Dentists are a saving grace for many who may experience intense toothache or other dental pain. The coronavirus lockdown has been extended in the UK until at least May 7, with many non-essential services closing their doors. But are dentists still open or can you see a dentist during lockdown?
The coronavirus dentist hit the UK earlier this year and as of April 23, has infected more than 130,000 people across the country.
In a bid to slow the spread of the deadly virus, the Government implemented a lockdown on March 23.
Last week the lockdown was extended for at least three more weeks to May 7.
As a result, several non-essential businesses are required to keep their doors closed.
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The lockdown has seen a knock-on effect on some medical services too.
All non-urgent operations and treatments have been cancelled, including those at the dentists.
Dental surgeries across Britain are not currently open for routine appointments such as check-ups, hygienist or orthodontic appointments.
A source told Express.co.uk that most dentists will be back up and running by the end of May or early June – but with lockdown being extended, these could be pushed back.
However, if you have a dental emergency there are avenues in place to offer you support.
What should you do if you have a dental emergency?
If you have severe pain, you should call your dentist who should be able to diagnose a reason for your pain.
You will likely be prescribed antibiotics or strong pain killers.
Until you are able to collect these medicines, you are advised to take a combination of paracetamol and Ibuprofen, according to the medication instructions.
If you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or you suffer from stomach problems, you should not take ibuprofen.
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If you have a general toothache you are advised to take regular painkillers and maintain your dental healthcare regime.
The best practice for general toothache is to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and reduce your intake of sugary snacks.
If you experience bleeding gums, you are likely suffering from gum disease or gingivitis.
Your gums will likely continue to bleed until your oral hygiene improves, spending extra time on the areas which are bleeding.
It is also best practice to be sure to floss in between your teeth.
For those with a cracked tooth, you should call your dentist if you are in pain.
IF you think your tooth needs to be extracted, you can use dental walk-in services where they will be able to extract your tooth for you.
If you are unsure where this type of service is available near you, you are advised to call your dentist for further advice.
If you have a broken or damaged filling, your crown or bridge has come off or is loose, you can buy a temporary dental kit from your local pharmacy or from Amazon.
This kit will enable you to fill the hole created.
You should be sure to bite down when the filling is still soft to be sure it adapts to your bite.
For those with wisdom tooth pain, you are advised to improve your cleaning as usually, this will alleviate some pain.
Warm salt water mouthwashes can also help to disinfect the area and reduce your pain.
If your pain is severe and impacting your ability to open your mouth, you should contact your dentist as you may need antibiotics.
If you have an ulcer, you should try to reduce discomfort with an anaesthetic gel such as Bonjela.
For those experiencing rubbing or loose dentures, you should consider using a fixative, which is available from most pharmacies.
If you have a broken retainer, you can attempt to bend the wire carefully until it is comfortable with wire cutters, kitchen scissors or nail clippers.
You should be sure to sanitise these devices before putting them near your retainer and use a clean nail file to smooth the edge of a wire afterwards.
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