Accidents happen, they are usually unavoidable and more often than not a dental emergency occurs when someone least expects it. This article will discuss what constitutes a dental emergency in the UK and the steps that may be taken by an Emergency Dentist in Southgate to help a patient through whatever oral traumas that may have occurred. It is important for patients to see a dentist immediately if there is cause for concern and a simple phone call to a dental practice will help define how soon they may receive help.

What is considered to be a dental emergency?

If it can wait, then it is not likely to be an emergency, however, the NHS has 2 classifications where unscheduled dental care is needed and they are the following:

Class 1: Dental Emergency – when a patient requires immediate attention so that the risk of further damage is minimized in order to prevent long term complications and/or other future health risks. In this case; if there is uncontrollable bleeding especially after a tooth extraction (severe blood loss can be a serious health risk). If an oral injury or infection has caused swelling around the throat or eye (this is considered an emergency due to the risk of suffocation or blindness). If there is severe trauma to the dental arches, like a tooth or multiple teeth being knocked out (it may be possible to save the teeth so take them with you to your emergency appointment).

Class 2: Urgent care – in this case, patients who have severe pain in the face, jaw or dental arches and have not been able to manage it with over the counter pain medication are to be treated as urgent. Also, patients who have acute infections in their soft tissue like cheeks or gums that cannot wait to be dealt with, like in the case of a ruptured abscess or a bad cut. If a chipped or broken tooth puts the oral soft tissue at risk it is important to get it seen to immediately as it may cause further harm.

Dental care for emergencies and urgent appointments

The steps taken for each individual emergency will depend on the problem that each patient presents and care is tailored to the individual, however, there is a general outline of what may occur at such an appointment:

Investigation – a thorough exam of the mouth and injury will be undertaken and this may involve X-rays.

Numbing – if the patient is in a severe amount of pain, a local anaesthetic will be administered in order to make the patient more comfortable. These types of anaesthetics are used in all invasive treatments.

Sterilization – the injured area will be sterilized so that there is less risk of infection and the dentist can work in a clean area.

Restoration or Extraction – if a tooth is damaged or knocked out it may be able to be restored to its former place and made whole again. However, in severe cases, a tooth may not be able to be placed back in which case the area will be sewn shut to prevent blood loss and further treatment will be discussed or if the tooth is too broken to be fixed it will need to be removed.

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