When to See an Emergency Dentist vs. When to Go to A&E

Dental Health Advice

It’s important to identify when to see an emergency dentist, and when your dental trauma is in fact a larger problem that requires immediate medical care. If your issue is extreme, it may be recommended that you visit A&E directly, however, an emergency dentist will help you to identify this during your appointment if you’re unsure.

Discover the difference between dental emergencies, when to see an emergency dentist, and when to seek immediate medical attention from accident and emergency.

The difference between dental emergencies and medical emergencies

Dental emergencies apply to oral health issues that do not pose a direct threat to your medical well-being. Whereas a medical emergency is defined as sudden trauma or symptoms that may be life-threatening and require immediate assessment from a doctor. 

When to see an emergency dentist

It is likely that an emergency dentist can resolve your dental traumas, with A&E only required for the most serious and life-threatening cases. There are a few signs to identify whether you need to see an emergency dentist, if you believe you may be experiencing the following, please do not hesitate to book an emergency dental appointment with us in your nearest clinic!

Common issues that indicate when to see an emergency dentist include:

  • A broken, chipped, loose, or lost tooth (in instances where you have not suffered extreme bodily trauma in addition to your dental concerns).
  • Severe and ongoing toothache that will not subside with home remedies.
  • Swelling in the face, cheeks, jaw, or gums.
  • Excessive bleeding from the gums.
  • A broken, loose or lost crown, bridge, or filling.
  • Extreme and ongoing issues caused by wisdom teeth

If you are unable to visit an emergency dentist in person, or if there is not yet an emergency dental clinic near you, you can book a video appointment. Our online dental appointments can be used for emergencies, to help you identify and treat the issue, as well as prescribe the required antibiotics for your unique case.

When to go to A&E

The emergency room should be visited if you are experiencing a serious, life-threatening medical emergency. In most cases it is not necessary that you go to A&E for dental emergencies, however, it is recommended that you seek medical attention for the following:

  • If you have experienced severe trauma to the face or mouth
  • If you are experiencing severe, ongoing bleeding
  • You are experiencing life threatening symptoms (e.g., inability to breathe, choking, or lost/blurred vision).

If you are experiencing any of the above, please seek immediate medical attention from a doctor at your nearest emergency room. If you are still unsure whether you are experiencing a medical emergency or whether you should see an emergency dentist you can call the NHS 111 number for advice. 

Please note the NHS cannot book emergency appointments, if you are directed to see an emergency dentist, you will need to call us directly for an appointment! We are available for same day appointments both during regular hours and evenings, weekends, and bank holidays – to ensure you receive the emergency dental care you need, without disrupting your daily schedule, or leave you in pain.

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