Leading dental experts provide advice for patients with dental dilemmas

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It might not be possible to book a check-up at your local dental practice at the moment, but there is advice and support available for patients with dental dilemmas. 

Experts including Professor Damien Walmsley, the British Dental Association’s chief scientific adviser, have been answering questions in the media and providing tips for individuals who experience dental pain or injuries during the lockdown. Practices across the UK have been closed since March, but urgent care centres are operating to provide those with emergency needs with treatment.

Professor Walmsley is keen to discourage patients from opting for DIY treatments in urgent cases. With reports suggesting that some people have been extracting their own teeth at home, the Professor has urged anyone who is in severe pain to contact their dentist. Dentists are providing guidance online and over the telephone, and they can prescribe painkillers and antibiotics. For those who need urgent treatment, for example, tooth extraction, dentists are offering a telephone triage service, which is followed by a referral to an urgent care hub.

For toothache and minor ailments, dentists are encouraging patients to use over the counter medicines, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. These drugs are suitable for most people, but anti-inflammatory medications may not be recommended for those with some underlying health conditions. Dentists will be able to suggest alternative treatment methods for patients who cannot take ibuprofen. Applying an ice pack can also help to ease pain and swelling.

In cases where a crown or a filling has fallen out, it may be possible to carry out running repairs using a DIY kit or denture adhesive to secure the restoration. If you are using a kit, it’s crucial to follow the instructions.

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