Accident and Emergency Cover

If you urgently need to see a dentist�

If you develop a sore tooth, or need urgent treatment, please phone the surgery as soon as possible to arrange an appointment. Tel: 02890 614937. This will give us the best chance of re-arranging our schedule in order to accommodate you that day. We will do our best to see genuine emergencies that day, or within 24 hours. If you need to see a dentist outside normal working hours or the weekend please see our out of hours advice below.

What to do if a tooth is knocked out�

DO NOT re-implant first (baby) teeth.

If the permanent/second/adult tooth is knocked out, it is important to re-implant the tooth immediately or as soon as possible. Try to not let the to0th dry out , either by placing it in some milk, or getting the patient to hold it inside their own cheek, where the natural saliva will keep it moist . When handling the tooth, hold it by the crown, not the pointed root.

Do NOT scrub or touch the root, if it appears clean. If there is soil/debris on the root, gently wash this off under running cold water, or in milk.

Gently push the tooth back into the socket - make sure it is the correct way round.

Bite on a clean handkerchief to hold the tooth in place.

Attend your dentist or hospital emergency department immediately. If you can't manage to put the tooth back in, place it in a cup of milk until you can get it re-implanted. Just don't let it dry out.

What to do if a filling has come out�

If a filling has come out, and the tooth is not sore, then it is generally fine to leave the tooth untreated until you can see a dentist. Decay is highly unlikely to set in within a few days or even weeks, but obviously its best to see a dentist as soon as you can arrange it. Just try and keep the cavity clean, and clear of food packing, until the dentist sees you. Boots chemist sell a range of temporary filling materials which can be applied to the cavity, but I would only suggest this if the tooth is hyper-sensitive to cold/hot foods or drinks.

If a filling has come out, and the tooth is only sensitive when eating or drinking, it is best to contact the surgery as soon as possible to arrange treatment, and in the meantime, try to eat /drink on the other side of your mouth. The tooth should be fine for a couple of days, until you see a dentist.

If a filling or crown has come out and the remaining tooth fragment is very sharp, cutting into your tongue or cheek, then a temporary solution would be to place some orthodontic wax or chewing gum onto the sharp edge , just to stop the sharp edge traumatising your tongue or cheek. I have had this myself, and know how sore the resulting ulcer can be.

What to do if a Crown or bridge has come out�

Obviously it is best to arrange for the dentist to recement the crown/bridge, but here are some ideas if you are really stuck and need it recemented urgently. Boots chemists sell temporary cement to recement crowns that have come out. My only advice before you mix the cement, and apply it to the crown, is to clean/scrape the inside of the crown out first, and have a few practice goes at positioning the crown in place first, before you apply the cement.

This is to try and avoid the scenario whereby you end up not being able to reposition the crown in its correct position, and the cement is setting as you play around with it. I wouldn't recommend using superglue, as it is a water soluble product, and will eventually loosen. I frequently see crowns that have been recemented with superglue, in slightly the wrong position. This can necessitate drilling off the crown, and thus the need for a new one, whereas the old one would have been able to have been recemented if it had not had been glued in. Boots chemist's temporary cements are fine, as they are quite weak, and it is that weakness that allows me to remove the crown and recement it with stronger cement at a later date.

What to do if you have a toothache�

This is obviously a very vague heading and dependant on a lot of factors. Patients often report that the only thing that gave them relief from toothache was holding ice cold water around an offending tooth or area for a minute or so. I could see this working in a case where a nerve was highly inflamed and dying, whereby the cold water acted to decrease the swelling and pressure inside the nerve chamber, much like putting an ice pack on a sprained ankle. The tooth will probably need a root treatment, but this may help you until you can see a dentist.

Which painkillers work best for toothache�

We find that the combination of Ibuprofen and Paracetamol works best for dental pain. However, please be careful as Ibuprofen can cause stomach upset if used for several days, and should not be used if you have a stomach ulcer or are on Ace Inhibitors for high blood pressure. Paracetamol can be taken in conjunction with Ibuprofen. The medication leaflet for each drug has all the information you require but if you are in any doubt, please check with your doctor/pharmacist or dentist.

What to do if your gum continues to bleed after a tooth extraction�

If following a tooth extraction, the bleeding restarts, the best thing to do is apply pressure onto the whole where the tooth was removed for ten minutes. Scrunch up a wet tissue into a ball, and apply it to the site. Then bite down on it for ten minutes. You could also use a wet tea-bag for this as the tannins in the tea have a natural clotting ability. This works for 9 out of 10 patients. If this does not work, and it is out of hours and you are concerned with the amount of blood-loss, then go to A&E where they should be able to place a stitch or inject some clotting factor to get the bleeding stopped.

What to do if your face is swollen and you think you have an abscess�

This can be a sign that you have abscess, or that there is infection present. Please contact ourselves ASAP for advice/treatment, but if out-of-hours, contact the Relief of Dental Pain Clinic at the Belfast City Hospital. Urgent cases are where the swelling is causing you difficulty breathing or in danger of obstructing your airway, or if you have an associated high temperature and feel generally unwell. In such circumstances, you need prompt medical/dental attention. Contact ourselves ASAP or if our surgery is closed, please go to the Relief of Dental pain Clinic at the Belfast City Hospital, or if that is closed go straight to the A&E (casualty) at your nearest hospital.

Where can I see a dentist out of hours�

During office hours: Mon-Thur 8:00am - 5:00pm
and Fri 8:00am-2:00pm
On Fridays, please contact the surgery on 028 90614937.
Outside these core surgery hours, a Relief of Dental Pain Clinic runs at Belfast City Hospital. The clinic starts at 7:30pm each week-day evening, and 10am and 730pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Public holiday clinics also run at 10am and 730pm. Each clinic runs for 2-3 hours and the order patients are seen is children first, then adults, based on a first come first served basis. You are advised to get there early as these clinics can be very busy and you will probably have to wait over an hour or so. The clinic is on the ground floor of the hospital, two minutes walk from inside the main entrance. Just ask at the reception desk for the Relief of Dental Pain Clinic. NHS charges apply for paying patients.

The Contact number for the clinic is 028 9063 8486.

Click here to visit The Dental Pain Clinic's Website