In normal surgery hours
If you have a dental emergency during our normal opening times, please call the surgery and we will try to fit you in with an emergency appointment.
Outside opening times
If you need urgent dental treatment outside our normal hours, please call the dental emergency service. Alternatively NHS Direct can help you to find an emergency dental service
If you are in pain
If you have pain without facial swelling you can purchase painkillers from any chemist. Always take the advice of the pharmacist and ensure to inform them of any current medication or medical conditions eg. asthma, stomach ulcers that you may have. Avoid hot/cold/hard foods as this may make the pain severe. Contact your dentist for treatment.
This usually is a sign that there is an infection or an abscess. Contact your dentist for treatment. However, if the swelling is severe or you feel sick, have a temperature or the swelling is affecting your swallowing or breathing, you must attend your local casualty department urgently.
Loose or dislodged crown
If the crown is at the back of your mouth leave it out and keep in a safe place until you attend your dentist. If the crown is at the front of your mouth you can buy temporary cement from some chemists. Denture fixture can also hold the crown in place for a short period. It is not advisable to eat or sleep with the crown retained by these methods.
Mouth bleeding after an extraction
If the socket is bleeding heavily or persistently you need urgent attention. Apply pressure to the socket and attend the local casualty department.
If the broken tooth is as a result of a fall and you are concerned about other injuries, go immediately to the hospital casualty department.
If the tooth is broken while eating or the result of a lost filling, some chemists have temporary filling pastes that can be placed in the broken tooth to reduce the pain and irritation. The tooth may be sensitive to hot and cold. It may be sensible to avoid food/drinks that make the discomfort worse. Contact your dentist for an appointment.
Tooth is knocked out – Children
These teeth start coming out naturally at about age 6 or 7. If one is knocked out earlier by accident – leave it out. Do not try and put it back as this may damage the adult tooth growing underneath. The adult tooth will grow eventually. Give some Paracetamol mixture (Calpol®, Disprol®, etc) or ibuprofen if the injured gum is sore.
Tooth is knocked out – Adult
These are commonly knocked out in older children and sometimes in adults. If one of these teeth is knocked out it is vital that:
- It be put back into its socket as soon as possible
- You see a dentist as soon as possible to secure the tooth
- An adult at the scene of the accident will usually be able to place the tooth back into its socket in the injured person’s mouth.
Do not delay doing this. Do not wait to see a dentist.
- If the tooth is clean, do it straight away and then seek dental help.
- Hold the tooth by the crown (the white shiny part normally seen in the mouth) and not the root. The root has delicate cells needed to attach the tooth so try not to touch this part.
- Take care to get the tooth the right way around.
- Once back in, get the injured person to bite gently on a handkerchief until seen by a dentist.
- A tooth may be knocked into some mud or dirt. Rinse the tooth in some cold water or milk. Do not scrub it or put it in disinfectant. This will damage the delicate cells on the root needed to attach the tooth back to the gum.
Why is it best put back straight away?
The cells at the root of the tooth will usually attach firmly back to the tooth socket if they do not die. These cells at the root of the tooth will soon dry out and die if the tooth is not put back quickly. If they die, the tooth will not attach again. The sooner a tooth is put back, the greater the chance of success…
What if the tooth cannot be put back in?
Put the tooth in a cup of milk or saline and see a dentist as soon as possible. The tooth must be kept moist. Milk is the ideal liquid to put the tooth in. Do not put the tooth in water as plain water damages the delicate cells whereas milk or saline are much better at preserving the cells. If milk or saline is not available, put the tooth in the injured person’s mouth between their cheek and the gum. If the tooth is kept moist with any of these methods until it is put back in its socket there is a greater chance of permanent recovery. It may still be successful up to 24 hours after the accident.
If you cannot see a dentist immediately after the accident, go to the local casualty (accident and emergency) department.