cost alongside your emergency appointment fee.

Even if you cannot get an appointment within 24 hours at an NHS dental practice, you should not neglect your dental emergency, as timely treatment is necessary to prevent further complications. If your dental issue is severe, it’s worth investigating private dental treatment to help relieve your discomfort and prevent your health problems from getting worse.

Preventing Dental Emergencies

Preventing Dental Emergencies

Many dental emergencies cannot be prevented and occur randomly. However, there are some good practices to prevent dental emergencies from occurring where possible, including:

  • Practising good oral hygiene
  • Having regular check-ups with dentists and dental hygienists
  • Wearing mouthguards during contact sports
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Avoiding using your teeth as tools such as to cut sellotape or tighten knots
  • Reducing intake of sugary foods and drinks
  • Avoiding hard or very chewy foods like toffees
  • Wearing a night guard to prevent teeth grinding overnight
  • Addressing dental issues promptly to prevent them from worsening

By following these preventive measures and maintaining good oral hygiene practices, you can reduce the likelihood of experiencing dental emergencies and enjoy better dental health overall. If you have specific concerns or questions about preventing dental emergencies, such as how to better take care of your teeth, help stopping smoking, or prevent clenching or grinding teeth, consult your dentist for personalised advice and recommendations.

Emergency Dentists You Can Rely On – Didsbury Dental Practice

If you need to find an emergency dental practice in Manchester, look no further than the expert team at Didsbury Dental Practice. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, we’re always here to help.

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