What is a dental emergency?
If you have never experienced dental trauma or had trouble with an on-going health concern that needs treatment now and again, you might not be familiar with the emergency services on offer to help in case you suffer an accident. Most dentists will provide some sort of emergency provision so that their patients have access to treatment when they need it; this may not amount to twenty-four hour care if the clinic has minimal resources and a smaller workforce. Many emergency dentists that operate in highly populated areas are able to remain open twenty-four hours a day and they can offer appointments to both registered and non-registered patients.
The great thing about this type of dentistry is that not only does it allow patients access to immediate care, it also takes some of the pressure off local hospitals that might not have the training or resources to provide for patients with dental injuries. Going to the emergency dentist instead of the A&E department could save you several hours because the doctors and nurses will probably have more serious issues to be dealing with, rather than people who have injured their teeth. If you are thinking about changing dentists or you have relocated and need to find another dentist, you should certainly consider registering with a surgery that can provide emergency care and regular appointments, that way you are covered for every eventuality.
The Pearl Dental Clinic can offer twenty-four hour emergency bookings, as well as appointments during the day for regular treatment, like check-ups and general maintenance, such as cleaning and plaque removal; give them a call today to get more information about the registration process.
Will my own dentist offer emergency dental care?
As mentioned earlier, it’s unlikely that your dentist will be able to remain open twenty-four hours if it is only a small clinic; it would not be economically viable for them to operate in this manner in an area with there is lower demand for this kind of service either. However, most dentists will have provisions in place to make sure people who are experiencing an emergency have assistance, such as a telephone line that gives information about local twenty-four hour clinics, or early morning appointments for the next day. If you are worried about injuring your teeth, ask your dentist about the services in your local area, they should be able to point you in the right direction – furthermore, registration is not usually mandatory so you won’t have to leave your regular dentist if you need emergency care at some point. Most twenty-four hour dentists are aware that patients will have developed a working relationship with their normal surgeon and that’s not something they necessarily want to change.
What counts as an emergency?
Generally speaking, if you find you are in an unacceptable amount of pain or your teeth have been badly damaged, it’s time to make an appointment with the emergency dentist, or even just walk in and request assistance. However, it’s not always easy to tell when a situation has escalated to the point where it requires emergency treatment, so let’s take a look at some scenarios that need immediate attention;
Broken teeth – This type of dental trauma can be tricky to deal with if some fragments are still sitting in the socket; it may be possible to reattach broken sections using composite bonding material. It is important that this condition is examined quite soon after the trauma occurs because the damage may lead to infection if the fractures are not filled quickly.
Knocked-out teeth – A strong impact to the face can knock the teeth out of the sockets and they need to be replaced as soon as possible if a successful reattachment is to be achieved. In most cases, the dentist will need to cement the tooth back in the socket because the supporting ligaments will have been severed; it may also be necessary to splint the tooth to one of its neighbours to keep it strong and functional until the socket heals around the disturbed root.
Enamel damage – This might not be a painful occurrence but lots of people suffer chips and cracks to the surface of their teeth and it’s not something that anyone would really want to live with for an extended period of time. Enamel chips can be repaired using composite material or a porcelain crown if the damage is more extensive.
Abscesses – These soft swellings are indicative of infection that has taken hold beneath the gum tissue and they can develop into blood poisoning if they are not drained and sanitised as soon as they appear; of course, this is a worst case scenario but they are still very painful and need to be treated in a timely fashion.
Toothache – A lot of people don’t associate toothache with a dental emergency, but if it is related to serious decay or infection, then it definitely needs immediate attention. It’s no good ignoring dental pain just because you don’t think the condition is life threatening; it is not likely to go away long-term so you need to get it diagnosed and begin treatment.
How much does emergency dental treatment cost?
It’s hard to say exactly how much dental treatment costs in an emergency, but because of the immediate nature of the service, you can expect to pay a lot more than if you were to make a scheduled booking; this is primarily because it takes more money and effort to arrange surgery at short notice, and the staff have to provide it as quickly as possible. The prices are by no means completely unaffordable to most working people, and as long as you are aware of the higher cost, it shouldn’t come as too much of a shock when your invoice arrives later on.
If money is a problem for you, the clinic you attend may be open to negotiation as far as paying in a lump sum goes; you might be able to break down the cost into more affordable chunks if it turns out to be more than you thought – although, your surgeon should make you aware of the applicable costs before they begin treatment, so you know exactly what you are expected to pay at the end of it.