Extreme trauma to your teeth can leave a mark for life. That is why it is important to go in for emergency dental treatment quickly. But emergency dental treatment in London can cost a fortune, so you should know when to seek it. For instance, your cap coming loose can wait a couple of days for the regular appointment. But sharp shooting pains in your mouth that travel all along the jaw line need emergency attention or in the case of an accident where your teeth have been knocked out. Depending upon the pain you can decide on the type of treatment that you want. Keep reading to know how you can avail emergency dental treatment:
- The first thing to do is to call your dentist. For practical purposes have your doctors on speed dial. If you are unable to get through, call the dentist’s office line and you will know how to get to him in an emergency. Don’t panic. Most situations are reversible. If you are not able to get in touch at all, go to the nearest hospital and avail their emergency dental treatment. Don’t forget to carry your Medicaid card.
- In case there isn’t any dentist or hospital nearby, search the internet or the phone book for an emergency dentist that you can get to, in the surrounding areas. Google “24- hour dentist” and you should be able to find somebody. Don’t be jittery. It’s better to receive medical attention from an unknown source than none at all.
- And then if your luck is really running bad and you can’t find anyone; look up a dental school nearby. They generally have walk in clinics that operate 24×7. You may not be confident about the medical attention that you get there, but under the circumstances, it is your best bet!
- If you are new to London, ask your neighbor or colleague for their dentist contact and see what they come up with. The idea is to get treated in time, so don’t be cranky about the who and the where of it.
What can you do on your way to the dentist?
Nothing drastic of course! If you are bleeding from the mouth and think it’s from your gum, hold handkerchief there and press to staunch the flow. Try not to lose blood. Keep calm so that your blood pressure doesn’t spike up and keep breathing normally. You can also use a cold compress as that will stop the blood flow. Wrap ice in a cloth and press it against your jaw. It will also numb the pain.
If it is your teeth that have been dislocated and are hanging on precariously, then you are in a time frame. Teeth re- implanted within 30 minutes of dislodging have a better chance of making it to full recovery than otherwise.
This will ensure that you get emergency dental treatment. But in order to prevent such drastic action, take good treatment of your teeth and visit a dentist regularly.
Around 25,000 people seek emergency dental treatment in the UK each year. Often this is because slight niggling discomforts are ignored – which only leads to making the problem worse. Or people do not seek out dental treatment in the first instance because they can’t afford it. The British Dental Association, for example, found approximately 68 percent of people in 2011 deferred dental treatment due to the cost.
There are emergency dental treatment options available though. For example, if you do need urgent care, then contact your local dentist and make an appointment immediately. Many dentists offer emergency dental treatment an after hours service or have recorded messages on their answer phones detailing other emergency dental treatment services.
There may be times when you haven’t yet registered with a dentist, have moved away, aren’t in your local area, cannot be seen by your dentist or you simply don’t know who to call or where to go. Don’t despair! There are other options available out there for emergency dental treatment if you need immediate or after-hour care. Simply call the local Primary Care Trust (PCT) for your area or the area that you are temporarily in and ask for the dental access helpline. They can put you in touch with emergency dentists in the area.
Another option is to contact NHS Direct on 0845-4647. NHS Direct offers a 24-hour medical service and will advise you of what to do and provide details of any 24 hour dentists in your area. Receiving emergency care needn’t cost a fortune, even if you require several visits of urgent treatment you will only be charged £17.00 for the whole course. Keep in mind you may also be entitled to free NHS emergency dental treatment too: The NHS Choices site (www.nhs.uk) has a full list for those entitled to free urgent care.
If you need a dentist out of hours, NHS Choices also provides a list of 24 hour emergency dentists in your area. Once your emergency dental treatment has been completed you may be advised to make another appointment for a second course of non-urgent care, in this case you will be charged accordingly.
Another option is contacting your local Minor Injuries unit who will advise you of dentists in your area that have emergency appointments available. University Dental Hospitals are a much cheaper option of urgent care, and services are mostly free, if you are willing to have a supervised trainee dentist. However, the service may be limited and some University hospitals operate on a first come, first served basis and are not available after hours. It would be wise to check the regulations at the dental hospital near you as they do vary.
Because, accidents and dental problems do arise, it is important to know what affordable emergency dental treatment services are available to you and your family. If you do need emergency dental treatment you can also use the NHS website for advice about dental treatments, how to deal with pain or bleeding and self-care.
This article looks at the procedure of and reasons for wisdom teeth extraction. Unfortunately – although possibly not for me – I have managed to reach the ripe old age of 40 without my wisdom teeth being extracted, so cannot include a personal testimony. Interestingly, there is also contradictory evidence as to the need for and prevalence of wisdom teeth extraction – during my research, I discovered that 85% of people ‘NEED’ to undergo the procedure of wisdom teeth extraction whilst elsewhere, 85% of people DO NOT NEED to!
Nevertheless, the four wisdom teeth usually start to grow through the gums during a person’s late teens or early twenties. Because the other 28 adult teeth are usually in place by this time, the growth of a further four teeth is likely to lead to problems – such as the wisdom teeth displacing the other teeth, partially emerging or growing at an angle – hence the need for wisdom teeth extraction.
Wisdom teeth that do not emerge properly are known as impacted wisdom teeth.
There are four different types of impaction:
Distal: When the wisdom tooth grows away from the tooth next to it and becomes lodged
Horizontal: When the tooth grows horizontally
Mesial: When the wisdom tooth grows at an angle facing the front of the mouth
Vertical: When the wisdom tooth is growing straight but cannot break through the gums properly.
Wisdom teeth that are impacted or have not fully broken through the surface of the gums may cause food and bacteria to get trapped. This can lead to dental caries (tooth decay), cellulitis (infection), gingivitis or periodontal disease (gum disease), pericoronitis (plaque infecting the soft tissue around the tooth), abscesses, cysts or osteomvelitis (an infection inside the bone of your jaw).
Clearly then, the lesson to be learnt here is that if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort due to your wisdom teeth: Go and see your dentist! Your wisdom teeth may not actually need to be extracted – any disease may, in the first instance, be treatable with antiseptic mouthwash or antibiotics.
If you are experiencing problems with your wisdom teeth, do not wait until your next check up. Instead, make an appointment with your dentist whereby they will X-ray your teeth to determine the best course of action – treatment with antibiotics, wisdom teeth extraction by a dentist or by an oral surgeon if the procedure is likely to be more specialist or complicated.
The cost and method of payment should be discussed before the procedure begins. Before surgery, you will be given a local anaesthetic by injection and possibly a sedative if you are especially anxious. General anaesthetics are rarely used – and will be done in a hospital if this is the case.
A small incision will be made in the gum if the wisdom tooth has not broken through. The tooth may also be broken into smaller parts if that makes it easier to extract through the opening. You may also feel some pressure before the tooth is removed because the dentist may need to rock the tooth back and forth in order to widen the socket.
Stitches to seal the gum after an incision has been made may also be necessary. These will dissolve after 7 to 10 days. After extraction, gauze will be placed over the empty tooth socket and you will be required to bite on the gauze for up to an hour in order for a blood clot to form. This is a very important part of the healing process as ‘dry socket’ may occur if a blood clot becomes dislodged or does not form properly.
So, if you do need your wisdom teeth extracted – good luck, and let me know how it goes!