There are valid reasons for having an emergency dentist on hand. This is a dentist who will ‘fit you in’ if you need treatment that can’t wait, or who keeps a certain amount of time in the day free for emergencies. A dentist who books up their day completely has no room left for emergency work unless they simply put you in and then everyone else has to wait. Sometimes this can’t be helped, but it is better if it can be avoided.
Knowing who to go to in an emergency situation takes some of the stress out of it, especially if you are sure they’ll be able to see you – or your child – when needed. So when are you likely to need emergency treatment at the dentist?
- If you play sport and end up getting your face kicked, or a ball – or hockey stick – in the face, knocking your teeth out or breaking them, you’ll need immediate treatment.
- If your child plays sports, rides a bike or a skateboard, or goes skating on a rink, it is likely they will fall at some time and damage their teeth. They may even have one knocked out.
- If you don’t go to the dentist on a regular basis you are likely to wake up in the middle of the night with a severe toothache from a decay. You’ll want to get to the dentist as soon as possible to get that filling.
- If you have a car accident, your teeth can be damaged, especially if your car is an old one with no air bags.
- If you are an older person who has falls, your teeth can be damaged and need emergency treatment to fix them.
- Little children often fall over, fall down steps or even off the sofa and this can damage their teeth or their mouth. A dentist may be needed.
There are several ways in which the dentist can restore damaged teeth. What treatment he or she gives will depend on the damage done.
- A chipped tooth can be treated by bonding. A resin the same colour as the tooth is placed over it to hide the chipped part and make it look like new again. It may have to be replaced every so often.
- Crowns or caps are used to repair a tooth that is broken right off, but still has a solid base and roots. The colour is matched to the original tooth and it will look just like the old tooth. This is a permanent repair.
- A veneer can be placed over several teeth if they are chipped or damaged.
It is far better to have a mouthguard fitted so that your teeth can be protected from a sporting injury.