Dental emergencies like a toothache, lost filling, or broken tooth often require urgent care to relieve pain and prevent more severe issues. But will an emergency dentist in the UK actually perform an extraction if your tooth is damaged beyond repair? Let’s explore when emergency tooth removal may be needed and what to expect.
What is a Dental Emergency?
Dental emergencies are issues causing sudden, severe pain or requiring immediate treatment to halt ongoing damage and infection. Common dental emergencies include:
- Severe toothache pain that is uncontrolled by over-the-counter meds
- Significant tooth chipping or cracks exposing nerves
- Knocked out, loosened, or displaced teeth
- Lost fillings or dental crowns
- Facial or gum swelling
Dental Emergency Symptoms
Seek emergency dental care if you experience:
- Severe, constant, throbbing tooth pain
- Bleeding gums or loss of a tooth
- Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold
- Inability to chew or bite down
- Swelling of gums, jaw, or face
- High fever along with tooth or gum pain
It’s Not a Dental Emergency If…
Minor issues like a mildly irritating tooth, small chips, or mild sensitivity can wait to be addressed at your regular dental checkup.
Not all dental issues require urgent or emergency care. The following minor dental problems can often wait to be addressed at your regular checkup or cleaning:
- Mild tooth sensitivity to hot or cold foods
- Slight tooth pain when chewing or biting down
- Small tooth chips with no exposed nerves
- Teeth that are slightly loose but not avulsed
Discomfort from dentures or braces that is manageable with over-the-counter pain medication, orthodontic wax, or small adjustments you can make at home.
Cosmetic issues like stained teeth or a minor chip in a front tooth posing no medical issues
Slight bleeding from gums after brushing
Lost or broken fillings with no associated pain — a temporary filling can be placed until it is repaired
Any dental issue that is not severely painful, not bleeding excessively, not damaged enough to impact chewing or eating, and not resulting in visible facial or gum swelling does not require emergency dental treatment and can wait to be evaluated during normal office hours.
How Much Does an Emergency Dentist Cost?
Without insurance, you can expect to pay $100-$600 for emergency dental care, depending on the treatment. Extractions, fillings, and crowns cost more. Verify coverage and out-of-pocket fees beforehand.
Will They Pull My Tooth?
Emergency dentists can perform extractions if a tooth is damaged extensively, unable to be saved through other treatments, or potentially infected. Some key indicators your dentist may recommend extraction include:
- The tooth is fractured below the gumline
- An abscess is present
- The tooth can’t be restored with other procedures
- It’s posing a high infection risk to your health
Extractions are usually a last resort if a tooth cannot realistically be saved and repaired. Talk to your dentist about all your treatment options before deciding on extraction.
FAQs About Emergency Tooth Extractions
Q: When would an emergency dentist need to extract a tooth?
A: Severe fracture below the gumline, uncontrolled infection, extensive decay, and damage that cannot be restored are some reasons a tooth may need emergency extraction.
Q: Do they numb your mouth before extracting a tooth?
A: Yes, you will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area to avoid pain during the extraction.
Q: Can an emergency dentist put in a replacement tooth right away?
A: No, the extraction site needs to heal for several months before a dental implant or bridge can be placed. A temporary prosthetic may be provided.
Q: How can I avoid dental emergencies needing extraction?
A: Get cavities filled early, repair cracks promptly, wear a mouthguard during sports, and avoid hard foods that can damage teeth. See your dentist regularly.
Q: What is the cost of emergency tooth extraction?
A: Without insurance, extraction costs range from $150-$650 depending on complexity. Confirm costs with the dental office beforehand.
Q: How long does it take to extract a tooth?
A: Simple extractions usually take 30-60 minutes. Surgical extractions that require removing bone or sectioning the tooth may take 1-2 hours.
Q: Will I have pain after the anesthetic wears off?
A: Some residual soreness is common for a few days. Over-the-counter pain medication can help manage discomfort.
Q: What care is needed after a tooth extraction?
A: Follow post-extraction instructions from your dentist, including biting on gauze to stop bleeding, icing your face, eating soft foods, rinsing gently, and taking prescribed medications.
Q: When can I resume normal activity after an extraction?
A: Recovery time varies, but plan for 1-2 days of rest. Avoid strenuous exercise and spitting for at least 24 hours after the procedure.
Q: What are dry socket risks after extraction?
A: Dry socket – severe pain from an empty extraction site – occurs when a blood clot fails to form properly. Smoking, drinking through a straw, and disturbing the site may increase risks.
Q: What are signs of infection after a tooth extraction?
A: Severe pain that gets worse, swelling that continues beyond 3 days, fever, chills, foul odor, and pus are potential signs of infection that require urgent care.
Q: How expensive is emergency dental care without insurance?
A: Costs vary but expect to pay $100-$300 for an exam and x-rays, $150-$650 for an extraction, and $500-$2000+ for root canals, crowns, or dentures.
Q: Should I return for a follow-up after an emergency extraction?
A: Yes, schedule a follow-up in 7-10 days to allow the dentist to check your healing, remove any sutures, and discuss any next steps like bone grafting to rebuild the socket.
While emergency dental clinic in London aim to remedy issues with minimal intervention, they can perform tooth extractions when clinically necessary. Be sure to contact your London Based same day emergency dentist promptly when experiencing any symptoms of a dental emergency to prevent permanent tooth loss.