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Emergency dentist in Birmingham: What is considered a dental emergency

Unsure whether your dental issue is an emergency or not? Dental emergencies can range from a minor nuisance to severe pain or trauma requiring immediate attention. At our dental practice in Birmingham, we understand the urgency and discomfort that dental emergencies can bring.

Whether it’s a toothache that won’t subside or a knocked-out tooth, our team is prepared to provide the care and support you need. Find out what we consider a dental emergency below, and book in with our emergency dentist in Birmingham today.

What is considered a dental emergency?

2 dentists providing emergency dental treatment to older woman in the dental chair

Toothache or dental pain

Experiencing toothache or dental pain is common, but its intensity and cause can vary. If the pain reduces or stabilises after taking over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol or aspirin, it may not necessitate an emergency dentist appointment. However, persistent, severe pain indicates a need for urgent care.

  • Immediate steps: Rinse your mouth with warm water and gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between your teeth. Avoid applying aspirin directly to the sore area.
  • Symptoms indicating severity: Intense, throbbing pain that doesn’t subside with over-the-counter medication; sensitivity to hot or cold that lasts after the heat or cold is removed; pain when chewing or biting.
  • Potential treatments: Treatment depends on the cause and may include anything from filling a cavity to root canal therapy, depending on the severity of decay or infection.

Chipped or broken teeth

Minor chips may not be immediate emergencies but should be addressed promptly. However, a severely broken or chipped tooth, especially if it’s causing pain or has sharp edges that can injure your mouth, is considered an emergency.

  • Immediate steps: Rinse your mouth with warm salt water and apply a cold compress to the face to reduce swelling. Save any pieces of the tooth that have broken off.
  • Symptoms indicating severity: Sharp pain when biting down or when your tooth is exposed to temperature extremes; visible missing part of the tooth or the tooth is fractured.
  • Potential treatments: Dental filling or bonding for minor chips, a crown for more significant breaks, and root canal therapy if the tooth’s nerve is damaged.

Knocked-out teeth

A knocked-out tooth is a dental emergency that requires immediate attention. The sooner you can see a dentist, the better the chance of saving the tooth.

  • Immediate steps: Pick up the tooth by the crown (top part), not the root. Rinse the tooth gently if it’s dirty but do not scrub. If possible, reinsert it in the socket and hold it in place. If not, place the tooth in milk or a special dental preservation kit.
  • Symptoms indicating severity: Complete dislodgement of the tooth from its socket.
  • Potential treatments: Reimplantation of the tooth within 1 hour is crucial for the best chances of success. Splinting the tooth to adjacent teeth may be necessary as it heals.

Issues with fillings, crowns, or braces

A filling or crown that has fallen out, or broken wires on braces, can not only cause discomfort but can also lead to further dental issues if not treated promptly.

  • Immediate steps: If a filling or crown has fallen out, try to save it and avoid chewing on the affected side. For braces, apply orthodontic wax to any sharp edges.
  • Symptoms indicating severity: Pain or significant discomfort, difficulty eating or speaking, and sharp edges that can cause injury to the mouth.
  • Potential treatments: Replacement of fillings or crowns, adjustment or repair of braces by your dentist or orthodontist.

Emergency dentist in Birmingham

If you encounter a dental emergency, please call us at 0121 588 4541. We can schedule you ASAP and relieve your symptoms.

0121 588 4541

Abscesses and infections

Dental abscesses or infections are severe and can spread if not treated. Symptoms include severe pain, swelling, and fever. This situation requires urgent dental care.

  • Immediate steps: Rinse with mild saltwater several times a day to reduce pain and draw the pus to the surface. Avoid applying heat to the area.
  • Symptoms indicating severity: Severe, persistent, throbbing pain, swelling, fever, and pus or foul-tasting drainage.
  • Potential treatments: Draining the abscess, antibiotics to fight the infection, and follow-up treatments to address the root cause such as root canal treatment or extraction.

Bleeding due to an injury

Uncontrolled bleeding after a dental injury is an emergency. Immediate care is needed to control bleeding and address any underlying injuries.

  • Immediate steps: Apply pressure to the bleeding area with a clean cloth or gauze. If bleeding is due to a trauma to the face, use a cold compress to reduce swelling.
  • Symptoms indicating severity: Continuous bleeding that doesn’t stop with pressure or bleeding that recurs frequently.
  • Potential treatments: Depending on the cause, treatments may include sutures, restorative procedures, or, in severe cases, surgery.

Rapidly worsening facial swelling

Facial swelling that is worsening quickly can indicate a serious infection and should be addressed immediately to prevent further complications.

  • Immediate steps: Apply a cold compress to the area to reduce swelling and contact a dentist immediately.
  • Symptoms indicating severity: Rapid swelling, often accompanied by pain, fever, or difficulty breathing or swallowing.
  • Potential treatments: Emergency dental care to address the cause of the swelling, which may include infection treatment with antibiotics or drainage and possibly hospitalisation if the infection is severe.

Contact our emergency dentist in Birmingham

Emergency during practice hours

Our Birmingham practice is open:

  • Monday to Thursday, 9.00 am to 5.45 pm
    Friday, 9.00 am to 1.00 pm.

If you encounter a dental emergency, please call us at 0121 588 4541. We have specific times allocated for emergencies each day to ensure you receive the care you need promptly.

Out-of-hour dental services

For emergencies outside our operating hours, call the same number, 0121 588 4541, to get information about our out-of-hour services. Our message will guide you on what to do and provide you with contact details for our emergency service, available 365 days a year.

Please reserve the out-of-hours service for genuine dental emergencies. 

What our patients often ask us

One of Stella's registered nurses, Ellie, sat at the reception desk

Painkillers aren’t working for my toothache – what do I do?

If over-the-counter painkillers are not alleviating your toothache, it’s a sign that the issue may be more serious than initially thought. In such cases, we recommend contacting our emergency dentist in Birmingham immediately to schedule an emergency appointment.

Tooth pain that persists despite medication often indicates an underlying problem that requires professional dental care, such as an abscess, deep decay, or a potential infection. Early intervention is key to preventing more severe complications.

What should I do if I break a tooth?

If you break a tooth, rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. Collect any broken tooth fragments and bring them with you to your dental appointment. Contact Stella Maris Dental immediately to get the care you need.

How much is an emergency dentist?

An emergency appointment is £60 and includes diagnosis and x-rays. Treatment cost will be informed at this appointment.

At Stella Maris Dental, we’re committed to providing exceptional dental care, especially when you need it the most. Our helpline is open 24/7, 365 days a year, ensuring you’re never without support in a dental emergency.

Call us today to book with our emergency dentist in Birmingham.

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  • Spread the fees over 24 months (for treatments valued over £300.00)
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* Up to 24 months is interest free. If you would like to take finance over a longer period then an interest charge will apply.

** Interest free finance spread across up to 24 months for treatments valued over £300.00

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