What to do if you have a dental emergency this Christmas

Benfleet Dental Centre is open as normal until Tuesday 24th December so should you have problems in the run up to Christmas do not hesitate to call the surgery on 01702 557766 before 10 am so we can fit you in swiftly for treatment.

We will be closed for the festive period on Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th December and on Wednesday 1st January. On these days, should you experience a dental emergency please call the surgery on 01702 557766. The answerphone will provide you with details of how to contact the on-duty dentist and they will endeavour to help you in the best way possible.

What constitutes a dental emergency?

  1. A toothache or swelling

This is the most common reason patients seek emergency dental treatment. Pain is caused by an infection in the tooth root or gum. If this is the case the tooth or gum will need to be drained to release the infection. You may also be prescribed antibiotics to help clear any remaining infection.

2. Trauma to the face, mouth or teeth following an injury or accident

If you receive direct trauma to your face, mouth or teeth, there is the potential for damage to occur to your teeth. If any teeth become loose, chipped or damaged you will need to attend the dentist so that a full assessment can be carried out.

3. A permanent tooth knocked out

Sometimes when a permanent tooth is knocked out it is possible to replace it. If possible, the tooth should be immediately replaced in its socket, if there is a risk of swallowing keep the tooth in a container of body temperature milk. Once at the surgery, the dentist will advise on the best course of action.

4. A dry socket

If the blood does not clot properly following a tooth extraction, it is possible for an infection to develop in the extraction site; this is known as a dry socket. This is particularly common in smokers. It is often displayed with extreme pain and a bad smell emanating from the site. This can be treated by using a warm saline solution to clean the area and then packing the socket with an antibacterial dressing. The site will need to be cleaned regularly to reduce the chance of any further infection.

5. A broken tooth or lost filling

A broken tooth or lost filling may cause pain because of the sharp edges left behind or because the underlying dentine is exposed.

There are a variety of options available including re-filling or crowning the tooth or if the prognosis is poor the tooth may need to be extracted.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our patients a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. All the team at Benfleet Dental Centre look forward to seeing you in the new year. If, however the worst should happen and you do have a dental emergency over the festive period, do not hesitate to call Benfleet Dental Centre on 01702 557766.