Urgent vs Non-Urgent Dental Treatment

Since our Clinic has closed, we have been doing our best to offer telephonic advice to our patients and other members of the public for their dental problems.

This is a constantly changing situation and we sincerely hope that we will soon be able to get urgent dental care to anyone who needs it. In the interim, however, we have put together some general information on what to do if you have a dental problem.

Remember, though, we are still available if you need advice.

Urgent Dental Treatments

The following are classed as urgent dental treatments:

  • Bleeding after having a tooth out

A small amount of “pink” oozing from the area after having a tooth out is normal. However, if there is continuous bleeding then place a clean handkerchief on the area and bite down on it for 20 minutes. If the bleeding continues then please call us. Alternatively, call 111 if out of hours. 

Remember if you have had a tooth out do not rinse your mouth on the day of having the tooth out. 

 

  • Swelling

 

Swelling in the mouth needs to be dealt with quickly and especially so if the swelling extends to the face. Antibiotics are often needed to deal with the infection in the short term. Contact us or if out of hours contact 111.

If you have any facial swelling which is affecting your vision or breathing, then you must go to A&E. If you are unable to open your mouth than two fingers wide, then you also need to get to A&E as soon as possible.

 

  • Pain

 

Toothache caused by dental decay, unfortunately, can’t be managed with antibiotics. Ideally, the tooth needs to be cleaned and dressed. 

The best option in the short term is to manage the pain with pain relief. Use a fluoride-based toothpaste to keep the area as clean as possible. Also, consider keeping sugar intake as low as possible. 

If a tooth is very sensitive, you can rub sensitive toothpaste on the affected area and leave it on as long as possible without rinsing. There are also anaesthetic gels available from pharmacies such as Orajel which can also help.  

If you have a broken tooth or a loose filling, then keep the area clean. If possible, try and get some temporary filling material from a pharmacy or online to fill the gap. 

Anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen are effective at helping toothache. You can also combine Ibuprofen and paracetamol if necessary.

Please note: There is some evidence to show that there may be some concerns with using Ibuprofen if you have the COVID-19 virus. If you have COVID-19 it might be wise to avoid using Ibuprofen. If you are unsure which pain relief to take always consult with your GP or pharmacist.

Always check the packaging with any type of medication and always follow the instructions. 

Non-Urgent Dental Treatments

While not ideal, the following treatments are classed as non-urgent:

  • Loose/lost crowns, bridge and veneers

If you feel confident to refit the crown, bridge or veneer you can certainly try. You will need to get some temporary cement from either a pharmacy or online. 

Check that the crown, bridge and veneer are clean and gently clean the area with your toothbrush. Follow the instructions from the temporary cement package. 

  • Broken or loose dentures

If the denture is sharp it might be best to not wear it as this may cause ulcers. 

If the denture is loose fixatives such as Polygrip and Fixadent can help, which are available from a pharmacy or online. 

 

  • Broken loose or lost fillings

 

Keep the area as clean as possible and if possible, avoid eating in the area as the tooth might be more prone to breaking further. If you feel confident you can get temporary filling materials from a pharmacy and online. 

  • Bleeding gums

Bleeding gums are often caused by inflammation of the gums. Focus on cleaning the teeth and gums thoroughly twice a day and ensure that you are cleaning in between the teeth with floss or Teepees. Chlorohexidine based mouthwashes like Corsodyl can also be very effective. 

 

  • Wisdom teeth 

 

As wisdom teeth come through, they can cause much discomfort, but good home care can be effective to settle the area. Keep the area as clean as possible and take pain relief if tender. Chlorohexidine base mouthwashes and warm salty water can also help. If the area does not settle and starts to swell, then please contact us.

This list covers the main dental emergencies, but it is not exhaustive. If you are unsure what the problem is or how best to treat it, just call us and we will help you the best we can.

We understand that this is a scary time for everyone. However, we are at the end of the phone if you need us. We are also able to get dental products such as Teepee brushes and floss if you need it. 

This is a great time to focus on your oral hygiene routine, I know our hygienists will be very happy if we all do this!

We are available by phone every day between 08.30 and 10.30 to help with any dental emergencies. 

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