What Do I Do In An Emergency?

Acute pain
Acute swelling
Traumatic damage
Uncontrollable bleeding
Broken tooth or lost filling or crown

Acute pain
If you are experiencing acute dental pain and are unable to contact the practice to arrange an appointment you might initially consider the use of painkillers such as those that you might normally use for a headache. If you take other medications or have any allergies or medical conditions, take the advice of a pharmacist. It is very important not to take more painkillers than the daily maximum. Contact the practice at the first convenient moment. If the pain becomes severe, contact the on-call dentist following the instructions on the emergencies page.

Acute swelling
If you feel that this is associated with a tooth, try to help the infection to drain itself by using hot salty water (cup of tea temperature) held in your mouth next to the affected area, allowing the heat to soak in and repeating as the fluid cools. If there is pain, follow the above advice.

If the swelling affects the opening of your eye or your ability to breath or swallow normally then seek the advice of the on-call dentist following the instructions on the emergencies page or attend a hospital emergency department.

Traumatic damage
If you or someone with you has broken a tooth or had a tooth knocked out for example by a sports injury or a fall follow this advice.
- Find the tooth quickly, avoid handling the root and if possible replace it into the socket as quickly as possible. If it is dirty clean it briefly and gently in the patient's own saliva first.
- If this is not possible, store it in the patient's mouth inside the cheek or in cool fresh milk and see a dentist urgently, within hours if possible. Do not wash the tooth in fresh water or allow it to dry out.
- If only parts of the tooth are missing, take them with you to the dentist if they are easily found. Don't worry too much if they are not located.
- Contact the on-call dentist following the instructions on the emergencies page.
- If the damaged tooth is not too sensitive to air, tender or displaced then treatment is not quite as urgent and contacting the practice on the next morning should be ok.

Uncontrollable bleeding
If you have had a tooth removed or other surgery carried out, it is normal for there to be some light oozing for a couple of days. If excessive bleeding occurs, follow these instructions:
- Gently rinse your mouth once to clear any blood.
- Look in your mouth to see where the bleeding is coming from.
- Roll up a piece of gauze or a handkerchief into a sausage shape to make a pad.
- Place the pad across the bleeding socket from the tongue side to the cheek side. If the socket is between two standing teeth, constrict the pad to fit in the space.
- Bite firmly to compress the pad onto the bleeding socket. Keep sitting up.
- Keep pressing for a full 20 minutes (Use your watch and don't keep peeping!).
- After 20 minutes, inspect the socket, repeat if bleeding still appears.
If you are unsuccessful after an hour or so, contact the the on-call dentist following the instructions on the emergencies page.

Broken tooth or lost filling or crown
- Keep the crown or the part of the tooth to give to the dentist.
- If there is no pain or acute sensitivity and any edges are not too sharp then you could wait until the surgery is next open to ring and arrange an appointment.
If suffering discomfort, contact the on-call dentist following the instructions on the emergencies page.