What is a dental emergency?
Basically, a dental emergency is any dental problem that requires immediate treatment. This could be in order to save a tooth, stop ongoing tissue bleeding or alleviate severe pain.
A severe infection or abscess in the mouth can be life-threatening and should be dealt with immediately.
What if a dental emergency occurs during business hours?
Each morning we release 2 appointment spaces dedicated to dental emergencies. Priority is given to patients with swelling or fever. We do not inconvenience booked patients by double booking or squeezing-in.
Fees: It is not possible to quote a definite fee over the telephone for unseen problems. For example, an extraction can be simple, surgical, or require a specialist surgeon. However, during normal business hours there is a maximum emergency fee of $400 which includes the consultation and diagnosis, 2 X-rays and; a simple filling or extraction, or drainage of an infection, or palliative nerve removal, or a temporary sedative filling. We allow a 30 minute appointment for emergencies and will do whatever we can in that time to relieve you of pain. You must let the receptionist know this is an appointment for emergency treatment only when booking or it may be assumed you are coming in for regular treatment and regular fees will apply.
What if a dental emergency occurs at the end of business hours?
If the emergency spaces have been filled, we may offer an appointment after the last patient of the day, depending upon dentist and assistant availability. This is only offered to established patients who attend regularly.
Fees: There is a $90 surcharge fee.
What if a dental emergency occurs after hours or on public holidays?
A dentist may be available for established patients who attend regularly. As the dentist usually attends without an assistant, only treatment to relieve pain can be provided, and no difficult procedures can be attempted.
Fees: A flat fee of $400 is charged to cover traveling time and treatment.
Medical Emergency Tips
This can be a serious sign of infection and can be life threatening. It is very important to seek a dental diagnosis, so call us on 4625 4897 and let the receptionist know that you have facial swelling. We will see you on the day, even if we have no appointments available.
If, however, you are unable to see a dentist immediately, you should go to the local hospital without delay. Campbelltown Hospital Ph. 4634 3000
Excessive Bleeding after Tooth Removal:
Open the sterile gauze pack given to you after your appointment and place one of the pillows on the wound. Keep pressure on the wound site for 5 to 10 minutes and this should stop the bleeding. Ensure your head and shoulders are propped up if you are resting on your bed. If your wound is still seeping, repeat this process until all your gauze pillows are used. Your bleeding should now have stopped. Rest quietly and leave the wound area alone.
If however there is uncontrolled bleeding, you should call our practice on 4625 4897 because you might require stitches. Dr White can be contacted on 0404 854 250 or call your local hospital if it is after hours. Click here for after care instructions and more detailed information.
Take which ever pain killers you usually take/are safe for you, and try to avoid anything that is making the tooth hurt eg. Hot or cold drinks or chewing on that tooth. Call the practice as soon as possible. Click here for more information.
An object seriously stuck between your teeth:
It’s best to try and gently remove it with dental floss. Don’t ever attempt to use a tooth pick or similar object because you risk creating more damage to the area.
If the tongue is bruised, swollen and painful, you can rinse your mouth with warm salty water and take whichever pain killers you usually take and are safe for you. Eat soft foods for the rest of the day. If, however the bite has broken the skin and there is uncontrolled bleeding, you should get to our practice or the local hospital because you might require stitches.
This is usually a sign of infection and is a case for concern. It is very important that you see the dentist as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment. Antibiotics are not always needed.
A broken tooth can be sharp and can either cause the tooth to ache or become sensitive to eating and drinking. If the tooth is causing pain, take whichever pain killers you usually take/are safe for you, and contact the practice. Try to avoid anything that is making the tooth hurt eg. Cold drinks or chewing on that tooth. Some cracks can be serious which can lead to the loss of a tooth while smaller cracks can be restored. An appropriate diagnosis by the dentist will be needed to treat a cracked tooth.
It is really hard for the average person to know the difference between a baby tooth and an adult tooth. Whenever a tooth is knocked a little bit or completely out, (sporting injury, due to a fall or a blow to the face) it is best, regardless of the person’s age, to call us. If possible, bring in the tooth/bits of the tooth for the dentist to see. Take whichever pain killers you usually take/are safe for you, until you get to our practice. A cold pack can help with swelling.
Filling has fallen out:
During root canal therapy a temporary filling is placed and this can sometimes wear down. This is usually of no great concern as the cavity will still be sealed off, however we encourage you to call the practice for individual advice. Very old fillings can fall out as well. If this happens call the surgery as soon as possible to have the reason why diagnosed and hopefully, have the filling replaced, before it causes you pain.
Orthodontic braces/bracket/wire has broken:
We encourage you to call the treating orthodontist for their next available appointment. You are welcome to call us, but the dentist will only be able to make the area comfortable, usually by removing the broken part. However, in the meantime, eat soft foods and minimise jaw movement.
If your denture or clasp on your denture has broken, we can provide a referral to a trusted local prosthetist for repair or replacement.