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What happens during an emergency dental appointment? Our general dentist explains

It's 2:00 AM, and you have a throbbing unpleasant sensation underneath one of your teeth. It's time to call an emergency dental team.

Many people do not really know what to expect when they seek out emergency dental appointments. Is it very different from a general check-up? Or is it exactly the same with a bit more TLC? It can be off-putting to attend a dental appointment of any kind if you have dental anxiety or phobia, so in this article, we aim to break down what you can expect.

At Glenside Dental, we are exceptionally proud of our emergency dental team. Our general dentist Glenside always puts aside appointments every day to help those suffering from dental emergencies to get the relief and treatment they need to prevent secondary complications and further discomfort. Great stuff!

So what exactly can you expect when you attend an emergency dental appointment with our team? Here, our general dentist Glenside breaks it down for you.


In some cases, the cause of a dental emergency is not too obvious to the patient, and this is where our general dentist Glenside will need to perform an initial assessment. If you are finding it hard to open your mouth to undertake the assessment, we may be able to perform an x-ray, especially if you have a dental abscess, as this will show this issue clearly. But the assessment is essentially the same as one at a standard dental check-up, which will involve us looking at all of your teeth and identifying the problem.

Pain relief

Pain relief is a common part of a dental emergency, especially if you have a dental abscess, an impacted tooth or a lost filling. If you are finding it hard to open your mouth due to discomfort during the assessment phase, we will offer you pain relief to help you feel more comfortable.


Not all dental emergencies require medication. However, in the case of a dental abscess, we would usually need to wait a few days for the abscess to become better controlled, and we do so using antibiotics. Our emergency dental team can prescribe antibiotics, but you may also need to find an all-night pharmacy to pick them up from, as this will help to lessen the discomfort as the infection reduces.


Suppose you have a lost filling that is causing you discomfort. Our dental team will seek to replace this filling after a gentle cleaning of the area. We will always aim to provide treatment during an emergency dental appointment when we can, but, as mentioned earlier, if you have a dental abscess, there are many stages required to ensure a full recovery.


Going back to the dental abscess example, as it is the most common cause of a dental emergency, once you have undertaken the emergency appointment and been given the antibiotics, you will need to come back for a follow-up assessment with our general dental team. This will usually involve a dental extraction if the tooth is badly decayed or a root canal to prevent further infections from occurring.


All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.


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