Dentistry on Lockdown - What is Emergency Dental Treatment?

Dentistry on Lockdown - What is Emergency Dental Treatment?

We’re staying home and staying safe… meaning most dental work will have to be put to one side for now. But what if you need emergency treatment?

As part of Ocean Clinic’s specialist cosmetic team, patients come to us seeking elective treatment to improve and upgrade their smile, rather than just day-to-day basic dental care.

But while aesthetics are our speciality, health is, of course, the foundation of beauty. That’s why we always provide holistic dental care, making sure our cosmetic improvements are built around healthy gums and teeth, which are in harmony with the function of the muscles and jaw joints.

We know problems can sometimes occur, especially as we deal with more complex cases, including patients who have had repeated treatments in the same area or have neglected their teeth for a long time (due to fear or financial reasons).

So, what constitutes a dental emergency?

You need to seek urgent dental treatment if you have:

  • Facial swelling extending to the eye or neck or floor of the mouth
  • Bleeding due to trauma of the mouth
  • A severely broken tooth or a tooth that has fallen out and is causing you pain
  • Toothache that is preventing you from sleeping and eating, combined with swelling and fever that is not manageable by painkillers
  • Difficulty swallowing due to swelling

Bleeding gums, loose or lost crowns, rubbing dentures, broken fillings, chipped teeth with no pain and loose orthodontic wires are classified as non-urgent and may need to wait until regular services are reopened and able to help you again. However, here are some solutions to less urgent, common causes of dental discomfort to help you cope at home during lockdown.

Coping with other conditions

For any other dental discomfort, over-the-counter painkillers can help. However, if you believe you may have covid-19, you should take paracetamol in preference to ibuprofen.

Sensitive teeth

If you have extreme sensitivity to hot or cold food or drink, sensitive toothpaste can help. Rub the affected area directly with a toothpaste such as Sensodyne Repair or even anaesthetic gel like Orajel and do not rinse away. Apply up to three times a day after meals and before bed.

Painful wisdom teeth

If you have wisdom tooth pain, most flare-ups can be managed with good home care. Do a thorough cleaning of the area with a soft brush (even if painful to touch) and use Corsodyl mouthwash. Try to keep to a soft diet and stop smoking. * Should you develop additional symptoms like a restricted mouth opening and swelling then you may need to be seen urgently.

Mouth ulcers

Most ulcers typically heal within 7-10 days. To ease the pain try hot, salty mouthwashes, Difflam Spray (benzydamine) and Orajel. Keep to a soft diet and use Corsodyl mouthwash to prevent infection.

If you are experiencing dental problems and are not sure whether you can get treatment, please call or email us and we’ll do our best to advise you.