If you wake up at 4 am with extreme dental discomfort, then you know what that means. Call an emergency dental team! But what if the issue is more insidious? Does it still need urgent treatment?
When it comes to identifying and treating dental emergencies, it is best to know as much as you can when you are experiencing one to help you make the right decision about what to do next. So, with that in mind, here are 5 FAQs about dental emergencies answered by an emergency dentist Sydney.
Do all emergency dental issues hurt?
Surprisingly, no. It’s just that the ones that do hurt are the ones that are more likely to prompt someone to take action!
Indeed, an issue like a lost filling from a tooth that has a root canal is not going to hurt, but it should still be treated as a dental emergency!
What should I do if I have a dental emergency?
If you have an emergency dental issue, you should seek emergency help! Emergency dental issues include abscesses, lost crowns or fillings, toothache, swelling to the mouth, under the jawline or face, an impacted tooth, a dental bleed and a crack or chip to the tooth.
If you aren’t sure if you are experiencing a dental emergency, be sure to call your dentist or another health care provider if it is out of hours, explain your situation and follow their advice.
Can I treat an emergency at home?
No! You can aim to alleviate some of the symptoms while waiting for the appointment, but even if you are a dental practitioner, you should never treat a dental emergency by yourself at home.
Going back to alleviating symptoms, after you have called the clinic and booked the appointment, it is perfectly reasonable to take over-the-counter pain relief, apply an ice or heat pack to the face (if you have swelling) and rinse the area in your mouth with salt water to keep it clean.
Anything beyond this can make the issue worse, so leave it to the professionals!
Is there a deadline for treating emergency dental issues?
In some cases, yes.
Suppose you have lost a tooth straight out of its socket, with the root still attached. Ideally, you would want to get this reattached in under an hour, or the reattachment will not be successful.
However, in the case of a lost filling or crown, you should aim to have these refitted as soon as possible, too, to prevent them from developing into a more extreme cavity that could lead to a dental abscess.
On a more serious note, if you have a dental abscess, there is something of a deadline for this too. Delaying treatment for an abscess may lead to it bursting, causing discomfort and even sepsis.
Sepsis can be life-threatening, so if you suspect that you have a dental abscess, be sure to seek emergency treatment as soon as you can.
Are emergency appointments more expensive than regular ones?
It depends on where you live.
If you live in the UK, an emergency appointment costs the same as a standard check-up. In Australia, an emergency appointment will usually be covered by insurance.
If you aren’t sure of the costs, be sure to ask about them when calling the dental clinic.
Disclaimer: All treatments carry risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you