Toothaches are one of the most common dental issues. When the pain strikes, the first thing you should do is to decide if what you are experiencing is an emergency or not. So, calm down, take a seat and try to number the pain in a “1 to 10 scale”. If pain is more than 8, you should definitely find an emergency dentist. Of course, a toothache is not the only dental emergency. There are many other occasions in which you would probably need an emergency dentist. Some of them are:
- Knocked-out teeth
- A broken tooth
- Losing a filling or a crown
- Bleeding gums
- Abscessed teeth
- Exposed nerves
So… what to do in case of a dental emergency? The starting point is to call your dentist. If you are calling during normal business hours, your dental office may offer you an opening available (most offices reserve certain spots within their busy schedules to accommodate patients who are under these circumstances). If your emergency takes place at night, or on the weekend, your dentist’s answering phone service will advise you as to where to get after-hours care. If you can, and you can manage your pain, try to avoid going to the ER as in most cases the most they can provide is medication to cope with the pain.
If, on the other hand, you don’t have a known and reliable dental office to contact, start by asking your relatives and friends to suggest one for you. Also, you can search for one on the internet. No matter how you manage to find an emergency dentist, this is what you should always take into account:
Find a Competent Emergency Dentist
Try to find a dental office that is known for helping people and not for doing exactly the opposite. If you Google a dental office for emergencies, check if it has good reviews and awards or if they are members of professional associations such as the ADA or the Pankey Institute. It is always a good idea to scan through the website and read any comment patients have written as regards their experience. If what you read does not build trust, keep on searching!
Look for Someone who can Perform a Wide Range of Procedures
Dental emergencies can go from a deep toothache or dental injury to a root canal or extraction. Make sure the emergency dentist you found is available in case you need a complex intervention such as oral surgery. In many cases, specialists will only treat you with an appointment.
Make Sure the Staff is Friendly
This is not a minor issue. If you are suffering because of a broken tooth or an infection, the only thing you want is to be treated in a gentle and caring way. So don’t forget to ask or check on the internet about the staff and how kind the dentist is to patients.
Find an Emergency Dentist Near You
The emergency dentist you are looking for shouldn’t be far away from your place. The quicker you get to the dental office, the faster the pain will go away.
And remember… under no circumstances should you go to the emergency room (ER). They will charge an arm and a leg and most likely won’t be able to help unless it’s an extraction.