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When to get an emergency dentist appointment

What is considered a dental emergency?

Here at Smïl, we know that a dental emergency can happen unexpectedly, out of the blue. As an emergency dentist in Chatham, Kent, we are proud to offer our patients appointments when they urgently require our specialist dental care.

Here’s our guide on what is considered a dental emergency and how you know when to get an emergency dentist appointment…

What is considered a dental emergency?

Sometimes it can be difficult to know if you are experiencing a genuine dental emergency and when to get an emergency dentist appointment. For example, is toothache an emergency? Or maybe you have lost a filling and don’t know whether that is considered an emergency? 

These are some of the most common dental emergencies:

* Signs of a spreading oral infection – e.g. fever, fatigue, sore/ swollen glands in your neck
* An abscess
* A tooth that has been knocked out
* Swelling to mouth, or face as a result of your mouth
* Severe oral pain or toothache
* A filling has fallen out
* A broken or loose tooth which is painful or bleeding
* Jaw tenderness or trismus (lockjaw)
* A dental or oral problem that might affect another medical condition, such as a dental infection impacting on diabetes/blood sugar
* Signs of oral cancer

When you experience a dental emergency, we understand that it can be uncomfortable, inconvenient and upsetting. Dental discomfort or trauma can occur at any time which is why we reserve a number of emergency dental appointments for our patients. We strive to see those patients who are experiencing dental emergencies within 24 hours and offer dental treatment. 

Non-emergency dental concerns

As a rule, the following issues are not usually considered to be dental emergencies:

* sensitive teeth
* bleeding gums and gum disease
* mild wisdom tooth pain and swelling
* mild toothache or oral pain
* cracked or chipped teeth
* broken or loose fillings
* broken or loose crowns or veneers
* loose or broken dentures

However, since they may still cause some discomfort or difficulties with eating, we usually seek to provide treatment and relief as soon as possible. 

FAQs about the most common dental emergencies 

* What happens at an emergency dental appointment? 

One of our dental experts will listen to your concerns, examine the problem area/s and then provide treatment within the appointment, if possible. A temporary treatment may be required – to reduce your pain or stabilise your bite. A permanent treatment may then be scheduled at a follow-up appointment.

* Have you lost a filling? What to do next… 

When a filling falls out, it is important to keep the site as clean as possible – gargle with warm salty water and brush very gently to remove bacteria and food debris. It is best to avoid chewing on the side with the missing filling. In the case of a lost filling, we have set aside days and times where we can care for your dental needs – please call our team to discuss. 

* Is toothache an emergency

The answer isn’t always straightforward. If you have a toothache that lasts for more than two days; isn’t relieved by regular painkillers (paracetamol or ibuprofen); you experience a high temperature, pain when you bite, red gums, or a bad taste in your mouth; and your cheek or jaw is swollen, then you should call and make an emergency appointment. 

* Have you had a tooth knocked out by accident?

A knocked-out tooth definitely requires emergency dental treatment. If your entire tooth falls out, do not wipe or cleanse the gum. Instead rinse your mouth with salty water. Place the tooth in a cup of milk or salty water to safely preserve it and seek immediate treatment. 

Here for all your dental needs 

Smïl’s team of dental experts are passionate about providing patients with high standards of dental care and delivering transformative results. 

If you’re wondering when to get an emergency dentist appointment then give us a call to discuss your concerns. We are proud to offer our patients emergency dental appointments, here at our clinic in Chatham Dockside.

Smïl  – your trusted emergency dentist, Chatham Kent

Depending on the type of emergency, our goal is to relieve discomfort the same day. You can expect the highest level of care at your emergency dental appointment. 

As well as emergency dentistry, we also offer our patients:

* Restorative and preventative dentistry

* Cosmetic dentistry – straightening and whitening 

* Rejuvenating facial aesthetic treatments

If you need an emergency dentist, Chatham, Kent – or any of our other dental services – please call 01634 756 536 and book an appointment with a member of our expert dental team. Alternatively, for non-emergencies, you may wish to contact us by email

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Smil, Unit 69-70, Dockside Outlet Shopping Centre, Maritime Way, St Mary's Island, Chatham, ME4 3ED