What Is Classified as Dental Emergency?

What Is Classified as Dental Emergency

What Is Classified as Dental Emergency?

Whether you have suffered a blow to the mouth during exercise, or you have developed a tooth infection, dental emergencies can crop up for a variety of reasons. Between 2021 and 2022, approximately 3.8 million urgent courses of treatment were delivered by NHS dentists, showing how common dental emergencies are amongst the population.

Have you ever wondered, what is classified as dental emergency? We will discuss this question in this blog post, to inform you of what a dental emergency entails and what you should do if any tooth problems arise.

What is classified as dental emergency?

A dental emergency is a tooth problem which requires urgent dental care or treatment, as it could lead to further medical problems if left untreated.

So, what is classified as dental emergency?

You should book an emergency dentist appointment as soon as possible if you experience any of the following dental emergencies:

  • Uncontrollable dental haemorrhage following extractions
  • Rapidly increasing swelling around the throat or eye
  • Excessive bleeding after tooth extraction which persists even after biting into gauze
  • Trauma confined to the dental arches
  • Excruciating tooth pain
  • Severe dental and facial pain which does not go away with over-the-counter medications
  • Trauma to the face, mouth or jaw
  • A knocked-out tooth
  • Dental and soft tissue acute infection
  • Swelling of the gums, cheek, or face
  • Partially dislodged tooth
  • Abscess (build-up of pus that forms in the teeth or gums, caused by an infection)

What should I do in a dental emergency?

What Is Classified as Dental Emergency
What Is Classified as Dental Emergency

It is important to seek medical attention straight away, if a dental emergency arises.

We highly recommend that you contact your dental practice as early as possible, to book an emergency dental appointment. This will enable you to be examined by a dentist, who will provide you with the necessary advice and treatment.

If your dental practice is closed, you should check whether they offer any out-of-hours services. If they don’t, then your options are:

  • visit another dental practice which does operate out-of-hours, and can provide you with an emergency appointment.
  • check whether your town, city, or county has an urgent dental care service, where you can access an emergency dental appointment. Click here to find a dentist near you.
  • use the NHS 111 service and take advice from the medical professionals there.
  • to wait until your dental practice opens again, and book the next available emergency appointment.

You should go to A&E as soon as possible if:

  • there is heavy bleeding
  • the symptoms have spread to your body (e.g. if you have a fever)
  • you experience swelling in the mouth or neck
  • you have difficulty breathing
  • you have injured your mouth, teeth, or face

If you are unsure whether you should go to A&E, contact NHS 111 via telephone or use the 111 online service, and the trained professionals can advise you.

What Is Classified as Dental Emergency
What Is Classified as Dental Emergency

What does NOT count as a dental emergency?

These situations are not urgent, so you could potentially treat the problem by yourself, or speak to your dentist for guidance.

  • Minor toothache
  • Small cavity
  • Dislodged crowns and bridges
  • Losing a filling
  • Broken dentures or braces
  • If you require surgical extractions (wisdom teeth) but are not in pain
  • Sensitive or bleeding gums
  • Mouth ulcers that have existed for less than 10 days
  • Chipped tooth

It is not classed as a tooth emergency if you:

  • Have a hospital referral letter
  • Require permanent restorations
  • Have non-traumatic problems with orthodontic appliances
  • Want a second opinion
  • Want to use emergency dentist services to have a routine check-up
  • Want a cosmetic dentistry service, such as teeth whitening, teeth straightening, dental bonding or veneers
What Is Classified as Dental Emergency
What Is Classified as Dental Emergency

What might happen if I don’t get my dental emergency looked at?

There are many things that could go wrong if you don’t get your dental emergency looked at by a dentist. Your tooth pain or inflammation may become more severe and thus require more intense treatment to fix.

Never wait for your symptoms to get worse, before seeing a medical professional. Waiting too long to be examined, or ignoring a dental emergency could have harmful consequences for your oral hygiene and even your long-term health.

For instance, the pulp inside your tooth will eventually become infected– which can lead to a dental abscess, severe gum inflammation, or other serious complications.

Similarly, if your tooth has been knocked out, but you don’t see a dentist as soon as possible, then that tooth will no longer be salvageable. To replace that missing tooth, you may require a dental implant, bridge, or denture instead, which is more expensive, time-consuming, and requires more effort, than simply bringing your knocked out tooth for the dentist to install back in.

Moreover, your severe toothache may be an early indicator of gum inflammation or a bacterial infection. But if you don’t visit a dentist, then this may develop into periodontitis, which damages the soft tissue and, without treatment, can destroy the bone that supports your teeth.

Dental emergencies can also affect the entire body- as the bacteria in your mouth can also enter into your bloodstream and create problems like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other medical issues.

All of these examples demonstrate why it is important to see a dentist as soon as a tooth emergency happens. The earlier you get seen by a dental professional, the faster they will be able to help you overcome your problem, prevent further damage, and instruct you on the correct aftercare.

What Is Classified as Dental Emergency
What Is Classified as Dental Emergency

What happens at an emergency dental appointment?

The nature of your emergency dental appointment will vary, depending on what the issue is.

  • At the start of your appointment, the dentist will examine your teeth and gums carefully, to assess any damage.
  • You may need an X-ray, to determine the full extent of damage.
  • The dentist will ask you a series of questions about your symptoms, how and when they began, and whether anything makes them better or worse.
  • The dentist will also ask you about your dental history and if you have any health conditions or if you take any medications.
  • The dentist will provide you with the most appropriate treatment, to relieve your discomfort and treat any infections. This treatment could be carried out there and then, or they may give you a temporary filling and schedule you a proper appointment at a later date.
  • If you need a treatment such as tooth extraction, or root canal treatment, then these will be delivered using local anesthetic.
  • If you need further treatment, the dentist will talk you through the options and requirements. For instance, if you have a tooth infection, the dentist may prescribe you antibiotics.
  • You may be asked to make a follow-up appointment.

Emergency dental care at Didsbury Dental Practice

At Didsbury Dental Practice, our emergency dental care is second to none.

Our emergency dental care service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including on Bank Holidays and Christmas Day.

Our team of dental professionals can provide treatment for any type of dental emergency: from severe toothache and tooth infections to broken teeth, lost fillings or gum inflammation.

Didsbury Dental Practice has got you covered, at any time of day or night. Dental emergencies can be very painful, so we offer out-of-hours treatment because we know that dental problems don’t always stick to 9.00 am to 12.00 am.

To book an emergency appointment with us, it is not necessary for you to be an existing patient at our practice.

If you experience a dental emergency, simply call our dental emergency helpline on 0161 413 2509, or walk into our dental practice, and we will aim to see you as soon as possible.

Click here to learn more about the emergency dental care offered at Didsbury Dental Practice.

What Is Classified as Dental Emergency
What Is Classified as Dental Emergency

Read similar content about dental emergencies

Here at Didsbury Dental Practice, we regularly update our blog with articles about all things dental health. We publish these articles to answer the frequently asked questions that we know people are searching online if they are experiencing a toothache or a dental emergency.

Click here to read our blog articles on:

We hope you now better understand the answer to the question: ‘what is classified as dental emergency?

To learn more about Didsbury Dental Practice, visit our website here.

We offer a wide range of dental services and treatments, including teeth whiteningInvisaligndentures, Alias lingual bracesSix Month Smiles Braces and Damon Clear Braces.

If you need an emergency appointment, call our dental emergency helpline on 0161 413 2835, or walk into our practice and we will aim to see you as soon as possible.

Check out our blog to read more articles on dental health.

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