29 Apr

Dental experts advise patients against attempting DIY dental care

Dental experts are advising patients against attempting DIY dental care during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Many practices in the UK have been closed for over a month now, and dentists are eager to ensure patients have access to urgent care so that they don’t need to try and undertake procedures at home. 

Recently, there have been stories in the national and local press describing DIY tooth extractions, and the message from experts is to avoid this kind of at-home care. Patients who are in a lot of pain, those who sustain dental injuries and individuals who are experiencing signs of an abscess or dental infection, for example, swelling and fever, can still access emergency dental services. 

Pulling out teeth can be a complex procedure and there is a risk of complications, including excessive bleeding. Extracting a tooth without anaesthetic is also likely to be very painful. If patients do feel like they need a tooth taking out, the first port of call should be their usual dental practice. Dentists are providing telephone consultations, they can prescribe medication online, and they can also refer patients who need an urgent appointment to a local urgent care dental hub. 

There is a real risk of doing more harm than good when attempting to treat dental ailments and tackle pain without expert help. Patients can call their dentist for advice, and NHS 111 is also available out of hours and for those who are not registered with a dentist. 

Emergency dental services are designed to treat those who need immediate attention. Examples of dental emergencies include severe dental pain, which doesn’t get better with pain relief, abscesses and infections and dental injuries. Dentists can provide advice via the phone or through a video call for patients with mild symptoms and minor ailments such as toothache or a chipped tooth.