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Published on: Emergency Dentist

What is a dental emergency?

Whilst any issues or problems regarding dental healthcare may seem urgent to the patient, there are certain cases which are deemed to be a dental emergency by the practitioner. It is important, therefore, that you understand what cases are likely to be deemed as a dental emergency, and that you know when it is vital to get in contact with your dentist as soon as possible.

Whilst any issues or problems regarding dental healthcare may seem urgent to the patient, there are certain cases which are deemed to be a dental emergency by the practitioner. It is important, therefore, that you understand what cases are likely to be deemed as a dental emergency, and that you know when it is vital to get in contact with your dentist as soon as possible.

How is a dental emergency defined?

Generally speaking, there are a few common scenarios in which you may feel as though you require urgent dental care; visible damage to your teeth and/or mouth or sudden severe pain are the two common categories which are likely to onset this.

More specifically, however, we can pinpoint a dental emergency as a problem stemming from patients who urgently require immediate care and attention to minimise risk of serious medical complications whilst simultaneously prevent any long-term complications to their dental health.

The most severe of these incidents can include uncontrollable dental haemorrhage following extractions, signs of increasing swelling around the throat and/or eye (as result of dental issues) and any trauma which is confined to the patient’s dental arches.

Other serious incidents of dental emergency include severe pain dental and facial pain which cannot be suitably alleviated by current over-the-counter prescriptions or medicines, alongside acute infection to dental and soft tissue.

What is not a dental emergency?

Commonly, patients may be experiencing issues with their dental health which are not considered to be a dental emergency – such as a chipped tooth, lost filling or mild generalised pain. however, it is still vital that you acquire professional care and treatment in these cases, despite their comparatively less urgent nature.

Despite how alarming it can understandably seem to the individual,visible damage to teeth is a relatively common occurrence which most of us all will all experience to a certain extent. For example, playing sport, falling over and having an accident or even eating a particularly hard food (e.g. a raw carrot or peanut) are all frequent causes of a chipped tooth.

Whilst unlikely to be a dental emergency, it is important to remember that there are still treatments that can be carried out following minor damage to teeth. For more minor cases, for example, a chipped tooth may be able to be simply smoothed and polished – requiring no further treatments. Medium sized chips with minor damage to the tooth’s enamel can also be treated with the likes of a filling or crown simply being placed over the tooth to restore its original function and appearance. Larger chips, however, which are likely to be deemed as a dental emergency if the tooth’s nerve is exposed, may require a root canal to remove the damaged nerve, alongside a crown or cap to replace the chipped tooth afterwards.

A root cause of dental emergencies

A highly common cause of many dental emergency is caused by the seemingly “sudden” onset of dental decay, however, it is likely that the root issues at hand have been less obviously present for far longer.

If you are going for regular check ups with your dentist (at least every six months) then your practitioner should be able to spot and treat any issues before they get too serious. However, for many, a reluctance to attend regular check ups with their dentist can cause initially straightforward problems to grow into something far more serious. Tooth decay, for example, can usually be efficiently treated with a simple filling. However, if neglected, then this problem may work its way into your tooth and escalate into the likes of an abscess – causing high levels of pain.

Whilst it may seem somewhat absurd to some, dental phobia is a real psychological issue which serves a detrimental effect on the oral healthcare of many. This phenomena is also likely to be more common than you may think think, with the Oral Health Foundation reporting that approximately half of adults within the UK are considered to have some form of dental phobia or anxiety – with 12% of these were known to have a more “severe” case.

Such a fear of the dentist means that individuals are likely to miss routine check ups and sideline any minor issues or tooth pain. Whilst this isn’t detrimental at first, consistently exhibiting this type of behaviour means that patients are likely to run into further problems and require more serious dental treatment in the future. It is furtherly worrying then, that the predicted number of those experiencing some level of dental phobia is essentially a mirror image of the number of those that the NHS predict don’t attend dental check ups on an annual basis within the UK (22 million).

Ultimately then, prevention is always better than the cure. Therefore, it is vital that you invest in the care of a dental practitioner that you not only trust to treat you effectively and professionally in an emergency situation, but also in a service which you feel suitably comfortable and confident around to find attending routine check ups as stress-free and calming as possible.

Aftercare following dental emergency treatment

After you receive emergency dental treatment, it is likely that you will require to arrange a follow up appointment with your practitioner to ensure that the issue has been resolved effectively and minimise the chance of it arising again. If you do not have a regular, consistent dental practitioner, then we highly advise that you register with a professional, experienced service near you.

What to do if you require emergency dental care in London?

Regardless of whether you require efficient emergency dental care or merely a reliable and professional service to minimise the chance of problems arising in the future, you should look no further. Hermes Dentists London are an award-winning dental clinic with experience and a proven track record within the industry. Expert dental practitioners are on hand to leave you in no doubt that you are receiving a friendly, professional and impeccable service every time.

Is it an emergency dental procedure or merely a routine check up you require? Either way, we’d love to hear from you, so unlock your smile and get in contact today.

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