Dental Advice – Emergency Appointments in Ipswich

A patient is putting off dental treatment and asks about emergency appointments.

Today’s question addresses an important point about the need for early treatment when a problem arises, and the real role of emergency appointments.

Q. Hi .. I’ve had a tooth that has been playing up for a few weeks now. It started off as a mildish discomfort that I could easily live with, and even now, although it is certainly worse, I can control it with painkillers with no problem. I have to be honest and say that I dislike visiting the dentist so the longer I can put it off, the better. What I want to know though is, if the pain becomes suddenly unbearable, how quickly will I be seen if I make an emergency appointment?

Thank you for your question, and you raise an important point about emergency appointments.

I will be blunt here. You obviously realise that it is almost inevitable that your tooth is going to cause you some major discomfort, probably not too far into the future. Despite this, you have not made an appointment to visit our Ipswich dental practice to have it looked at and it seems that you are relying on a quick emergency appointment instead? Whilst I understand your concerns, this is not really an ideal way of going about it, both for yourself and for the dentist.

There are two issues here. The first is to say that our Ipswich emergency dentist appointments are there for people with genuine dental emergencies. This could include unexpected toothache that happens suddenly, or perhaps a broken tooth through an accident. They are not designed for people who leave a problem until the last minute to be frank. Having said that, if you were in pain, we would, of course, try to see you as soon as we could. If we are contacted in the morning, we may be able to see someone the same day, but if this is not possible, you could be in pain for a day or so, until an appointment becomes available. The point I am trying to make is that, instead of seeing us now, when you know there is a problem, you could prevent a genuine emergency appointment for somebody else, when you could be treated now.

The other point to make is that you are not doing yourself any favours. It is impossible to know without inspecting the tooth, but it is possible that all it would have taken, if you had seen us when the problem first occurred, is a small filling to restore it. By leaving it until such a time that it is causing you pain, the procedure may need to be more extensive. This could include a larger filling, root canal surgery, or even an extraction depending on what is causing the discomfort.

I appreciate that you dislike visiting a dentist, and you are far from alone in this. In fact, we see a large number of nervous dental patients at the Foxhall Dental Practice each year, and our staff are very good at putting patients at ease. The reality though is that the longer you leave it, the more anxious you are likely to become, and, without a doubt, the best thing that you could do is to see us as soon as possible. We will do all we can to help put you at ease and relieve your pain quickly.

If you call our receptionists and explain your situation, they will do all that they can to find you a quick appointment. Please don’t leave it until you are in pain and need an emergency appointment the same day. Please call the Foxhall Dental Practice on 01473 258396 today.