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Handling Dental Emergencies over the festive period

14th December 2016

No matter how good you are at attending for your dental appointments, dental problems are likely to affect most people at some point. There are several simple things you can do to help prior to seeing the dentist.

  • Toothache or Swelling

First thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water and use interdental cleaning aids to removing any food which may have become caught exacerbating the problem. Place a cold compress outside your mouth to help reduce any swelling. Most toothaches or swelling are likely to be caused by infection in the tooth or gum, this will need to be treated by the dentist. They may open the tooth or gum to help drain the infection away and may prescribe antibiotics to ensure that all the infection clears. You will require further treatment, often a root canal treatment to ensure that the infection does not keep reoccurring.

  • Chipped or Cracked Tooth

Rinse your mouth to remove any remaining loose pieces of the tooth, to prevent you swallowing them.
The dentist may be able to repair the tooth with a new filling, a crown or in the worst case the tooth may need to be extracted. If the tooth does need to be extracted the dentist will be able to advise you of the next options, whether this be a bridge, denture or implant.

  • Lost Filing

As a temporary measure until you see the dentist, use an over the counter temporary filling material to fill the hole. Your dentist may be able to replace the filling or crown the tooth to return it to its former state.

  • Knocked out Tooth

If a permanent tooth is knocked out by a direct impact, trip or fall. If you can replace the tooth into the gum as quickly as possible, making sure it is facing the right way. If it is not possible to reinsert the tooth, seek immediate dental help. There is the highest possibility of saving the tooth if you are seen by a dentist within an hour of the accident.

  • Broken braces and wires

If a wire breaks or becomes loose and is poking your cheek, tongue or gum place a small amount of orthodontic wax (ask your orthodontist for some wax) over the end to provide protection until you can attend to have the problem fixed. Never cut the wire as you could end up swallowing it!

The Essex Smile Centre will be open as normal until Friday 23rd December. Should you have any problems in the run up to Christmas call the practice on 01268 742333 before 10am and we will endeavour to see you as quickly as possible, ensuring you are able to enjoy your Christmas dinner in comfort.

The Essex Smile Centre will be closed on Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th December and Monday 2nd January. If you are a private or Denplan patient and have a dental emergency when the practice is closed please ring 01268 742333 the answerphone will give you details of how to contact the emergency dentist. If you are an NHS patient, please call 111 for further advice. The practice will be open as normal between Christmas and New Year.

For Denplan patients who are away from home, please contact the Denplan Emergency line on 0800 844999 if within the UK or +44(0)1962 844999 if abroad. Denplan will then be able to help you find a suitable dentist within the local area to help provide you with emergency treatment.

All the team at The Essex Smile Centre would like to wish our patients a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to seeing you all in 2017.