How can you tell if you have a dental emergency—and how should you handle it? All too often, people downplay the severity of dental and oral injuries, infections and other problems. Without seeking immediate emergency dental care, the risks of losing a tooth or suffering from other severe consequences increase dramatically. While your first instinct may be to rush to the emergency room, it is important to note that ERs are not equipped to handle dental emergencies. Further, the costs that are associated with seeking emergency dental care at a hospital emergency room are estimated to be up to 10 times higher than the costs of visiting a dentist.
By understanding the importance of emergency dental care, including knowing which situations warrant seeking such care, you will be better able to respond if and when the time comes. A huge part of being prepared is having the number of a dentist who provides emergency, after-hours care handy. That way, if an emergency occurs, you will know where to turn for help. The faster you can get it, the less likely you are to suffer from more severe dental problems and complications.
When facing a medical emergency, it makes sense to head to the nearest emergency room. What about dental emergencies, though? Contrary to what many people believe, the emergency room is not the place to go when facing a dental emergency. Instead, emergency dental services should be sought. In the heat of the moment, however, you may not know who to call. This is why it is so important to have contact information for a qualified emergency dentist handy at all times. By understanding what emergency dentistry entails and how and when to effectively seek it, you may be able to avoid serious complications and other problems due to dental emergencies.
Put simply, emergency dentistry is dental care that is provided at any time of the day or night to address serious, time-sensitive injuries, infections and other problems. All too often, people fail to recognize dental emergencies as such, and they put off seeking care until it is too late. For example, when a tooth is fractured or even knocked out entirely, it can often be salvaged when care is sought quickly enough. Without having contact information for emergency dentistry services, care may be delayed to the point where treatment is far less effective than it otherwise would be.
Despite your best efforts, you may end up facing a dental emergency at some point. Will you know what to do? Will you recognize one when you see it? There are things that you can do to avoid dental emergencies, but it is also important to cover your bases in case one occurs. Fractured teeth, tissue injuries, abscesses, infections and other issues should never be put on the back burner. It is crucial to know where to turn for help the instant that a dental emergency happens, so familiarize yourself with what emergency dentistry entails, who performs it, how much it costs, common treatments and tips and tricks for warding it off in the first place to be ready to respond if and when the time comes. 24 Hourly Dentists, has comprehensive network of dentists available to help treat your dental emergency anytime 24/7.
Like many people, you may be unclear about what constitutes a dental emergency in the first place. If you are ever in doubt, it is better to err on the side of caution. Otherwise, here is a quick breakdown of the most common dental emergencies and corresponding treatment options:
Emergency dental costs vary widely. If you need an emergency root canal and don't have insurance, the average cost is around $1,150 for front teeth and $950 for back teeth. With insurance, it averages around $600 for front teeth and $330 for back teeth. If a dental crown must be placed, the average cost with insurance is around $600 while the average cost without insurance is around $1,100. These costs are still far lower than the costs that are associated with visiting the ER, which are estimated to be around 10 times as expensive.
You should seek emergency dental care if:
There are things that you can do to minimize the risk of needing emergency dental care. Keep these tips in mind to reduce the risk of having to contact an emergency dentist at some point in the future:
Finally, keep an emergency dental kit ready to go in case something happens. Stock it with a clean washcloth or handkerchief, gauze, acetaminophen and, most importantly of all, contact information for a local dentist who provides emergency dental care.
The first place to look for emergency dental services is your own dentist. Many dentists who run family practices or general dentistry practices are also available for emergency dental care. Most of the time, the dentist has an answering service that is available to take calls on a 24/7 basis. If you are a patient of the dentist and need emergency dental care, the answering service will take your call and then contact the dentist on your behalf. In other words, you most likely won't have a "direct line" to the dentist, but you should be able to get in touch with them without too much trouble.
What happens if your current dentist does not offer emergency dental services? You don't necessarily have to switch dentists, but having to contact a different dentist is far less convenient. Still, if you like the care that you receive from your regular dentist but they don't offer emergency services, you can always find another dentist in the area who provides it. If you are not a current patient of theirs, however, you may run into trouble when you need help, so schedule an appointment to officially become a patient if need be.
In most areas, many general and family dentists are available for emergency dental services regardless of whether you are a current patient or not. This should be your last option, as it usually costs a bit more to get emergency care from someone who isn't your regular dentist. Still, having the name and number of a few places in the area that offer around-the-clock emergency dental services is never a bad idea. If you have dental insurance, make sure that any emergency dentists who you consider accept it. You might also contact them and find out if any other payment options are available.
Caitlin Batchelor, What is the Hospital Cost of a Dental Emergency?; 7/25/2014
Average Cost of Dental Procedures with and without Insurance; accessed 2/8/2017
Tammy Davenport, Emergency Dental Care: Are You Ready for a Dental Emergency?; accessed 2/8/2017
Katelynne Shepard, Do You Need Emergency Dental Care?; accessed 2/8/2017