Anyone can experience a dental emergency: adults, children, teenagers, people who are so terrified of dentists that they haven’t had a consultation in many years, people with excellent oral health. . . Dental emergencies don’t discriminate, so as an emergency dentist you can expect to see all kinds of people walk through your doors on any given day or night.
Dental emergencies can also happen at any time of the day or night. Most practices leave space for some urgent appointments during opening hours, and many also have out-of-hours services (for which there is usually an additional charge). If you don’t have a dentist or yours doesn’t operate out of hours, call NHS 111 or visit your local walk-in centre. There may be a dentist on duty at the walk-in clinic; alternatively, staff will help you to find one.
The Polwarth Dental Clinic in Edinburgh always attempts to get patients in to see the emergency dentist on the same day. As with most emergency dentists, accurate diagnosis and immediate pain relief are the top priorities. You are likely to require further follow-up appointments to complete treatment.
Knocked out or broken teeth are common dental emergencies, often caused by road traffic or sports accidents. Wearing a properly-fitted dental sports mouthguard can help to prevent tooth loss during matches or training, but if you do lose or break a tooth, you need to call an emergency dentist.
Sometimes knocked out teeth can be reimplanted in your mouth by your dentist (or by yourself). Never force the tooth back into the socket, and on no account try to put a baby or child’s milk tooth back in, as this can affect the development of the adult tooth beneath.
Should your dentist be able to reinsert the tooth, it may be strapped to the adjacent teeth temporarily for support.
Dental pain can become unbearable very quickly, and is usually indicative of infection. You may require antibiotics and/or root canal treatment to cure the infection, but at the first appointment the emergency dentist will endeavour to get you out of pain.