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Resolving Oral Health Problems in Emergencies

Our Best Advice

Most people do know that regular dental checkups are a must for the good of their oral health in the same way that a checkup with their GP is for the rest of their body. What they don't always understand is why emergency dentists exist. That is until they need one that is.

Oral health emergencies - broken teeth, knocked out teeth, severe toothache - are no respecters of schedules and appointments. And as 'silly' as it sounds, until it happens to you, tooth pain can be some of the worst there is, especially at midnight on a Sunday evening. That's why emergency dentists exist though, to help people deal with their oral health emergencies as soon as possible to get the best possible results.

What Can an Emergency Dentist Really Do?

If you have yet to ever need the services of an emergency dentist, you might wonder just what they can do, and how taking a trip to one in the middle of the night, or on a big public holiday, can make a difference versus waiting for an appointment during 'normal' business hours. The simple answer is that often prompt treatment can not only help relieve pain - which is the number one reason people seek emergency dental care - but also get treatments started that, if delayed, could lead to poorer outcomes. Here are some examples.

A Knocked-Out Tooth

Dental implants have become a popular treatment.

Dental implants have become a popular treatment.

Getting a tooth knocked out is for many one of their worst nightmares, especially if it's one that is in a very visible spot. As shocking and upsetting as it is though, fast action can make all the difference.

What you might not know is that if an adult tooth is intact it can often be saved if action is taken within the hour. So, in this situation, getting yourself - and that tooth - off to the dentist as soon as possible is a must. If the tooth can be re-implanted and it 'takes' you may still need a root canal later but at least you'll still have your natural tooth. And if it can't, it's not the end of the world as your emergency dentist can help get the process of getting an implant or dental bridge to replace it started.

A Painful Chipped Tooth

An old favourite for dentists, a dental crown.

An old favourite for dentists, a dental crown.

It's all too easy to chip a tooth. Bite into something a little too hard - a very cold ice lolly, a hard piece of crackling, a very crisp apple - and a piece of your tooth may suddenly be gone. 

A small chip doesn't always have to be treated after hours but if there is pain present, discomfort or distress from the appearance of the tooth, it should be treated as soon as possible. As a solution there are a few options depending on the damage. Dental composites (bonding), crowns, porcelain veneers and fillings can all be used to treat a chipped tooth.


Traditional and laser root canal treatment.

Traditional and laser root canal treatment.

Some of the most severe toothache people experience is not actually cause by their teeth at all, but by an abscess, either in the gum or the pulpal (soft) matter in a tooth's root. Pain aside - and the pain can be truly excruciating - these abscesses are often infected, and so treating them immediately is a must. The underlying cause of the abscess - gum disease, tooth necrosis - will probably call for additional treatments but an emergency dentist can begin the diagnosis process and get you on the antibiotics that will treat infection and begin killing that terrible pain.

These are just a few of the conditions that warrant a speedy visit to an emergency dentist, there are more. Although not all oral health emergencies can be solved overnight, the faster you get help, the better, a great reason to make sure that you add the number of an emergency dentist to that list of important numbers in your phone (or on your fridge).

The faster you get help for your oral health emergency the better the outcome is likely to be. And if you're not sure if yours is a real emergency give us a call and we'll help you figure it out.

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