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OUR EMERGENCY TREATMENT

Our emergency service can be contacted via 0208 642 5767 or our emergency telephone number on 0799 9900 474.
You can get in touch with us out of hours by emailing the practice on outofhours@dentistsutton.co.uk and an on-call member of our team will contact you shortly.

You will be greeted by one of our on-call clinicians, who will take a brief history of your problem and offer advice on the telephone.

We are able to open the clinic to attend to an emergency out of hours, however a call out fee for private patients and reduced fee for plan patients will apply. One of our on-call clinicians will carry out a dental examination and determine the most appropriate type of treatment to be carried out.

Our aim is to offer pain relief, therefore subsequent appointments maybe required during normal office hours to complete a given treatment.

There are many possibilities for a dental emergency. Some of our most common emergencies include toothache, broken teeth, dental abscess, broken dentures, lost crowns, post extraction pain and gum infections.

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EMERGENCY

TOOTHACHE

Risk of developing decay increases with diets high in sugar and acidic food and drinks, poor oral hygiene and irregular visits to the dentist.

When the decay is only in enamel of the tooth, it is usually pain free but you may experience sharp short pains to sweet food. It is easily spotted and treated by your dentist during routine examinations.

When the decay advances in the tooth to the dentine, the internal layers on the tooth, it may still be pain free or you may experience a more intense short lasting pains to hot or cold food. This decay is often visible on routine x-rays taken by your dentist and would require a filling.

If the decay is allowed to progress further getting close to the nerve in the centre of the tooth, the pains experienced may become prolonged, spontaneous, waking you up at night. This is the nerve of your tooth signalling for help but if you ignore the signs and take painkillers (which may relieve the pain) and leave the cavity untreated, the decay will reach and the bacteria will kill the nerve of the tooth.

The nerve is a live organ and once it dies, the infection forms and tracts its way to down the roots affecting the bone the bone the surrounds and supports the tooth and the destruction continues.

At this stage the damage is irreversible and the only treatment options are root canal therapy or tooth removal.

SWOLLEN FACE

The most common cause of a swollen face is a dental abscess. Occasionally, a gum infection can also lead to a swelling, which is known as a periodontal abscess.

We understand that at this stage and with the intensity of the pain, you may be anxious. But it is paramount that you contact us for help, as leaving dental infections untreated can be fatal.

Immediate treatments of a dental abscess include:

  • A course of antibiotics for swelling or raised temperature.
  • Releasing the pressure built, by accessing the canals inside the tooth and draining the infection though the tooth. This is in affect stage one of root canal therapy.
  • Removal of the tooth

After the initial pain relief, it is important for you to return for a full examination appointment to establish the cause of the decay. Start with a preventative phase to ensure new decays do not occur. Prevention would include, educating you in good hygiene maintenance, regular examinations and hygiene sessions, as well as diet advice. Taking necessary x-rays will allow your dentist to treat any other decayed teeth and completing the root canal therapy on the affected tooth.

DENTAL ABSCESS

A dental abscess is an infection in the mouth which starts its journey from small cavity in the tooth. An abscess may also form due to trauma to a tooth but in either case, it often leads to a formation of a swelling inside or outside of mouth.

What you may be experiencing:

  • Prolonged sharp, severe pains on one side of your face which may radiate to your eyes, temple or around the neck. You may not be able to pin point which tooth or where the pain is coming from.
  • A dull constant pain from one side of your mouth, or from one or more teeth. making it difficult to eat, and can be worse at night keeping you awake.
  • Severe pain from one specific tooth. You may be unable to bite on the tooth, the tooth may feel raised, or slightly mobile.
  • Internal or external swelling around the gum associated with one or several teeth, or of face. This swelling may or may not be associated with any pain or rise in temperature.
  • A very small swelling or spot on the gum above or below the tooth. This may or may not be painful, and you may have an unusual taste in the mouth.

How does it happen:

The bacteria from a small spot or an area of decay left untreated in the mouth can progress further in the tooth. When the decay is only in enamel of the tooth, it is usually pain free but you may experience sharp short pains to sweet food. It is easily spotted and treated by your dentist during routine examinations.

When the decay advances in the tooth to the dentine, the internal layers on the tooth, it may still be pain free or you may experience a more intense short lasting pains to hot or cold food. This decay is often visible on routine x-rays taken by your dentist and would require a filling.

If the decay is allowed to progress further getting close to the nerve in the centre of the tooth, the pains experienced may become prolonged, spontaneous, waking you up at night. This is the nerve of your tooth signalling for help but if you ignore the signs and take painkillers (which may relieve the pain) and leave the cavity untreated, the decay will reach and the bacteria will kill the nerve of the tooth.

The nerve is a live organ and once it dies, the infection forms and tracts its way to down the roots affecting the bone the bone the surrounds and supports the tooth and the destruction continues. This is the reason as to why the tooth is very tender to touch and bite on.

The infection can tract between the spaces in between facial tissues and lead to facial swelling.

Abscesses can form because of trauma and accidents to the tooth causing nerve death. Heavily treated and restored teeth can also develop infections. This is due cumulative irritable affects of multiple decay, drilling, fillings, over a long period of time the nerve can die resulting in an abscess. The symptoms experienced and treatments are the same.

How can we help:

We understand that at this stage and with the intensity of the pain, you may be anxious. But it is paramount that you contact us for help, as leaving dental infections untreated can be fatal.

Immediate treatments of an abscess include:

  • A course of antibiotics for swelling or raised temperature
  • Releasing the pressure built, by accessing the canals inside the tooth and draining the infection though the tooth. This is in affect stage one of root canal therapy.
  • Removal of the tooth
  • After the initial pain relief, it is important for you to return for a full examination appointment to establish the cause of the decay. Start with a preventative phase to ensure new decays do not occur. Prevention would include, educating you in good hygiene maintenance, regular examinations and hygiene sessions, as well as diet advice. Taking necessary x-rays will allow your dentist to treat any other decayed teeth and completing the root canal therapy on the affected tooth.

FRACTURED TOOTH

The symptoms experienced and treatment for a fractured tooth relate to the extent of the fracture. During routine examinations we record and monitor any hair line cracks visible on your teeth and may recommend a preventative measure before symptoms develop.

What you may experience:

  • Sharp pain on biting or release of bite on hard food.
  • Intense sensitivity on cold air or cold drinks
  • Uncomfortable feeling after eating food from a tooth
  • General awareness of one specific tooth
  • A severe intense pain from the tooth, where you would be unable to bite or touch the tooth.

If you have any of the above symptoms it is important to contact us, as prolonged irritation from a fracture can affect the nerve of the tooth and lead to abscess or a sudden severe fracture of tooth.

Your dentist will carry out some tests of your tooth attempting to pinpoint the fracture which does not usually show on an x-ray and make a diagnosis.

Extent of fracture:

  • Small fracture, requiring removal of the fractured segment and simple filling
  • Larger fracture affecting more than 2 or more surfaces of the tooth, may require laboratory made structure such as an onlay or a crown
  • An extensive fracture affecting the nerve of the tooth would require a root canal treatment and a crown.
  • A severe fracture affecting the roots of the tooth may lead to a necessary tooth removal.

Causes and association:

  • Stresses developed in the tooth a few years after metal fillings have been placed in the tooth is one of the most causes of fractures.
  • Grinding and clenching habits weakening the teeth.
  • Missing teeth and lack of replacements allow your teeth to move and your bite to change, placing unnecessary stress on neighbouring or teeth on the opposing side of mouth causing fractures.
  • Poor dental work, where fillings and crowns have been placed without attention to your bite and chewing patterns.
  • Use of cheaper dental materials that do not offer support to the remaining structure of the tooth.
DENTAL TRAUMA

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PAINFUL GUMS

The most common cause of pain in the gums is inflammation, triggered by plaque around the gum margins. This is something that everyone experiences at some point in their lives. With improved cleaning, the discomfort should resolve within a few days and the gums can revert back to their healthy state.

However, the inflammation can become a problem if the oral hygiene does not improve and the status of the gum health continues to decline. This may eventually lead to gum disease and later, tooth loss.

Occasionally, a gum infection can also lead to a swelling, which is known as a periodontal abscess, which can be very uncomfortable. We understand that at this stage and with the intensity of the pain, you may be anxious. But it is paramount that you contact us for help, as leaving infections untreated can be fatal.

Other causes can include stress, pregnancy, habitual tooth grinding, trauma with excessive toothbrushing, mouth ulcers and so on. Gums are the foundation of your teeth, when they are diseased, the health of your teeth, fillings, crowns, and dental implants are jeopardised.

With a little help from us, carrying out gum treatment and instructing you in the correct ways of brushing, as well as using the correct equipment, mouthwash and interdental aids, you will have the tools that need to maintain the health of your teeth and gums. We recommend that you see your dentist regularly in order to assess the cause of any gum problems and prevent further future damage.

BLEEDING GUMS

Bleeding and painful gums are mainly caused inadequate oral hygiene and incorrect brushing of the teeth at the gum margin. The plaque and food left behind causes inflammation of the gums, so they bleed easily or on contact. This can happen as early as 24 to 48 hours of poor brushing and is called gingivitis.

If plaque is not removed for some time, it can harden and become tartar. The continual inflammation of the gum margin and prolonged presence of tartar leads to gum disease or periodontal disease.

The inflammation affects the attachment and fibres between the gums and teeth and in time the tooth lose attachment to the gum and pockets form. The superficial tar tar can move down inside thee pockets and with further destruction of gum and the underlying bone lead to more advanced forms of gum disease.

The consequence of gum disease is tooth loss due to increased mobility and gum abscesses, as the support structure of the tooth disappears.

Gum disease is silent and at early to moderate stages can be diagnosed at your routine check up by your dentist. Often there are no symptoms but some are as follows:

  • bad breath
  • red, swollen, flapping, puffy gums that bleed
  • generalised pain and sensitivity on eating and drinking
  • throbbing pain in specific part of gum just after food and it disappears after cleaning.
  • dark appearance around the gum margins
  • receding gums and roots of teeth becoming visible

At your examination appointment, we carry out a simple scoring of gum pockets and their depth, determining the presence of gum disease. If this test reveals area affected, we then carry out a more extensive scoring test that maps a 3D image of gums and bone affected. You can take a copy of this test home and review and compare your own gum health.

Gums are the foundation of your teeth, when they are diseased, the health of your teeth, fillings, crowns, and dental implants are jeopardised. With a little help from us, carrying out gum treatment and instructing you in the correct ways of brushing, as well as using the correct equipment, mouthwash and interdental aids, you will have the tools that you need to maintain the health of your teeth and gums .

It is important to have regular 6-monthly scale polishes and that is why we provide the service as a package with your examination appointment, saving you money and keeping you healthy.

Other causes of bleeding gums:

  • Pregnancy
  • Poorly placed fillings and crowns causing irritation to the gum margin
  • Brushing too hard
  • Mouth infections
WISDOM TOOTH PAIN

Wisdom teeth are the last molars to come through into your mouth, often between the ages of 17 and 25, but can also appear many years later.

When there is insufficient space or the wisdom tooth is not coming through in a straight angle, the wisdom tooth can get stuck or become impacted.

An impacted wisdom tooth can cause swelling and tenderness to the local area. Bacteria and food particles being trapped in the spaces around the impacted wisdom tooth cause inflammation.

You may experience difficulty in opening or closing, jaw ache, difficulty in swallowing, earache and sometimes a raised temperature. In some cases impacted wisdom tooth can cause the development of a cyst. Wisdom teeth are the last molars to come through into your mouth, often between the ages of 17 and 25, but can also appear many years later.

When there is insufficient space or the wisdom tooth is not coming through in a straight angle, the wisdom tooth can get stuck or become impacted.

An impacted wisdom tooth can cause swelling and tenderness to the local area. Bacteria and food particles being trapped in the spaces around the impacted wisdom tooth cause inflammation. You may experience difficulty in opening or closing, jaw ache, difficulty in swallowing, earache and sometimes a raised temperature. In some cases impacted wisdom tooth can cause the development of a cyst.

Even if a wisdom tooth is growing straight in a favourable angle with sufficient space, as it breaks through the gum, a small piece of gum can remain over the tooth. This extra gum, can become a food trap and also get caught between the teeth when you bite together.

It is important to contact us for an emergency assessment, and if possible take an x-ray of the area. Your dentist can advise you on the correct mouth rinses to help calm the pain, prescribe a short course of antibiotics and pain killers. You may advised if necessary to have your wisdom tooth removed.

Only if necessary will a dentist advice to have a wisdom tooth removed. This removal can either be done in practice with local anaesthetic as you would receive for a filling , or with the aid of sedation.

JAWACHE

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LOST FILLING

Fillings are usually placed when there are cavities present in the teeth. They may also be done for cosmetic purposes, in order correct the shape or shade of the teeth.

There is a great deal of pressure that is placed on our teeth every day, from natural processes, such as chewing, to more pathological processes, such as decay or over brushing.

Over time, like everything else in life, your fillings will need care and maintenance. They may also need to be upgraded to a more resilient material that can be bonded to your tooth structure, depending on your bite.

Most commonly, you may experience sensitivity or shooting pain in a particular part of the mouth following losing a filling. And occasionally, you may not experience any symptoms at all. The fact that there is no pain does not mean there is not a problem with the tooth.

The tooth becomes exposed and as a result, prone to decay and damage. Sharp edges can also cause ulceration, leading to further problems in the mouth.

LOST CROWN

A crown is usually selected as a restorative option because:

  • 1. The tooth structure is weak, broken down, heavily filled and prone to fractures, or the tooth has been root filled.
  • 2. To improve the aesthetics and appearance of the tooth.

Occasionally, the nerve of the tooth is removed during root canal therapy prior to crown placement, however many crowns are placed on vital teeth. When a crown debonds from a vital tooth with the nerve still intact, the underlying tooth not only can be sensitive due to exposure, it is also prone to further fractures.

There may be no symptoms from the tooth if the crown debonds from a non vital tooth. However the remaining core structure of the tooth may be prone to fractures. It is possible the unprotected core may be sharp causing trauma to the cheek or tongue, as well as the possibility of developing decay with prolonged exposure.

Don't wait too long. when a crown is missing for a long time, your teeth may move into the space where the crown was. If this happens, your crown may no longer fit.

If you have the debonded or lost crown, you may simply need to book an emergency dental appointment to have the crown rebonded. If you no longer have the crown with you, we can construct a new crown for you, and protect your tooth with a temporary crown in the interim period.

Why has my crown debonded?

A crown can debond for several reasons:

  • Chewing on food that is too hard or strenuous to chew
  • Daily or night time habits such as grinding and clenching of teeth (for which you should be wearing a night guard to protect the surface of your teeth, fillings and crowns)
  • If a crown is fitted without close attention to your bite, and the motions of your jaw during natural chewing, may lead to frequent debonding
  • If the core of the tooth under the crown is heavily damaged, the chances of debonding crown is higher
  • A crown fits very closely on a margin of tooth. Poor maintenance, hygiene and lacking regular flossing may lead to decay developing under the crown, which may also be a cause of debonding. In this case, the decay needs to be removed and the tooth re-prepared for a new crown.
BROKEN DENTURE

Besides accidental damage, with wear and tear, dentures can become thin and fragile and more prone to fracture on biting on food that is hard. It can be very upsetting and difficult manage without your denture, affecting your confidence and eating.

Although a fractured denture can disrupt your everyday life, attempting to repair it yourself can render your denture useless. If you have lost or fractured your denture, it is important to come and see us and allow the dentist to examine your denture. A simple repair may be possible, and your denture may be ready for collection in a few hours, letting you smile all over again.

BROKEN VENEER

Veneers are a beautiful and conservative way to change the appearance of stained, discoloured front teeth and improve the aesthetics of a smile. However, they require maintenance and need be looked after.

Biting and cracking hard food can lead to stresses building in the veneer and can result in a sudden chip or fracture.

It may be possible to repair a small chip on the veneer with simple application of composite restoration, matched to the shade of your veneer.

However if the fracture is extensive, your veneer will need to be removed and a new veneer will be constructed for you.

MOUTH ULCERS

Mouth ulcers can form because you are run down or stressed, especially if you are not eating healthy food and looking after yourself. The trauma from a sharp or fractured tooth can also lead to a formation of an ulcer near the site.

Sometimes ulcers can be a sign of bodily infections, vitamin deficiencies and a number of systematic disorders or serious illnesses.

Most people are unaware that signs and symptoms of many disease first present themselves in the mouth and is noted by the dentist during routine and regular dental health checks.

If you feel you may have a ulcer irrespective of pain, you should book an appointment for the dentist to examine you and provide medicinal ointment to help with the symptoms. Ulcers heal within 10-14 days and in accordance with the guidelines, your dentist will review you 10 days after your original appointment to ensure the ulcer has disappeared and ruled out any sinister causes.

0208 642 5767

General / Aesthetic / Orthodontics / Implant / Family / Quality / Unique
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