Birmingham Dental Hospital
The Birmingham Dental Hospital is a teaching hospital and the Primary Care Unit is there to support dental student teaching. Their service is limited in the numbers of patients they can see and may include supervised treatment by dental students. They see patients with acute dental problems, particularly if they do not have their own dentist.
Dental Hospital Opening Times
Since moving to Edgbaston from the city centre location, the dental hospital no longer uses a ticket-based system.
Rather than a walk-in service, the hospital requests that you first speak with NHS Services on 111 who will assess you over the telephone and offer you treatment choices appropriate to your needs, this may include an appointment at Birmingham Dental Hospital. The only exceptions are if you:
- Are bleeding following a tooth extraction
- Have an infection with noticeable swelling to the face or neck
- Have had an accident to your mouth or jaw
- Are/have a child in pain
- Already having a course of treatment with the Dental Hospital
If you attend for one of the above reasons you will be assessed by a dental nurse in the first instance and then by a dentist, only if the appropriate criteria is met. The new location is 5 Mill Pool Way, Edgbaston, Birmingham B5 7EG.
The Scott Arms Dental Practice occasionally provides the emergency dental services for the Birmingham Dental Hospital on bank holidays and weekends. Between 1992 and 1997 we provided the official emergency dental service for the health authority. We have provided our emergency service for more than 18 years, treating over 100,000 patients. We receive a large number of patients each day requiring toothache help and emergency care.
Types of Dental Hospital Birmingham Emergency
Broken or Chipped Teeth
Teeth becoming chipped or broken is quite a common dental problem. Sugary foods and soft drinks dissolve the enamel on your teeth, making them thinner and more vulnerable to physical damage. Damage to the teeth can be caused by anything from sporting accidents or biting down onto hard food. Small chips in the teeth can be ignored, however they do pose a potential problem in leaving sharp edges that may damage inside of your mouth. If too much of the tooth is broken off it can leave the tooth root exposed, leaving a patient in pain/discomfort and posing a more urgent dental hospital emergency.
What to do if your teeth becomes broken:
- You should attempt to keep your mouth area clean.
- Drinking water can be used to rinse your mouth out. Refrain from eating any food and keep your mouth closed to prevent exposing the damaged tooth.
- An icepack can be applied to the mouth area to reduce swelling and seal open parts of the gums.
- Seek a dentist for dental hospital emergency treatment.
This is rarely an emergency, however it can be painful because the exposed tooth tissue is often sensitive to pressure, air or hot and cold temperatures. In some cases, a crown may come loose because decay has developed underneath it. The decay can cause the tooth to change shape and as a result, the crown of filling no longer fits the tooth properly.
If you lose a crown or filling, put it in a safe place and make an appointment to a dentist as soon as you can. Don’t wait too long. The tooth will be weak and could be damaged more without the crown to protect it.
Also, when a crown is missing for a long time, your teeth may move into the space that has been created. If this happens, your crown may no longer fit.
What will my Dentists do?
If the tooth is structurally sound and the crown still fits properly, your dentist will clean the area and then re-cement the crown back in place.
Wisdom Teeth Emergency
Wisdom teeth are the last to come through, right at the back. They usually appear when you are between 17 and 25. Although sometimes they appear many years later there may not be enough space for the wisdom teeth to come through properly. Often there will be some slight discomfort as they come through, but this is only temporary and will disappear once the tooth is fully in position. If there is not enough room, the wisdom tooth may try to come through, but will get stuck against the tooth in front of it. If the wisdom tooth is at an angle, it will be described by the dentist as ‘impacted’.
If part of the wisdom tooth has appeared through the gum and part of it is still covered, the gum may become sore and perhaps swollen. Food particles and bacteria can collect under the gum edge, and it will be difficult to clean the area effectively. This is known as pericoronitis. This is a temporary problem that can be dealt with by using mouthwashes and special cleaning methods and possibly antibiotics. If the problem keeps coming back, it may be better to have the tooth removed. A mouthwash of medium hot water with a teaspoonful of salt will help to reduce gum soreness and inflammation (check that it is not too hot before using it). Swish the salt water around the tooth, trying to get into the areas your toothbrush cannot reach. This should be done several times a day. An antibacterial mouthwash containing chlorhexidine can also reduce the inflammation. Pain-relieving tablets can also be useful in the short term, but consult your dentist if the pain continues.. If the pain does not go away or if you find it difficult to open your mouth, you should see a dentist. They will be able to see the cause of the problem, and advise you accordingly. It may be useful to clean around the tooth very thoroughly, and an antibiotic may be prescribed.
Broken Denture Repair
Accidents do happen and if you should accidentally damage your appliance, seek the help of a dentist with experience in broken denture repair. Partial denture repairs may appear to be simple, but it takes great skill and experience to restore an appliance back to its original state. If you attempt to make a repair on your own by using glue, you may cause additional damage to the appliance, as some glues will eat away at the denture material.
These appliances are custom made to fit the exact shape of your mouth. When you make a repair on your own, you can easily change the shape of the appliance. This can result in a piece that sits slightly off that causes discomfort and damage to your mouth.
Although these appliances are made tough, they are not indestructible. When removing the appliance, be sure to stand over a table or sink to minimize the distance of the fall should you accidentally drop your dentures. Draping a towel over the area or filling the sink with water can help absorb some of the impact if the appliance should fall and will help prevent it from breaking.
Never use standard toothpaste when cleaning your dentures. Use the brands of toothpastes specially made for dentures. Conventional toothpastes can contain abrasives that may scratch and wear away the surface. Soft bristle toothbrushes for partials are gentler on the tooth surface and clean dentures better than regular toothbrushes. When the appliance is scratched, it can hold germs and food particles that can cause stains and look unpleasant. In this instance, many people choose to have their dentures replaced or repaired.
What is an avulsed tooth?
An avulsed tooth is one that has been knocked out. A tooth can be knocked out for a number of reasons: often a blow to the mouth, or an accident involving the face. This can happen for example during contact sports. It is possible to replace the tooth in the socket successfully if the right action is taken as soon as possible. If it’s bleeding don’t panic. Get a clean handkerchief and fold it up, then hold it over the socket and bite down. Keep your jaws together to apply pressure. If you need something for the pain, don’t take any medication containing aspirin as this can encourage further bleeding. If you still have the complete tooth it needs to be replaced in the socket as soon as possible, ideally in under 30 minutes. If you have the tooth, avoid handling the root. If it is very dirty, rinse it with milk or tap water. Do not clean it with disinfectant or let it dry out. Your tooth has more chance of survival if you keep it in your cheek until you can get emergency dental treatment. This will keep the tooth in its most natural environment. If this is not possible, keep it in some milk. Contact your dental practice as soon as possible and your dentist will tell you what options are available to restore the tooth.
You may need dental x-rays to see if there is any root damage. If the incident has happened out of normal dental practice hours, you should still be able to contact your dentist for emergency treatment. The dentist will then tell you what treatment will be needed. Your dentist will assess the immediate situation and may treat any facial injury. However, treatment may be limited if there is any bruising or bleeding. They may take x-rays and will check if the tooth has re-implanted successfully. You will probably need more appointments for follow up treatment.
For more information on our emergency dental service at Scott Arms Dental Practice click here: Emergency Dentist