Common Emergency Dentist Situations | Procedures to Follow
It’s never fun to be in the situation where you’re searching for an emergency dentist, but the sooner you book yourself into see someone the better your chances of limiting any damage caused. Our Sydney emergency dentist team have you covered
We get a lot of emergency dental cases from cricket, hockey, rugby or sporting incidents along with accidents that result in dental trauma like chipped or broken teeth.
Note: If you suffered from trauma to your head or face that resulted in bleeding from your nose, ears or and caused loss of consciousness or memory loss please go to the hospital immediately. If you suffered from dizziness, severe head and ear aches and your teeth do not fit together following your accident you need to go to the hospital for treatment and assessment first.
For less severe injuries, such as a loose or knocked out tooth, follow the steps below:
Procedures for a loose tooth:
- If you have a loose tooth from sports or an accident you should see a dentist immediately. You might have bleeding in the gum tissue, however if you can reposition the tooth and stabilise it into place there is a good chance it will survive in the long run.
- Baby teeth that are very loose will often be removed – your dentist will advise you in this case.
Procedures for a knocked-out tooth
- If the tooth is knocked out of the mouth and can be found, you have a good chance of saving it. Rinse it under water for 10 seconds – don’t wipe or scrub it the tooth as this can damage the roots. Place it back in the socket. Hold the top of the tooth, not the root when you’re handling it.
- If you cannot place it back into the socket then store the tooth in milk if you have some available, failing that use saliva. Worst case you can wrap it in a moistened paper towel, but don’t store it in plain water.
- A tooth that is replaced into the socket within 30 minutes has a good chance of surviving, anywhere up to an hour is acceptable, but the sooner you can do this the greater the chance you have of saving the tooth.
- Children’s Baby teeth that are knocked-out are not to be replanted.
- All cases of a lost tooth need to be urgently assessed by a dentist. The treatment options vary depending on the severity of the case, however it’s common to splint the tooth to the surrounding teeth for 1-2 weeks, much like doctors will do with a finger injury. If the bone has been fractured there could be more serious implications.
- See a local emergency dentist in Sydney ASAP and they could still save it.
Procedures for Fractured Teeth
- Tooth fractures can range in severity from minor, for chipped outer layers of enamel and dentin, to severe, where fractures of the tooth and root can occur.
- If you are experiencing sharp pain when chewing food or drinking this could be an incomplete fracture. Dentists can fix this with a filling. More serious cases can require a crown and others a crown and root canal. X-rays can determine the severity of the fracture and determine what treatment is required.
- Damage to the enamel only can be handled in a relatively simple manner, more complex treatment may be required for fractures to the secondary layer of the tooth, the dentin, and the innermost area of the tooth, the pulp.
- Serious fractures that expose the dentin and the pulp of the tooth needed to be treated immediately, contact an emergency dentist in these scenarios.
What to do before you see an emergency dentist in Sydney?
Step 1: Call and book yourself in for an urgent appointment.
Step 2: If you are waiting to see the dentist and you are suffering from tooth pain or toothache, take some anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen to help ease the pain or paracetamol. Take two paracetamol pills and wait two to three hours before repeating the dose again. If you have injured yourself in a sporting incident or around the house, be sure to consult a doctor to assess the severity of the injuries.
Is it a dental emergency if I chipped my tooth?
This depends on the severity of the case (see above for fractured teeth). In any instance, here is some basic advice on what to do when this happens. If you can find the chipped piece lying on the floor, pick it up and bring it with you to the dentist. They could still use it – but there are resins that dentists use if they can’t reattach it so don’t stress if you cannot find it or you swallowed it.
Do I need the dentist or a doctor?
People suffering from tooth pain should see a dentist. In addition to the chipped, loose and lost tooth scenarios discussed above, people suffering from toothaches can have complications arise that they need to monitor.
When you have a toothache there are some symptoms and characteristics that you need to take seriously. These are warning signs that you have a dental infection that may have spread.
- Headaches and suffering from confusion
- Fever and a high temperature
- Swelling or tenderness of the floor of the mouth
- Trouble seeing and/or double vision
If you have these symptoms and swelling around the eye should go a doctor or the hospital right away. If you aren’t exhibiting these warning signs but you have swelling around your jaw, sharp tooth pain, or you have pus draining from the base of the tooth then you should see a dentist immediately. If you have a general toothache then you should see the dentist, however it’s probably not an emergency situation.
Where to find an emergency dentists Sydney
Not all dentists or dental clinics operate after hours to provide emergency services. This site has a list of emergency dentists that operate near you.
The costs will be higher because of after-hours rates, however your health should be your primary concern. Delaying treatment can lead to complications and the need for more work to be done in the future.