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FAQs about emergency dental care answered

Most people know what is involved in a standard dental check-up. You go to the appointment, and the dental team looks in your mouth, numbers your teeth as they look at them and advises you on ways you can improve your oral hygiene. If there are underlying problems, you are spoken through them and treatment is advised again.

woman with invisible aligners smiling

But if you are attending an emergency dental appointment at 4:00 AM and have a swollen face due to an abscess, you may not know exactly what is in store for you as, hopefully, you only need to attend an emergency dental appointment once or twice in your life. Is the appointment that different and what exactly does emergency dental care involve? Here, an emergency dentist in Tunbridge Wells answers that question.

Why would I need to visit an emergency dental team?

You would need to visit an emergency dental team if you were in persistent discomfort, especially if it is causing you to become distracted, or preventing you from eating or sleeping. Similarly, if you have a dental bleed which is failing to stop, have a lost or loose restorative such as a filling or crown, or have swelling anywhere in your mouth or near your jawline, all of these warrant an emergency appointment with your dental team.

Is every emergency dental team open 24 hours?

Not necessarily, and you will have to search online to find the nearest emergency dentist to you that is open. However, all dental teams that are able to offer emergency care will usually aim to get you into the surgery for an appointment within 24 hours of contacting them. So always check that the dental team you are calling actually offers emergency appointments and if the worst comes to the worst, you should visit the emergency department at your local hospital.

Are emergency dental appointments longer than check-ups?

In some cases, yes, but emergency appointments are based more on diagnostics than general check ups and the emergency team will be looking at the underlying cause of your emergency. For example, if you have an oral abscess, this can quickly be diagnosed by an emergency team and you will be given oral antibiotics to take as recommended, you will also need to have a follow-up appointment booked with your regular dental team. An emergency dental appointment should take no longer than 10 to 20 minutes.

Can an emergency dental team prescribe medication?

Yes, they can and in the majority of cases, the medication that an emergency team will prescribe will be antibiotics to treat a dental abscess. Emergency teams can also refit fillings and can apply stitches if you have a wound in your mouth that is bleeding. They can also refer you if they suspect you have oral cancer.

How can I prevent dental emergencies?

Sometimes dental emergencies cannot be prevented, such as losing a filling or crown. In order to prevent yourself from needing to see an emergency dental team due to decay, the easiest way to do this is to regularly attend check-ups with your dental team and maintain good oral hygiene at home.

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