What is an Emergency Dentist?
Emergency dentists are clinics that are normally open twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year – even Christmas and other holidays, in order to provide the general public with assistance for dental problems that require immediate attention. Your regular surgery can help with check-ups and can organise on-going treatment, but in the event of an emergency, you don’t want to wait months to speak to a medical professional. Most emergency clinics can arrange treatment within twenty-four hours if you give them a call, or you could just get a walk-in appointment, if you really can’t wait. The great thing about this type of establishment is that they can provide day-to-day services for patients who are registered to their care, and they also help people who have just walked through their doors, even if they are not registered. Emergency dentists do tend to charge a little more than your average surgery, simply because they are offering treatment up-front, with no waiting around. If you are injured, or you have serious problems that need dealing with, call the Pearl Dental Clinic, they operate a twenty-four hour emergency service, which can help with trauma and pain that occurs out of office hours.
What kind of thing can an emergency dentist help me with?
There are lots of different things your local emergency clinic can provide treatment for, from serious dental pain, to injuries that have damaged the teeth, or even knocked them out completely. It can sometimes be difficult to ascertain what kind of problem constitutes an emergency and what situation can be left for a future appointment, so let’s take a look at some common dental accidents and identify whether you should go to the emergency clinic, the hospital, or just stay at home and take some pain relief pills.
Call the emergency dentist if you have…
Knocked out your tooth – Unless you have further injuries that require medical attention, i.e. head trauma or heavy bleeding, you should get to the emergency clinic as soon as possible – within the hour, if you want to save your tooth. Knocked-out teeth can’t always be reattached, but time is a critical factor in this type of situation.
Broken or cracked your tooth – Nurses and doctors won’t have the necessary qualifications or equipment to rebuild a damaged tooth, so head to the dentist, where they will be able to fill in any damage with composite material. It’s not just an aesthetic matter, cracks and fractures leave the teeth at risk of infection, and you need to get them repaired as quickly as you can.
Developed abscesses – Small abscesses are not an immediate threat to your health, but it’s important to take note of any significant changes in their appearance, as well as your overall condition. The emergency dentist should drain the swelling and prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection.
Go to the hospital if you have…
Injured your jaw – In emergency situations like this, a dentist isn’t the best place to be; jaw injuries are often quite complicated to deal with, and they can come with other problems that require medical attention – especially if the injury is the result of an accident or blow to the head. If you need major surgery to repair the damage, the dentist won’t be equipped to deal with it, you should be referred to a specialist surgeon and attend follow-up appointments with a doctor.
Serious lacerations – No decent dentist would leave you bleeding heavily in the waiting room, but they would probably advise you to go to the hospital for assistance. Deep lacerations may require stitches and some type of antiseptic treatment that isn’t usually available at a dental surgery; furthermore, you may need to be kept in for observation or on-going treatment, which is not a service that clinics generally provide.
Developed large, painful abscesses – Recurring abscesses are a sign that you have a bacterial infection, which should be seen by a doctor at the first opportunity, before they reach a critical point and begin to affect other bodily functions. Nausea, dizziness, and high fever are all symptomatic of serious infection, which represents a very real threat to your life; if it is left to develop into blood poisoning and septicaemia, your major organs could begin to fail. Even if the abscesses aren’t causing you any more pain than normal, you need to get to the hospital straight away if you notice any suspicious symptoms. The dentist’s office can help with smaller swellings that appear at the first stages of infection, but illness that affects your whole circulatory system is very serious indeed; get to the nearest A&E, before your condition deteriorates further.
Stay at home if you have…
Cold sores – They might be unpleasant and sometimes painful, but cold sores are not a dental emergency. There are plenty of creams and gels on the market that can help you get rid of them, so don’t bother your dentist with this problem, it’s a waste of their time and yours. Cold sores are a recurring complaint, but one that can be managed, and once you familiarise yourself with the treatment, it won’t seem like such an inconvenience. If you are constantly developing very painful sores, you might want to make an appointment with your GP, to make sure there aren’t any underlying health issues causing the problem.
Mouth ulcers – Most of us will be familiar with these tiny swellings, but they are really nothing to worry about, just apply some antiseptic gel, such as Bonjela, and they will disappear in no time. If you notice a lot of ulcers appearing in a short space of time, they could be signs of other medical complications that need attention, so speak to your doctor as soon as you get chance. In addition, a change of diet or lifestyle in general could help alleviate the ulcers, but don’t go to the A&E department or waste time and money on the emergency dentist, your life is not in danger, and they have people with real problems to deal with.