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What is a dental emergency and how can you prevent one?


Person holding their face in pain

Dental emergencies can strike unexpectedly, leaving you in discomfort and seeking urgent care. In this blog, we'll delve into the nuances of dental emergencies, providing you with the information you need to understand, prevent, and respond to these situations. 


As a trustworthy emergency dentist in Fulham, we're here to guide you through the process of maintaining optimal oral health, even in unforeseen and stressful circumstances.


What is a dental emergency?

A dental emergency refers to any sudden and severe condition affecting your oral health that requires immediate attention from a dental professional. These emergencies can encompass a range of issues, from sudden pain and swelling to traumatic injuries. 


Recognising a dental emergency is crucial, as prompt action can make a significant difference in preserving your oral health. Here are some examples of some common dental emergencies you may find yourself facing: 


Severe toothache 

Persistent and severe tooth pain could indicate an underlying issue such as an infection or abscess. If you're experiencing intense discomfort, it's time to seek the expertise of an emergency dentist in Fulham.


Knocked-out tooth

A knocked-out tooth is a time-sensitive emergency. If possible, gently rinse the tooth without removing any attached tissue and try to reinsert it into the socket. If unsuccessful, keep it moist in a container of milk or saliva and seek immediate dental care.


Cracked or fractured tooth

A cracked or fractured tooth can lead to further complications if not addressed promptly. Rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. Contact an emergency dentist in Fulham for immediate assistance.


Lost filling or crown

Losing a filling or crown can expose sensitive tooth tissue, causing discomfort. In such cases, it's essential to seek emergency dental care to prevent further damage and alleviate pain.


Preventing dental emergencies

While some emergencies are unavoidable, there are steps you can take to minimise the risk of encountering dental issues in the first place:

  • Visit us for regular examinations: regular visits to New Smile Fulham for check-ups and cleanings can help identify potential issues before they escalate into emergencies.

  • Practise good oral hygiene: brushing, flossing, and using an antiseptic mouthwash can prevent dental issues such as cavities and gum disease, reducing the likelihood of emergencies.

  • Wear protective mouthguards: if you engage in contact sports or activities with a risk of facial injury, wear protective gear such as mouthguards to prevent dental trauma.

  • Avoid chewing on hard objects: chewing on ice, hard candies, or non-food items can lead to cracked or broken teeth. Exercise caution to protect your dental health.


Responding to a dental emergency

If you do find yourself facing a dental emergency - and we sincerely hope you never do - it's crucial to act promptly and effectively, especially where you may be at risk of losing a tooth. Here are the main things you should do:


1. Contact an emergency dentist in Fulham

If you're experiencing a dental emergency, call New Smile Fulham at 0203 696 8902 for immediate assistance. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing swift and effective care.


We aim to see emergency patients within 24 hours as a matter of priority, as these situations can worsen quite rapidly (e.g. spreading infections can lead to sepsis or other life threatening complications).


If we deem your situation not to be an emergency, we will offer you a routine treatment appointment or provide an assessment and advice appointment.


If you have a dental emergency, you can contact us seven days a week between the hours of 8am-8pm. A member of staff will take your call and pass on the message to one of the on-call dentists. We will assess the best way to manage your situation promptly. 


If the emergency falls outside of these hours, you should email us. This will be picked up by the Practice Manager by 7am and then forwarded to one of the clinical team for review. 


If we cannot see you within 24 hours, we will offer alternative options with local practices (or hospitals) that we trust. 


2. Preserve your knocked-out tooth

For a knocked-out tooth, handle it by the crown (top), avoiding touching the root. Rinse it gently, and if possible, reinsert it into the socket. If not, store it in milk or saliva while seeking emergency dental care.


3. Manage pain and swelling 

Use over-the-counter pain relievers, apply a cold compress, and avoid placing aspirin directly on the affected area to manage pain and swelling.


Choose New Smile Fulham in the event of an emergency

At New Smile Fulham, we understand the urgency of dental emergencies. If you find yourself in need of immediate dental assistance, don't hesitate to call our emergency dentist in Fulham at 0203 696 8902 or email us at info@newsmilefulham.com.


Our compassionate team is ready to provide swift and effective care to alleviate your discomfort and address your oral health needs.


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