Emergencies and After-Hours Dental Care

Accidents can happen at any time, and dental emergencies are no exception.  We understand how difficult, painful and inconvenient dental emergencies can be. We are here to help you every step of the way. Smile House has got you covered for your emergency dental needs.

When to Seek Emergency Dental Care.

Knowing when to seek emergency dental care can mean the difference between saving or losing a damaged tooth.

The following may assist you in your decision-making on whether to seek help.

Toothache, tooth pain or sensitivity.

If you are experiencing severe or persistent tooth pain or sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet or pressure seeking emergency treatment is important.  This discomfort could indicate a serious dental issue, such as an infection associated with the nerve within the tooth, a crack in the tooth, or breakage.

Swelling or bleeding gums.

Swelling may indicate infection or possibly a cyst. Other conditions, such as gum disease, can appear as red, swollen or bleeding gums.   In some cases, a medical-related condition may also be the cause. A diagnostic assessment is required to determine the cause of these symptoms you are experiencing and put your mind at ease with your emergency.

Knocked out tooth.

If you happen to be unlucky enough to have a tooth knocked out, timing is crucial in assessing damage to the tooth and the surrounding bone and soft tissue. A good time frame is usually within half an hour of the incident; if possible. In some cases, the tooth can be re-inserted, and root canal therapy carried out.  Contact our rooms immediately, we will do everything in our power to save your tooth.

Jaw pain or difficulty opening wide.

Having the jaw assessed by us to determine the cause of the pain is essential.

Jaw pain can happen for a number of reasons.

  • Opening too wide and overstretching the muscles, such as yawning, possibly causing the disc or meniscus to dislocate.
  • Eating something too hard which has created a fulcrum, and muscles are overstretched.
  • Staying open for too long.
  • Knocks to the lower jaw, through a fall or sporting injury or car accident.
  • Any of the above can lead to Temporo-mandibular joint dysfunction syndrome or TMJ/TMD.
  • Treating the above can be complex in some cases, depending on the severity of the problem to begin with.
  • It is important that this be checked by us to alleviate any further damage, assess what is required, to assist with your jaw pain.

Treating the issue.

  • In some cases, an occlusal splint is required to help alleviate further pressure on the jaw joint area.
  • Do not open wide with yawns or eating. Cut all your food up small, and avoid hard or chewy foods at all costs.
  • In some cases going on a soft diet is advised
  • Using heat over the jaw joint area may also help with the symptoms.
  • In some cases, anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed.
  •  Referral to a specialist may be required.

Oral infections or abscesses.

If there is an infection in your mouth, whether it be gum or tooth related, it is necessary to have this assessed for your general health reasons.  It is well-documented that oral infections can have an effect on the lining of your heart.  Therefore, it is imperative to seek professional advice from us regarding the nature of the infection or abscess.

Loose or fractured teeth.

A loose or fractured tooth may require emergency dental care to prevent further damage.

A loose tooth can happen through,

  • Poor oral health, such as gum disease (periodontal disease), can cause a tooth to be loose.
  • A knock to the tooth may have been hard enough to cause the tooth to dislodge slightly out of its socket, therefore, causing the tooth to feel loose.
  • Through a fall.
  • Loss of the bone and ligament that supports the tooth into the socket.
  • A fractured tooth because of injury, eating on something hard, or a knock to the face.

Broken dental restorations.

  • Dental restoration can break in some cases, this may happen due to the filling being too high. If it’s an old restoration, there could be recurrent decay under the filling, causing the filling to be unsupported.
  • If the restoration is a porcelain crown or porcelain overlay, it may break due to harder foods, and restoration undermined because of decay
  • A knock or blow to the face causes you to clamp down too hard.

Dislodged Crown or bridge

There are a number of reasons why a bridge or crown can become dislodged.

  • Decay undermining the restoration.
  • Wear over time.
  • Trauma to the face.

Whatever the reason may be, getting things checked to prevent any further damage is important. Opposing teeth can over-erupt the space where the permanent restoration was sitting, therefore affecting the possibility of having the crown re-inserted. As soon as restoration feels loose or comes out, contact us straight away, so we can rectify the issue for you immediately.

What to do in a dental emergency.

Dental emergencies are stressful for all concerned.  The most important thing to do is to remain calm throughout the process. Seeking dental treatment as soon as possible from us is also very important.

  1. Remaining calm through the emergency.
  2. Taking deep breaths to relax will only help the situation.
  3. If there is any bleeding, control the bleeding with gentle pressure to the site with a clean cloth or gauze until you seek our help.
  4. If a tooth has dislodged, bring this with you to the appointment. Subject to the damage, it may be reinserted.
  5. The same applies to a crown or overlay, these may be recemented in some cases, depending on the reason why this dislodged in the first place.
  6. Dental pain can be debilitating, depending on the severity, and in some cases, it can be controlled with over-the-counter medication. In other situations, you may require prescribed medication. If there is swelling associated with tooth pain, prescribe antibiotics to help with the swelling. It is very necessary to have this properly assessed by us to determine the cause.
  7. We suggest that you seek our care or care from an emergency clinic as soon as possible. As we have previously mentioned, this can mean the difference between saving the tooth or not.

Emergencies can happen at any stage and sometimes outside regular working hours.    Please feel relaxed knowing that we are here to help you. We offer late evening appointments on Thursdays and Fridays, as well as Saturdays. Should a dental emergency occur outside these times, please call us.  Our after-hours service is there for you.

There are no additional charges for our after-hours emergency services.

We do understand that dental emergencies can happen at any stage.  Our team is committed to assisting you with all your dental needs, whether emergency or general dental needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Avoid those dental Emergencies.

Dental emergencies can happen at any stage, for example, when it is due to a fall or accident.  Most emergencies can be prevented under normal circumstances.

Here are some suggestions of what and what not to do.

  1. Practice good oral hygiene habits.  Brush twice per day and floss at least once a day to maintain the health of your gums and teeth.
  2. Diet plays a very important role in having good oral health.  So avoid all the sticky sweet foods and sports drinks which are full of sugar; consider a healthier diet for the long-term benefit of keeping those pearly whites.
  3. Hard food can also have an effect on the teeth. some can cause cracks or fractures in teeth.
  4. Avoid using our teeth for opening or tearing things.  This can put undue load on the tooth structure, causing cracking or fractures.
  5. When playing contact sports, always wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and jaw. Having the mouthguard support when you are knocked will only help lessen the damage caused.
  6. Keep up with hydration, the oral cavity loves to be moist, food particles wash out of the mouth easier when it is moist. So keep up with the water  When the mouth is dry.  food tends to stick to the teeth, causing acid leakage from the foods, which leads to decay in the teeth.
  7. Looking after your oral health can also help with looking after your general health.  Maintain regular dental checkups and cleaning.  Having these on a 6 monthly basis allows us to see if there is anything developing and repairing while things are small, therefore avoiding the need for dental emergencies in the future.
  8. You are in control of looking after your oral health to avoid those unwanted dental emergencies.
  9. Invest in yourself and your oral health by being proactive in your approach to your oral health and avoiding those unwanted extra expenses!

Smile House | (03) 8521 0777