Not every dental problem requires emergency dental services, but the ones that do are often painful and time sensitive. When a patient encounters a dental issue that needs immediate care, it can help to have some knowledge about what a visit to the emergency dentist entails.
Frequently asked emergency dental questions
Some of the most commonly asked questions involve which issues require an emergency visit and what happens to the patient during a visit.
What constitutes a dental emergency?
Emergency dental services are available for any patient who cannot wait until normal business hours or a regularly scheduled appointment to address their dental issues. The threshold for pain is different for each person, so if an individual feels like they cannot address the problem on their own, a visit to the emergency dentist could be needed. Other issues are time sensitive and should be addressed by emergency dental services, such as a tooth that has been fully or partially knocked out or severely cracked or broken. Infections or abscesses can also become dental emergencies if they escalate quickly.
Are emergency dental services expensive?
It is a common misconception that an emergency dentist charges exorbitant prices in comparison to regularly scheduled dental services. Most emergency practices have a similar fee schedule to an appointment at a typical dentist practice and accept different types of dental insurance. The pricing of the dental procedures is competitive and will depend on the general cost of services in that particular area.
What are some at-home solutions for dental issues?
Some people try to solve dental problems at home before visiting the emergency dentist. There are some options to try that are temporary fixes, but if these do not work then an alternative needs to be considered. If a food fragment is caught between the teeth, flossing or using a water flosser may be able to dislodge it. Over-the-counter pain medication can help with toothache pain until the next dental visit. If a filling has come out, there are some over-the-counter cementing solutions that can serve as a temporary fix. Although any of these solutions may work in the short term, ignoring the issue can sometimes make the problem worse and more difficult to fix.
Can a knocked-out tooth be saved?
Since a tooth that has been knocked out or partially dislodged can potentially be saved if immediate action is taken, an emergency dental visit is common after an accident occurs. With immediate intervention, ideally within 30 minutes, a dislodged tooth can sometimes be re-implanted and saved. If the tooth is severely cracked or broken, a quick response can help lower the risk of bacterial infection.
The decision to visit an emergency dental practice should be based on the urgency of the dental situation and the potential for elevated risk if dealing with the issue is postponed. By reviewing some of the most frequently asked questions, a patient can decide if a visit to the emergency dentist is the right choice.
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