It is a great thing to have emergency dental care when you need it. Although it does not happen every day, when a dental emergency comes along the circumstances can be between devastating and awful. Depending on the severity of the issue, it may seem like the pain and misery will never go away, but, you do have options. The first one is to remain calm.
Table of Contents
What is a Dental Emergency?
Anything that has to do with your teeth that is an emergency is considered a dental emergency. Some of the circumstances that merit emergency care are:
- Broken teeth
- Teeth smashed out from force
- Excruciating tooth pain
- Exessive bleeding
- Bleeding that won’t stop
- Jaw pain
- Lost crowns
Just like anywhere else on the body, if the mouth is hit with force it can cause great injury. The teeth are not as solidly affixed as many people assume so they are not difficult to knock loose, especially during a fight or a car accident.
Whenever teeth are knocked out by force it should be considered an emergency because you never know the extent of the damage until it gets checked out by a dentist. In the case where the tooth is knocked out because the jaw gets broken, it is definitely an emergency.
What to Do for an Emergency
As cliché as it may sound, do not panic. The initial shock of an injury can be pretty traumatic. If the emergency is for yourself, just try to keep in mind the best thing you can do is seek help and keep calm.
Obviously, there are different types of emergencies that a person could endure that might require a trip to the hospital emergency room, or require a special trip for an emergency dental visit. The odds of an emergency room taking a toothache seriously are pretty slim, but if you have a dentist that will accommodate dental emergencies you are good to go.
In the event of an emergency caused by trauma or force and there is bleeding it is best to dial 911 and get to an emergency room as soon as possible. There is a chance that you could bleed out and die if you tried to wait around for a dentist.
Whenever there is serious bone breakage in the jaw the need for an orthopedic surgeon would be more appropriate than that of a dentist, so keep that in mind.
When it comes to major emergencies it is not difficult to ascertain which is a measure that needs an emergency room, and which does not.
When you have an emergency such as swelling of the gums or excruciating pain call your emergency dental line as soon as possible and get started with treatment. You could have an infection that is possibly life-threatening.
Pain is Bad
Teeth should not hurt. They are made out of bone that surrounds tissue and nerves. When they hurt, there is usually a problem deep inside of them. Whether it is decay that has rotted away enough for the nerve to be exposed or an infection that has begun to fester to the point of an eruption the issue is not good and needs to be seen as soon as possible.
The first thing to do is determine whether or not the pain is actually an emergency. If you have a dull throbbing pain that is more like a headache than anything else it may be safe to visit the dentist the next day during business hours.
However, if you have nonstop, intense pain that will not go away you might want to get to the dentist right away. If your dentist does not offer emergency services, find one that does. Excruciating pain can be a sign of severe problems. It can also lead to a miserable time with no escape.
What an Emergency Dentist Will Do
If you take a trip to an emergency dentist the first thing they will do is examine your mouth and see if they can determine the best care from that point. Of course, next, they will do some dental x-rays to see what is going on behind the scenes.
Depending on the issues that they discover, the treatment will be whatever is appropriate for the problem. If there is excruciating pain, the dentist can apply local anesthesia, or prescribe pain medication for the patient.
In some cases, an emergency extraction might be appropriate to alleviate the pain or help with the agony of an infection.
The Upside of A Dental Emergency Provider
Although a dental emergency is very unpleasant, the positive side of having a dentist that offers emergency services is that if you are ever in need of one, you have one. If you have ever experienced dental pain so horrible that you can’t do anything but hate life it is so relieving to know that there is an option available for you to get relief.
Tooth pain can be agonizing, especially when it is one o’clock in the morning and the ibuprofen is not working. It can be a long, endless night in the grips of a toothache that will not calm down even a bit.
Sometimes just knowing that there is a solution available regardless of what time it is helps to take the edge off of the suffering.
The Other Downside of Dental Emergencies
Having a dental emergency will never be a pleasant experience unless you are the type of person that thrives on your own misery. To make things worse, the bill that you will get in the end might hurt as much as the emergency in the first place.
It is only common sense that if you get dental care during off-hours you are going to be charged an arm and a leg. As it is, the cost of a dental professional during business hours is not cheap, so be prepared to get a big bill after an emergency.
Although you might not have to worry about too high of a cost if you:
- Have great dental coverage
- Have a dentist that is willing to work with you
- Are a minor and your parents will pay for it all
Other than that, the cost of healthy teeth is not cheap. Dentists have to go through school for a long time and work very hard to get where they are at, so you can’t expect them to charge discounted rates.
Insurance Coverages and Other Help
It is a smart idea to invest in some good dental healthcare coverage. Although regular health care and dental healthcare are quite a bit different if you get the type of dental insurance that covers all of the necessary components of having teeth you are in good shape.
As we mentioned before, dentists are not cheap and neither is dental work. Just to get a root canal without a crown it is never under $500 and can be upwards of $1,600. In any event, if you get a dental plan that covers most of the costs that you would primarily pay out of pocket, you will be able to save yourself a lot of money down the road.