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24 February 2020

Need An Emergency Dentist? How to Handle A Dental Emergency While Travelling

Dental emergencies can be pretty frightening at the best of times, but if you develop tooth pain or discomfort while travelling, then it makes the problem even more challenging. Where do you seek help? Which emergency dentist do you call? What’s the protocol? All of these questions will no doubt be buzzing around your head. So with this in mind, here are some top tips on how to handle a dental emergency while travelling.

Tip 1 – Understand exactly what a dental emergency is?

Knowing what constitutes a dental emergency is key if you are about to seek assistance. For example, did you know that toothache is common while travelling on an aircraft? As the plane leaves the tarmac and begins to climb, teeth can become sensitive to air pressure and develop a ‘growing’ pain-like sensation.

Also, if you have particularly sensitive teeth or a slight toothache before you fly, the act of flying can exacerbate the issue. Flying doesn’t, however, make existing problems like loose fillings, gingivitis, and cavities worse and generally, once you are back on terra firma any discomfort should start to ease.

That said, if any discomfort starts to increase in the days after travel, or you simply can’t control the pain using over-the-counter pain killers or antibiotics, then you should seek help at the soonest opportunity.

So what else might just constitute a visit to an emergency dentist?

In Manchester here at Church Road Dental and Cosmetics, we suggest that you should seek help immediately if you experience the following:

  • Badly cracked or chipped teeth that are causing severe discomfort
  • Teeth that have been knocked out due to facial trauma
  • Severe gum bleeding without any noticeable cause
  • Pain and swelling in the mouth, throat, and jaw

In addition, there are a host of other problems that don’t necessitate a dental emergency as such. However, they should be investigated by a dentist at your earliest convenience. These include:

  • Broken dentures
  • Broken fillings
  • Broken crowns
  • Loose dental implants

In Manchester, we have a team of experienced dental professionals who can restore the form and function of your smile and get you back on the road fast, so call us for an appointment on 0161 486 0743 and we’ll do everything we can to squeeze you in.

Tip 2 – Do some research before you go

It may sound pretty crazy to pre-empt a dental emergency, but if you prepare for the worst, you’ll know exactly who to call and where to go should the need arise. Spending 30 minutes or so researching emergency dentists in your area of travel now, may just save you a lot of hassle later.

Details like checking out opening hours, finding out costs and even investigating the travelling distance from where you are staying, are well-worth doing.

If you are really organised you could also research how you would get there and the time it would take. Is there public transport nearby? What about parking etc?

While all of the above may seem a little excessive, let’s put it this way…

Do you really want to be frantically searching for an emergency dentist when you are in severe discomfort?

Hopefully, the need won’t arise and your vacation goes smoothly but like a good boy scout… there’s nothing wrong with being prepared!

Tip 3 – Know what you can do while you wait to see an emergency dentist

It could be that there is some time between calling for an emergency appointment and you seeing the dentist in question. Often, dentists will deliberately leave space in their schedule for dental emergencies, but unless you are experiencing severe trauma, a visit might not be on the cards until the end of the day, or even the first appointment the following morning.

With this in mind, there are things that you can do in the meantime to save a tooth or prepare yourself to be seen. These include:

Nagging toothache

If you haven’t already done so, look at taking stronger pain killers to try and alleviate any pain. Read the instructions carefully and don’t exceed the dosage limits. Some pain killers can make you drowsy, so this should also be taken into consideration if you are driving. Other tips for controlling toothache include;

  • Gently rinse the mouth with warm salt-water
  • Avoid putting any pressure on the tooth (particularly biting)
  • Try flossing. This could remove any debris that may be causing you discomfort

Unexplained bleeding

If you experience any unexplained bleeding, then rinse the mouth with warm salt-water and press a non-woven gauze against the site. Doing so may cause a blood clot to form which could stem the bleeding temporarily until you get to see your chosen emergency dentist.

Chipped cracked or broken teeth

If you manage to find any tooth fragments then place them in a wet tissue to keep them moist and bring them with you. If you have a loose filling or a filling that has fallen out, then you might want to go to your local store and buy some temporary filling material. This is designed to tide you over until you see a dental professional. Temporary dental cement can prevent bacteria and food particles from entering the tooth. Likewise, if a crown becomes detached, use some temporary dental cement to hold it in position until help can be sought. If you haven’t got any cement, it’s also possible to hold a crown temporarily in place using toothpaste made specifically for sensitive teeth.

Knocked out natural teeth

Finally, if you have a knocked out a tooth then there is a chance it can be saved but only if you act quickly.

Firstly pick it up by its chewing surface and rinse in tepid water or milk (don’t use detergent or scrub it). Then, if you can, try to put it back in the socket and gently hold it in position using a piece of gauze and a clean finger.

If this is not possible, then store it in milk. Milk is a good medium for tooth storage because unlike water, the cells from the root surface won’t swell up and burst. If you have no milk then saliva is the next best thing. Simply store the tooth in your mouth next to your cheek.

Do remember that with a knocked-out tooth, you should visit an emergency dentist within the hour. This is the optimum time for saving the tooth.

Are you travelling in this area?

If you are travelling to the Manchester area, it’s good to know that we offer an emergency dentist service in Manchester at Church Road Dental and Cosmetics. We deal with anything from facial trauma including knocked-out teeth, broken dentures and cracked dental implants. In Manchester, we’re well known for our caring brand of dentistry so if you are experiencing a dental emergency of any kind, call us on 0161 486 0743 and let us get you out of your discomfort fast!

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