What is a Dental Emergency?

What is a Dental Emergency?

What starts out as a niggle can sometimes grow into something more serious, especially when it comes to toothache. As the pain gets worse, it can start having an impact on all areas of your life.

Many people ignore toothache, taking pain relief and hoping it’ll just pass, but it can sometimes become a dental emergency when it doesn’t.

Dental emergencies can occur at any time, even if you haven’t had any pain in the lead up to them, so it’s best to be prepared and know what to do if the worst happens. In this guide, we’ll talk you through the most common questions we get about dental emergencies and what to do about them.

Unhappy hispanic patient woman having a toothache in dental chair at modern dental clinic

What is a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency occurs when you experience pain, trauma or severe discomfort in your mouth. It can include bleeding and lacerations of the gums or fractured and dislodged teeth. It can also include swelling of your mouth and gums.

If you are experiencing uncontrolled bleeding, your tooth has been knocked out, or you believe you have an infection, you may require emergency dental treatment.

When Is It Not Considered a Dental Emergency?

While uncomfortable, issues such as a chipped tooth, lost fillings, cracked veneers, and broken dental appliances like braces do not count as an emergency unless they are causing lacerations in your mouth or have left you in severe pain.

Mild pain and discomfort should be addressed, but if it is not affecting your ability to complete tasks, eat or sleep, it is not an emergency.

If you experience these things, call your usual dentist within their standard opening hours, explain the issue, and they will fit you in as and when possible.

Of course, if you have one of these issues and you are not registered with a dentist, you may have to book an emergency dentist appointment to be seen.

What Are the Most Common Dental Emergencies?

The most common dental emergencies include:

  • Infected teeth, causing abscesses
  • Bleeding teeth or gums
  • Mouth sores
  • Knocked-out teeth
  • Chipped teeth that are causing lacerations

Many of these dental emergencies can cause severe pain, resulting in the inability to carry out basic tasks. It is usually at this point that people call our team of emergency dentists in Manchester to help with their treatment.

Dentist consulting with patient presenting results on Dental x-ray film

Should I Go To Hospital for A Dental Emergency?

In short, no. You should only visit A&E for a medical emergency, and these issues do not constitute a medical emergency.

You can visit a minor injuries unit if you have fallen or been hit by something that has caused damage to your mouth and teeth, as they will be able to help with that. You can also call 111 if unsure whether your issue requires medical attention or an emergency dentist. But in most cases, a trip to an emergency dentist will suffice.

What To Do If I Need Emergency Dental Treatment?

If you are in severe pain and believe it is related to your teeth, gums or other issue linked to oral care, then you need an emergency appointment at your dentist or a dental clinic nearby. Several clinics like our dental clinic in Manchester offer emergency appointments, and some, like ours, will see you out-of-hours too.

The dentist who examines you can offer insight into the next step, whether that means prescribing pain relief until you can get treatment booked in or carrying out treatment there and then stopping the issue. 

Do I have to Visit My Own Dentist for a Dental Emergency?

You do not have to visit your own dentist for a dental emergency. Many dental practices keep time slots to one side for emergencies, so it’s worth checking if your usual dentist can fit you in. However, you may find that they are too busy or don’t offer out-of-hours appointments, which won’t help you if you’re in agony at 10 pm at night.

If you can get an appointment at your regular surgery, you may find that it isn’t with the person your routine appointments tend to be with. Instead, you may have to be seen by a different dentist or at a different dental clinic.

Negative delighted international male person keeping eyes closed while suffering toothache

What Should I Expect From a Dental Emergency Appointment?

Depending on the issue, what will occur during your emergency appointment can vary.

If you are in severe pain, the dentist will locate the issue and either fix it during the appointment or book you in for an appointment another day, supplying you with pain relief to see you through.

A knocked-out tooth can potentially be reinserted if you get an appointment within a timely manner. If you can store the tooth safely, a splint will hold the tooth in place until it is secure again, and you will have to return to the dentist to have this removed. If the tooth cannot be secured back in place, your dentist will talk you through options, including replacing it with an implant or a bridge. These treatments can happen during the appointment, or your dentist can provide a temporary solution until a later appointment.

If your pain is caused by an abscess, you may undergo treatment at the time or come back for treatment later. The dentist will find the cause of the infection and remove it. This could be through root canal treatment, tooth extraction or incision and drainage.

Do I have to Pay For a Dental Emergency Appointment? 

In the UK, all dental treatment has a cost associated with it. This can vary depending on which clinic you visit and if the appointment is an emergency or not.

At Bespoke Dental Clinic, our private dentist fees cover the cost of routine treatments, and we have bespoke loyalty plans that can help you spread the cost of these. When you require emergency dental treatment from us, there will be an additional consultation fee, and any prescriptions required will have to be paid for. However, you can count on our highly qualified dentists to have you sorted in no time.  

Emergency Treatment at Bespoke Dental & Implant Clinic

If you have a dental emergency, don’t delay; get in touch with our team today. You can contact us 24 hours a day, seven days a week; we are here to help. Our daytime number is 0161 637 7370, and for out-of-hours care, you can also get in touch with us on 0782 613 2421.

Book an appointment today