At Hetton Dental Practice our main priority has always been the health and safety of our patients. As a key provider of dental care in our community, we wanted to reach out to our patients regarding the COVID-19 virus, and to let you know what we are doing to alleviate any potential concerns.
Following guidance from NHS England, and the Chief Dental Officer for England, we have been instructed to operate for urgent and emergency dental care only. We understand this will inconvenience some of our patients, and would like to apologise for this. However, we strongly feel we have a role to play in reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
If you have an urgent or emergency dental problem during our normal practice opening hours please contact the usual number 0191 5262589. If we are not able to answer your call there will be a mobile number on which you can reach one of our dentists for advice and guidance.
We have provided some guidance below for managing common dental problems at home if you are self isolating.
Please help us to keep you and our staff safe by washing your hands frequently, including prior to attending the surgery, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick. Stay at home if you have a new continuous cough (this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly) or a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back.
We are following local and national guidelines daily, and will update this page as new information becomes available to us. If you have any questions regarding your future appointments, please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.
Thank you for being a valued patient at Hetton Dental Practice and for your continued support. These are challenging circumstances which will be overcome, and we look forward to continuing to care for your oral health at your next appointment.
John & Victoria Gamon
Hetton Dental Practice
If you are self isolating and unable to leave the house then the last thing you want is to develop toothache. If you are not able to see us, there are a few things you can try to manage the pain until you can. It is unclear at this point when normal service will resume. If you have a swelling on your face or difficulty swallowing, this requires urgent professional attention so don't be afraid to contact us for advice.
Pain from teeth
Decay is a bacterial infection of a tooth. If the bacteria gets close to the nerve in a tooth, it can cause the tooth to be acutely sensitive. As the infection causing inflammation of the nerve gets worse, the ligaments holding the tooth in position can also get inflamed which causes pain on biting.
If the tooth is acutely sensitive to temperature, antibiotics will not fix this. The decay needs to be removed to allow the tooth to heal. If the bacteria has caused irreversible damage to the nerve in the tooth then a root filling is required or the tooth needs to be extracted.
To help manage toothache until you can visit us, there are a few things that may help reduce the pain
If there is a cavity in the tooth, a temporary filling material can be packed in to this space. These temporary filling kits are widely available from supermarkets or pharmacies.
Anti-inflammatory tablets (NSAIDs) can reduce the sensitivity. A combination of ibuprofen and paracetamol has been found to be beneficial if you can take them both - however, there are some reports that Ibuprofen may increase the symptoms of COVID-19 so Paracetamol alone is probably best if you have symptoms.Make sure you don't exceed the recommended dosage!
Don't stop taking the anti-inflammatory when the pain stops (or it will come back again!) You are wanting to reduce the inflammation of the nerve in the tooth which is causing the pain.
Desensitising toothpaste such as Sensodyne repair and protect or Colgate sensitive pro relief can help.
Anaesthetic gel such as Orajel applied to the area can help to numb the pain.
Clove Oil - This essential oil can be found in health food stores and you can apply it onto the painful tooth with a cotton bud. This works well if there is an exposed nerve due to deep decay but for it to work, you need to place it onto the exposed nerve
Keep your head elevated at night time- When you lie down to go to sleep, the blood pressure in the tooth can increase which increases pain. An extra pillow at night time can help
Keep the area cold- reducing blood flow to an area will reduce the inflammation and pain. Do not apply ice directly to a tooth as this can increase the pain as toothaches are quite sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
If there is an infection - a swelling next to the tooth or pus discharging;
Rinse your mouth with warm salty mouthwash to try and draw out the infection into your mouth. Dissolve a spoonful of sea salt in warm water and rinse around your mouth/ hold it in your mouth next to the infected area. Repeat several times until the pain subsides.
Never put heat externally on your face as this can draw the infection into the tissues in your face causing external swellings.
Pain from gums
If there is bacteria or food debris trapped between the gum and the tooth, this can cause pain.
Thoroughly clean the area with floss or a te-pe interdental brush. You could put corsodyl gel onto the brush to help clean the area
Rinse thoroughly with Corsodyl mouthwash can help (but Corsodyl will stain your teeth so we dont recommend this for long term use)
Pain from ulcers
Mouth ulcers can be a sign of underlying medical conditions such as iron deficiency so shouldn't be ignored. Any mouth ulcer which doesn't heal in two weeks should be checked by a dentist.
To reduce the discomfort, you can try a topical ansesthetic gel such as Orajel
To help with healing of ulcers, Gengigel can be effective as well as soothing the pain.
If a tooth or filling has chipped or cracked, this can cause sensitivity from the tooth being exposed or pain to your tongue from sharp edges.
The sensitivity can be reduced by rubbing a de-sensitising toothpaste onto the tooth or placing a temporary filling material over the broken corner until a more definitive filling can be placed.
We are a long established Dental Practice in the small town of Hetton-le-Hole between Sunderland and Durham. Our aim is to provide dental care and treatment of a high standard in a friendly and caring manner.
Nothing is more beautiful than a healthy smile. It looks great to those around you and makes you feel good. The team at our practice do everything possible to make your teeth the best they can be and keep them healthy in the long term.
Why not see what we can do for you?
About the practice
Our practice has three surgeries and is located in a mid-terrace building close to the centre of the town of Hetton-le-Hole
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For healthy teeth that last a lifetime: we offer a wide range of dental services.
We provide both NHS and private dental care.
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