Thousands of individuals experience a medical emergency every year. Therefore, most people have a solid understanding of what consists of a medical emergency. A dental emergency is a bit different, though. Understanding what dental issues require emergency dental care can be highly beneficial. It helps dentists provide you with the care you need and makes the difference between saving a molar and removing it. Below, we’ve outlined the information you need to know about dental emergencies and where you can find an emergency dentist in Boca Raton.
What Are Emergency Dentists?
Just like when you would visit the emergency room for a medical emergency, emergency dentists provide care when you are suffering a dental emergency. Some dentists offer both emergency appointments and regular appointments. You should confirm with your regular dentist if their office offers emergency appointments.
Additionally, many dentists do not offer 24-hour emergency care. You’ll want to determine how quickly your dentist can see you as this can impact your regular dentist’s ability to treat you. However, some clinics do offer 24/7 care in the case of an emergency. If severe, you may need to go to one of these emergency clinics for minor repairs until you can see your regular dentist.
Many established dentists will also accept emergency appointments for individuals who are not currently patients at their clinic. This emergency treatment can be important in the event your current dentist is not available or does not accept last-minute or emergency appointments. Ultimately, you’ll want to find a dentist who can treat you as quickly as possible should you need emergency dental treatment.
What Is a Dental Emergency?
Like medical emergencies, no one issue leads individuals to look for emergency dentist offices to visit. There are several different types of problems that can constitute a dental emergency and may require immediate medical care to correct. Additionally, some dental problems that do not receive treatment promptly can lead to losing a tooth.
According to many dentists, if your tooth or gums are bleeding excessively, you should immediately see a dentist. Though some bleeding may occur after brushing teeth or as a result of small cuts to the gums, if bleeding occurs directly from the tooth or does not stop, you should see a dentist as soon as possible.
Alongside excessive bleeding, if, as an adult, you suffer from a loose tooth, this is considered a dental emergency. Adults should never have loose teeth or lose a tooth under any circumstances. However, it does happen from time to time. Visiting an emergency dentist in Boca Raton can help save the tooth, allowing the dentist to reattach it before the nerve endings inside the tooth die.
Other dental emergencies include the following:
- Any dental issue that is causing severe pain; typically, dentists define severe pain as causing extreme discomfort or keeping you from sleeping or chewing comfortably
- Swelling around the gums or lower jaw as this may be a sign of infection
- Chipped or cracked teeth that are causing pain or have jagged edges
- Abscessed or infected teeth
- A lost tooth due to trauma
In these instances, you should seek the help of a dentist immediately. For example, in the instance of an infection or abscess, this type of dental emergency can quickly become life-threatening if not treated properly. Any dental issue causing severe pain or bleeding is often also an emergency and should receive treatment as soon as possible.
Some issues causing severe pain and discomfort may require emergency tooth removal to alleviate the pain and minimize infection risk. In these cases, seeing a dentist as soon as possible may mean avoiding long-term hospitalization.
What Problems Aren’t Considered a Dental Emergency?
While understanding what a dental emergency is is important, it’s also important to understand what kind of dental issues can wait until your provider’s next available appointment. By waiting, you will likely save money as emergency appointments are often more expensive. Remembering that not all dental issues are emergencies can help you decide if you need to seek treatment immediately or not.
Here are some examples of dental issues that may not require emergency care:
- Chipped or cracked teeth that do not cause pain and do not make it difficult to eat
- Small cavities or loose fillings that are not causing pain
- Loose or lost caps on minor dental repairs
These examples show that some dental issues that are not causing pain and do not threaten the tooth’s longevity can wait. If you ever have questions, concerns, or doubts about what does or does not constitute a dental emergency, you can try asking the following questions:
- Does the dental issue cause severe pain? Is it keeping you from being able to eat?
- Are you experiencing symptoms of an infection, such as swelling, or bumps along the gums?
- Is the tooth loose, or has it fallen out?
- Is there excessive bleeding occurring near the tooth?
- Is the tooth chipped or broken in a way that is causing cuts on the inside of the mouth?
If the answer to these questions is no, you likely can wait until your dentist’s next available appointment. However, if you’re still unsure, you can always call an emergency dentist’s office to ask if one of the above issues constitutes an emergency appointment. It is better to confirm that you can wait than to potentially lose a molar due to failing to get proper dental treatment.
Paying for Emergency Dental Work
Often, dental work can be expensive. Emergency dental work often comes at a higher price due to the on-demand nature of the services. However, this does not mean that treatment from emergency dental offices is necessarily out of reach. Many dental clinics offer a variety of payment plans to help you cover the total cost of care.
To begin with, some dental offices partner with third-party financing providers to cover the cost of care. It allows you to make monthly payments to cover the full cost associated with your emergency care in the form of a loan. Alternatively, you may be eligible for CareCredit, a credit card that helps cover the cost of dental and medical health care needs. When these are not an option, some clinics even offer in-house financing and payment plans.
To find out what options you have available, you should reach out to the emergency dental clinic. They’ll be able to walk you through the process and provide you with insight on the various ways you can pay.
Ultimately, dental emergencies are more common than you’d think. If you’re experiencing pain, swelling or excessive bleeding, you should see a dentist as soon as possible for care. Individuals with loose or lost teeth should also seek care as it may be a sign of a more extensive dental issue.
Those currently experiencing any of the above issues should call Dental and Facial Aesthetics of South Florida today to schedule an appointment and discuss treatment options.