Date: April 17, 2014 Richard Jones

Coping with Dental Emergency

dental emergency

When you are faced with a dental emergency, you will need to know how to cope with the situation even before you have the time to seek dental emergency care. It is important to know the basics of dental emergencies so you will have an idea on what to do before you can get in touch with an emergency dentist, who can provide you with urgent dental care that you need.

This is Dentistry will empower you with the information you need to be able to cope effectively with emergency dental situations, especially in those instances when urgent dental care is not available right away. This is Dentistry also provides you with the contact information of dentists in your local area, so you can get the dental emergency care you – or a loved one – may need whenever a dental emergency arises.

Do you have a dental emergency? You can quickly find a dentist in your local area by going to the TID Find a Dentist Page!


Common Dental Emergency Situations – and How to Deal with them

Here are some of the most common dental emergency situations that can happen, and tips on how you can effectively deal with each one before you can get emergency dental care.

  • Toothaches – Brushing the teeth and flossing may be done to deal with this dental emergency situation, as food lodged in between the teeth may be causing the pain. The pain may not be concentrated on the affected tooth alone, and can radiate to the jaws, neck, or to the whole facial area. You can also gargle with warm water, or use a cold compress on the outside of your mouth/cheek area if your mouth is swollen. Go to your dentist for emergency dental care in the soonest possible time so that you can get long-lasting and effective treatment for toothaches.
  • Knocked-Out Tooth – If possible, retrieve the tooth by the crown, and avoid touching the root part; if the root part is already dirty, rinse it with clean water but do not scrub the root portion. With this dental emergency, the clean tooth should be put back into the socket if this is possible; if not, place the tooth in a small container with milk, or water with a pinch of salt. Seek the attention of a dentist in the soonest possible time, because knocked-out permanent teeth have higher chances of being successfully returned to the socket and saved if an emergency dentist is seen within one hour from the time the teeth were knocked out.
  • Tooth Filling Lost – Plug the cavity temporarily with sugar-free chewing gum or dental cement if this is available. Seek dental emergency care right away so that the cavity can be filled in the soonest possible time, and to prevent the onset of infection .
  • Lost Dental Crown – Call your dentist right away if a crown falls off, and make sure that you bring the crown with you. You can also re-attach the crown temporarily with the help of denture adhesive of toothpaste for the meantime, before you get the dental emergency care you need.
  • Soft Tissue Injury – This dental emergency can include the tongue, gums, lips and cheeks, and can involve bleeding. Gargle with a salt-water solution, or apply pressure on the affected area using a moistened piece of gauze. Go to a dentist right away, especially if the bleeding does not stop after a few minutes of applying pressure on the affected area.

How to Find an Emergency NHS Dentist

Urgent dental care can be obtained by getting in touch with your regular NHS dentist (if you have one). In case you do not have a regular NHS dentist, you can get in touch with your primary care trust (PCT), who will be able to give you the information about dental services in your area that can provide out of hours dental treatments. Dental emergencies that need to be treated outside of the regular dental practise hours -usually daytime during weekdays, and sometimes for a few hours during the weekends – will need to be seen by an emergency dentist.

You can ease your pain and discomfort by taking over the counter pain relievers, or by following the tips that are mentioned above for common dental emergency situations. You can call NHS Direct on 0845 4647 for more advice on how to deal with your dental emergency, if you think that you can still wait for the dental practise’s normal clinic hours before getting the dental problem seen and treated.

For more urgent dental problems that cannot wait until the normal hours of dental practises, you can call the following to get access to out of hours dental services in your local area:

  • Your dentist, who should have a message on the answerphone with details on how you can get in touch with out of hours dental services;
  • The helpline of your local primary care trust (PCT); if you do not have this contact information, you can do the search on the NHS find services directory;
  • NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

NHS emergency dental care, and the services of an NHS emergency dentist, is always available for cases when treatment is clinically necessary, regardless of whether you have a regular dentist or not. Emergency and out of hours dental care and treatment under the NHS will cost £17.50 (the charge for Band 1 dental treatments) – unless you are entitled to free NHS treatment. Even if the emergency dental treatment that you need consists of more than one dental appointment with the same dentist, you will only need to pay one Band 1 charge.

Who Can Have Free NHS Emergency Dentist Treatments?

Free NHS dental treatment is available to those who are:

  • under 18 years of age
  • under 19 years of age, and in full-time education
  • pregnant or those who have had a baby in the 12 months before the start of the dental treatment
  • staying in an NHS hospital, with the dental treatment carried out by the hospital dentist
  • an outpatient in a NHS Hospital Dental Service; however, dental bridges or dentures may have to be paid for.

Those who start with the dental treatment, and are then asked to pay, can get free NHS dental treatment if they are:

  • included in an award of Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or Pension Credit guarantee credit
  • entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
  • named on a valid HC2 certificate

When to Go to the Accident & Emergency Department

You are advised to go to your local hospital’s accident & emergency department as soon as possible if you:

  • Are experiencing heavy bleeding that does not stop despite your efforts to stem the flow of blood;
  • Are experiencing a tremendous amount of pain, despite having taken pain relievers – and if the pain becomes intolerable;
  • Have a concussion as a result of an accident or dental injury;
  • Have a serious injury to the head or face area.

You Can Easily Find an NHS or Private Emergency Dentist in your Local Area by Going to the TID Find a Dentist Page


Related Pages

Tooth Pain
Knocked Out Teeth
Facial Injury
Teeth Injury
Tooth Loss

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