The debate around whether urgent care should be sought at a dental clinic offering this service or with a visit to the accident and emergency room at a hospital is a long-standing one. The hospital is, by its very nature, an incredibly busy place, especially the A&E. According to one report, the A&E has witnessed ever larger numbers of people seeking treatment – with 24.8 million attendances recorded on average in 2019. This high number of patients places incredible pressure on hospitals that must influence patient waiting times.
The mouth is one area in the body that is made up of numerous structures that function in harmony with each other. It is an organ that is defined by its complexity, which is why there is a whole area in medicine devoted to it – dentistry.
Dental practitioners spend an exhaustive amount of time dedicated to studying the mouth and all its integrated parts. It is the understanding of this complex nature that underlines the importance of seeking treatment from a professionally-trained emergency dentist when experiencing dental discomfort or problems. Dentists are best placed to diagnose, treat and provide relief in a safe and effective manner.
Emergency dental care is required for a number of various reasons with the two main categories being firstly, undeniable structural destruction to teeth (loss of teeth, damaged or fractured tooth, filling or crown falling out) and secondly, the sensation of pain or discomfort (tooth decay, abscess, and infection). Common symptoms that highlight a potentially serious dental problem range from bleeding in the mouth to swollen gums and glands. There are also those times when it is necessary to visit the hospital – excessive bleeding, intense pain and trauma to the facial area.
Depending on the nature and severity of a problem, patients are not always required to seek same-day dental care, but are advised to do so as soon as possible. Seeking treatment for a lost crown, for example, while not regarded as critically urgent, should not be delayed unnecessarily. Any damage that exposes the highly sensitive inner structures of the tooth to bacteria and germs has the potential to lead to serious consequences that will cost far more to repair or treat.
One of the least understood dental emergencies is that of a tooth that is knocked out of its socket. The most common reason for this is that the repercussions of this dental emergency are not immediate. A lost tooth or teeth is mistakenly believed as no cause for alarm since the mouth has other teeth to rely on. But the consequences do not stop here, as can be seen in what happens further down the line. Open spaces in the dental arch occasion the possibility of remaining teeth moving out of position and alignment. Other equally concerning issues include the deterioration of jawbone density that will adversely impact the structural integrity of the remaining teeth.
For urgent assistance for a dental-related problem seek out a dental clinic staffed by qualified caring dentists. Don’t wait for a dental emergency before finding a dental clinic that offers out-of-hours dental care.