Unexpected dental issues can arise at any moment, leaving you in unbearable agony and unsure of where to seek the necessary care. Many individuals instinctively rush to the emergency department in such situations, but is this truly the best course of action for dental emergencies? Unfortunately, hospital emergency rooms are typically ill-equipped to handle toothaches, emergency root canals, or other dental emergencies. As a result, you often end up paying exorbitant hospital fees, only to still require a dentist visit. In most cases, it is possible to bypass the ER entirely and address your dental emergency directly with your dentist. For further insights, read on.
What Qualifies as a Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency is any situation that requires immediate attention from a qualified dentist to save a tooth, prevent further damage, or alleviate severe pain. Some common examples include:
- A knocked-out tooth
- A broken or cracked tooth
- Severe tooth pain or swelling
- A loose tooth
- A broken jaw
- An abscess or infection in the mouth
It’s important to note that not all dental issues qualify as emergencies. For example, a cavity or chipped tooth may be a priority, but it’s not necessarily an emergency that requires immediate attention.
What Should I Do When On My Way to an Emergency Dentistry Appointment?
Your dentist will guide how to safeguard your teeth, gums, and overall well-being throughout the journey to the clinic or while awaiting your appointment. If you experience a fractured tooth, rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to minimize swelling. In the case of a knocked-out tooth, attempt to reinsert it into the socket, keeping it secure with a moist compress. If reinsertion is not possible, store the tooth in a container of milk to preserve it. Remember not to handle the tooth’s root, only the crown.
Do Hospital Emergency Rooms House Dentists?
While hospital emergency rooms operate around the clock to address acute medical needs, most don’t have a dentist or dental equipment on hand to treat dental emergencies. In some cases, emergency physicians may be able to provide pain relief medications and antibiotics to address an infection, but they cannot provide the comprehensive dental services needed to treat the underlying issue.
When is it Appropriate to Go to the Emergency Room for Dental Services?
There are some situations when it’s appropriate to go to the emergency room if you’re dealing with a dental emergency. These include:
- If you’ve sustained facial trauma that could result in extensive bleeding
- If you’re experiencing breathing difficulties as a result of your dental emergency
- If you have a fever and swelling in your face, indicating a possible infection that could spread to other parts of your body
In most other cases, you’re better off going directly to your dentist to get the care you need.
Contact Signature Smiles Dentistry in a Dental Emergency in Parker
At Signature Smiles Dentistry in Parker, CO, our emergency dentistry services can benefit those experiencing oral or dental trauma. Our 24-hour emergency dental care can protect your health and comfort, preventing further problems. If you’re dealing with a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to contact our office to schedule an appointment. We’ll provide you with the pain relief and quality care you deserve.