26 May

Dealing with a dental emergency in Central London

Not wishing to impugn the human nature of most people living in central London, but some of you do find it difficult to distinguish between a mild crisis and a full blown emergency- just ask the emergency services about some of the daft phone calls they receive each year. But panic is borne out of our ignorance and lack of preparation to an ‘incident’. It’s the same with dental emergencies, but by clueing ourselves up, we should at least then, be able distinguish between calling up a dentist at two in the morning because there’s a piece of food stuck in your teeth, as opposed to calling an ambulance because you have a life threatening abscess. Most ‘emergencies’ are very minor; an annoying tooth ache, a chipped tooth, or if a bridge, crown, veneer or filling have dropped out- these are minor. Yes they need fixing, but not immediately. Until you can get to the dentist, relief can be found through pain killers, and herbal products can soothe and calm inflammation or discomfort. Losing a tooth is a different matter, depending on the nature of the loss. Most dentists run an out-of-hours hotline you can call in emergencies such as this. The worst case scenario is an abscess. If your face has started to swell, no tablets on earth is going to stop your blood from the poisoning process- now you can call the ambulance!