Emergency Dentistry in Hertfordshire
We understand that you may need to see us when we are not in the office. Call us as soon as possible so we can advise you on what to do until we meet at our Berkhamsted dental practice or so we can recommend going to the hospital emergency room if the situation warrants it. We also offer evening and weekend appointments when necessary so we can be there for our patients when they need us most.
What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?
Many issues that do not cause pain, such as a minor chipped tooth, sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, or re-cementing a crown can be done during normal office hours. These types of dental issues are generally not emergencies.
To determine if you are experiencing a true dental emergency, you would likely have one or more of the following:
- Severe pain
- Bleeding from mouth
- Loose teeth or teeth that have come out unexpectedly
- Swelling in the mouth or face
- Bulges, swelling, or knots on the gums
If you experience any of these symptoms, give us a call immediately.
Dental Emergencies We Treat
We strive to be there for our patients when they need us. Below are some of the dental emergencies we commonly treat.
If you are in pain, it may be an abscess in your tooth—bacterial infections such as these should be treated as soon as possible. Give us a call and we will set up an appointment to see you.
In the meantime, an ice pack may help; do not apply heat to the area as that exacerbates the problem. You can also ease the pain with over-the-counter medication, but do not put pills directly on your sore tooth.
Chipped or Broken Tooth
Minor chips that do not hurt are not usually considered a dental emergency. If you are concerned about it, please give us a call to explain what happened. Chipped teeth can usually wait to be repaired and our dental team has the knowledge and expertise to fix your tooth. In the meantime, be careful not to chip it more.
When a tooth breaks, it needs to be seen right away to increase the chances of saving the tooth so call us immediately. Broken teeth can almost always be saved, however, a cracked or broken tooth may have damage inside the tooth as well, which is why this type of damage is classified as an emergency.
For breaks, gently rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress if the area is swollen. If you are in pain, take acetaminophen, not aspirin, and do not apply topical painkillers to your gums because it can harm the gum tissue. If it is a minor breakage, we may be able to mend it with a white filling. For serious breaks, we may need to place a root canal and crown.
For patients that have a tooth knocked out, you need to call us and see us immediately to increase the chances that your natural tooth takes root again. We may be able to save your tooth if we see you in time. After two hours, the chances of restoring your natural tooth are poor.
For a tooth that gets knocked out, pick it up by the crown—do not touch the roots. Rinse the tooth off gently with water but be careful not to remove any tissue attached to it or scrub it. If the tooth looks clean, put it back in its socket and hold it in place by gently biting down.
If storing it in the socket is not possible, put the tooth in a container of cold milk until you can get to our office. We will do our best to save your natural tooth or provide you with other options, such as a dental implant if your natural tooth does not take root.
Of course, there are other instances besides these that are considered a dental emergency. If you have any other issues or accidents, call us and we will take care of you.