What Are Emergency Dental Services?
Dental emergencies can happen at any time when you least expect them. These can not only cause severe pain and discomfort, but they can also put you at risk of developing infections and other injuries if you leave them untreated.
Emergency dentists are sort of like surgeons and doctors that work at a hospital if you ever get a physical injury. They can help correct any oral situation to get your smile back in no time.
Situations that will likely require an emergency dentist visit include:
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Lost tooth due to trauma (like getting hit during a sport)
- Lost fillings, crowns, or displaced dental bridges
- Bleeding or swelling in the gums
- An ongoing toothache that doesn’t respond to medication
- Any dental issue that needs to be addressed immediately, especially if it is causing you intense pain and discomfort
While your typical dentist can likely squeeze you in during the day if an emergency situation comes to light, you might be out of luck during off-hours at night or early morning. In these cases, you’ll need to call an emergency dentist. These are dental professionals that are typically open outside of normal hours to address your needs.
How Do I Know if It’s a Dental Emergency?
In most cases, a dentist will never fault you for wrongly assuming that a situation was an emergency. It is always better to be safe than sorry, and for that reason, many dentists consider a dental emergency to be anything that you consider to be a serious threat.
With that said, many cases can wait until normal business hours. As a general rule of thumb, if you can go about general, daily functioning without being inundated by pain and discomfort, you can wait until regular business hours. But if the pain is excruciating, or if your tooth is visibly lost or damaged, it’s vital to take action right away to give yourself the best chance of saving your tooth.
Common Dental Emergencies
If you’re unsure whether or not you need to see an emergency dentist, here are some of the most common dental emergencies, as well as some home remedies to try to provide relief.
Toothaches sometimes have an underlying cause that is pretty clear. Cavities, eating hot or cold foods, or decay are some of the most common reasons. However, toothaches can also come and go without any sort of clue as to why.
While minor toothaches are usually manageable with pain medications, severe toothaches can be excruciating. This might warrant a visit to the emergency dentist to make sure you don’t have any tooth decay or underlying infections.
Until you get to the dentist, you can try to reduce the pain by applying a cold compress, rinsing your mouth with salt water to reduce swelling, or using over-the-counter pain medications.
Gum irritation and gum disease are common dental abnormalities, and many people experience light bleeding from brushing or flossing. While this is worth bringing up the next time you see a dentist for a routine cleaning, you probably don’t need to see an emergency dentist for it.
However, it’s not normal to experience bleeding without any obvious cause. If your gums are bleeding without irritating them in any way, you should see your emergency dentist as soon as possible.
Chipped or Cracked Tooth
Your teeth are strong, but they’re not invincible. If you get hit in the mouth during a heated sports game, or even if you just bite down a tad too hard on that fork, you might experience a chipped or fractured tooth.
If the damage is minimal and doesn’t affect the underlying structure of the tooth, you might be able to wait until normal business hours. However, if the damage exposes your inner tooth structure or you experience severe pain and discomfort, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. They might even be able to repair the tooth and restore its function if you see them in time.
A chipped or cracked tooth is one thing, but losing your tooth in its entirety is another. This is one of those situations where there is really no way around it — you should visit an emergency dentist immediately if you lose one of your adult teeth due to trauma.
Try to keep your lost tooth if you’re able to because if you see a dentist soon enough, they might be able to reattach it and allow it to regain its function and appearance. Otherwise, a dentist can use dental implants or bridges to restore the structure and function of your mouth.
Missing Filling or Crown
If you’ve ever had a cavity, then you likely have a tooth filling or a dental crown. These are used to protect the inner structures of a tooth after infected tooth material is drilled away. While these fixtures are long-lasting and strong, they won’t last forever. So if your crown or filling ever falls out, you should see a dentist ASAP.
Losing a crown or filling leaves your tooth susceptible to infection. It can also expose the tooth’s nerves, which is seriously painful. Schedule an appointment with your emergency dentist right away to get the problem taken care of.
Is Emergency Dental Care Covered By Insurance?
In most cases, dental insurance plans will cover most of the expenses associated with emergency dental care. The problem is that over 50% of dentate adults do not have dental coverage, which acts as a major barrier to care.
Out-of-pocket costs for emergency dental services can be astronomical and inaccessible — but you don’t need to let the price deter you from getting the care you need. Flossy is a pay-as-you-go service that can save you up to 50% on common dental treatments.
With no monthly premiums or annual fees, Flossy gives you transparent pricing so that you know exactly what you’ll be paying before you go. And since every dentist in our network is vetted against rigorous criteria, you can have faith that you’ll be in the best hands.
No insurance? Perfect. Locate a dentist in the Scottsdale area today to save more and worry less.
Cracked teeth, bleeding gums, and major toothaches can be excruciatingly painful. Luckily, emergency dental services can save the day. These services are often offered after-hours to help you get relief no matter when and where a dental injury occurs.
Most dental insurance plans cover emergency dental expenses, but if you’re one of many Americans without a dental plan, the out-of-pocket costs associated can be inaccessible. But if you don’t have insurance, that doesn’t mean you can’t get the care you need.
Flossy can save you up to 50% on emergency dental services. Sign up for your free membership today, and since there’s no waiting period, you can get the care you need immediately.
Periodontitis - Symptoms and causes | The Mayo Clinic
Fractured Tooth (Cracked Tooth): What It Is, Symptoms & Repair | Cleveland Clinic
Regional Variation in Private Dental Coverage and Care Among Dentate Adults Aged 18–64 in the United States, 2014–2017 | CDC