Are you currently registered with a dentist? If not then you might not visited a dentist for a while, and this might be a problem if you have a dental emergency. Most dentists will have an emergency or out of hours number that you can call to get help or advice, and if you are registered with a dentist then they will almost certainly try to see you as soon as they can. Some even reserve an appointment or two for this purpose. If you do not have a dentist, then it is worth giving NHS Direct a call. In the meantime there are things you can do to try to alleviate the pain, until you can find a dentist who is able to see you.
Toothache is often caused by bacteria entering the tooth, infecting it and causing decay. This is something that can cause the tooth to throb with pain, or you may notice the gum surrounding the tooth looks swollen and feels sore. In this case you do need to see a dentist as soon as you can, and in the meantime there’s little you can do except take over-the-counter painkillers. It might also be worth just flossing gently around the tooth, as sometimes pieces of old food can get trapped in between the teeth, moving it out of position. Even a relatively small piece of food can be enough to create pain.
Losing a Filling
This is less likely to be a dental emergency, but you still need to get the tooth repaired as soon as possible as otherwise it could become infected and decayed. You might also find the tooth feels a little sensitive as the inner part is now exposed to foods and hot and cold drinks. You can try plugging up the tooth with a little piece of sugar-free gum, or it might be worth calling in at your local chemists and asking if they’ve got a dental repair kit.
Losing a Crown
If you’ve lost a crown, then try to retrieve it and store it safely until you can get to your dentist. You may be able to use temporary cement from your chemist to hold it in position, but you’ll still need to have it properly cemented in place. Don’t be tempted to try to do it yourself through using various household glues as you are highly likely to damage your tooth and the crown.
Knocking out a Tooth
Speed is of the essence as you need to act really quickly in order to try to save the tooth. It needs to be reinserted back in your tooth socket within half an hour to an hour if it is to have any chance of being saved. Make sure you only handle the tooth by the crown, and rinse off any dirt under running water. It’s up to you whether you try to reinsert the tooth, but if you do make sure it’s facing the right way. Alternatively you can just pop it into a small container with some milk or water as it’s important to keep it moist. Get to a dentist or visit your outpatient facility as soon as you can.
Quite often dental emergencies are created through a lack of dental care. Regular checkups really do help to prevent dental emergencies. These days it can be difficult to find a dentist, but it’s well worth trying to make the effort as dental emergencies are never pleasant.