It is fair to say that in the last year, people have been more cautious about their health.
And with ongoing lockdowns and social distancing occurring around the globe, it can be a confusing time if you are experiencing a medical emergency; have the rules changed in relation to what is considered worthy of same-day treatment? Or are they the same as they were before the pandemic?
Nowhere is this more evident than in dentistry. Do you still need to see a dental practitioner urgently if you have a toothache? Or can you leave it for a bit longer due to social distancing rules? In this article, the most common dental emergencies are listed, providing you with a guide for when you need to see an emergency dentist Sydney CBD.
A universal indicator that you need to see a dental team urgently is discomfort with a tooth or anywhere in your mouth.
If you notice a growing feeling of soreness, bruising or general aching that worsens with pressure, hot or cold drinks or with no additional stimuli at all, it is time to book a same-day appointment. Such discomfort could be indicative of a dental abscess or could point to a cavity forming, both of which require urgent medical attention by a dentist.
Dental swelling commonly accompanies an abscess, impacted teeth and gum disease. If you awake one morning to see a swelling on the side of your face, under your jaw or anywhere in your oral area, it’s time to book an emergency dental appointment.
Remember, even if the swelling doesn’t cause discomfort, it still requires an assessment, as leaving it to grow can cause issues with eating and breathing.
Cracks and chips
Far less dramatic than swelling or discomfort, cracked or chipped teeth are exceedingly common, particularly in younger children or in those who play sports.
Even if you have only just noticed a minor crack in your tooth or teeth, it is still worth seeking an emergency medical appointment to have the chip or crack repaired. Why? Because an open crack in the enamel can allow bacteria to get underneath the tooth, causing decay or even infections to occur. The same is true for chips and as the treatment is a simple filling of composite, it is better to get any external damage treated before it worsens and ruins your teeth.
Recurrent ulcers are always a concern in dentistry, especially if they appear in the same place and visually have a white look to them.
If you have recurrent ulcers that are sore, white in colour or bleed when touched, talk to your dental team. If an ulcer grows to the size of a 5p coin, seek emergency treatment at your nearest hospital.
Lost fillings and crowns
Another emergency that may or may not be uncomfortable, lost restoratives require emergency care.
Like a crack in the enamel, failure to have a lost filling refitted can cause decay to set in or lead to a secondary infection.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.