Thankfully in dentistry, for the most part, there are very few serious emergencies. During this unprecedented period, all dental practices have been advised not to carry out any examinations or treatment within the Practice, including emergency treatment.
Dental pain that does not respond to simple analgesics such as Paracetamol.
Dental trauma such as teeth that are knocked out or severely broken.
Serious cuts and abrasions to the lips or surrounding oral soft tissues.
Bleeding that cannot be controlled.
Swelling the causes difficulty breathing- this latter emergency usually requires an urgent referral to an A&E department but it is useful to let us know so that we can call the hospital in advance of your arrival, and facilitate your admission. Patients are advised to contact the practice if they are experiencing any of the above.
Episodes that ARE NOT considered an emergency include the following:
Loose or lost crowns, bridges or veneers
Fractured or loose dentures
Fractured loose or lost fillings
Chipped teeth with no pain
Bleeding gums without pain.
Advice for non-urgent cases
Use Paracetamol or any other "over-the-counter" pain-killer to control mild to moderate pain. Some of these may also be used together if the pain is moderate to severe but you must not exceed the doses described on the packaging and you should discuss combined medications with the pharmacist.
For sensitive, teeth a desensitising toothpaste can be very useful and can be applied to the affected tooth like an ointment. Please wash your hands immediately before and after putting your hands into your mouth
At Ashley House, we can still provide advice remotely, therefore avoiding unnecessary contact and travel wherever possible. The following tips might help you decide if you need to contact Ashley House or manage your problems at home, until we see you again.
Dental emergencies you should contact the practice about are as follows:
Broken cusps or lost fillings
Sharp broken edges can rub on the soft tissues causing a sore or ulcer and teeth can be sensitive to temperature or certain foods
Use temporary filling materials widely available from supermarkets and chemists and these can be replaced as necessary.
An infection usually starts with mild pain, slight swelling, redness in the gums, bleeding. Sometimes pus can be seen coming out from the gum. Teeth can sometimes be tender if you tap or bite down on them. Significant swelling and pain is an emergency.
Warm salty mouthwashes can be useful to "draw out" infection
Encourage the infection to drain by applying very slight pressure to any draining (leaky) gum-boils or abscesses.
Antibiotics may be necessary until normal treatment can be resumed and you should contact the practice to discuss this with the on-call dentist.
Clean the area thoroughly with any oral hygiene aids provided by your dentist or hygienist including brushes, interdental brushes or any type of floss. The aim is to remove plaque and if possible release any mild infection.
Being over-zealous with brushes can create gum ulcers so be accurate not vigorous.
Supplement normal cleaning with a mouthwash like warm salt mouthwash or those containing Chlorhexidine such a Corsodyl® 2-3 times per day for a few days.
If you have concerns then contact the practice by email or telephone and wait to hear from the on-call dentist. We appreciate your patience and support during these difficult times and we look forward to resuming a normal service as soon as possible.
If you require treatment, arrangements will be made for this to be carried out at a designated treatment centre. However, we can electronically prescribe antibiotics that can be dispensed at most local chemists or pharmacies after an emergency telephone consultation as necessary.
With very best wishes,
The team at Ashley House