What is an emergency dentist?

An emergency dentist is one whom you can visit on very short notice. Whenever you are in extreme pain, have profuse bleeding, or there is swelling in your jaw or mouth, it probably constitutes a dental emergency. Most dentists have time in their schedules reserved for emergency situations, because they tend to crop up most every day. Some practices even offer services beyond normal business hours, so patients can be treated immediately.

An Emergency dentist examining a patient's mouth

Things you should know about dental emergencies

The first thing to know about a dental emergency is exactly what constitutes an emergency situation. Some examples of dental emergencies are excessive bleeding, infections or abscesses, unusual swelling, a tooth which has been knocked out, broken, or chipped, or a damaged tooth restoration. The next thing you need to know is what to do in a dental emergency, and that starts with remaining calm. If a tooth has been knocked out, you should hold it by the crown and rinse it in water, then try to replace it in its socket. If that’s not possible, put it in a jar of milk. For severe swelling, you can use an ice pack to try to reduce the swelling until you can be seen by the dentist. Chances are your dentist offers emergency hours, so call your dentist and arrange for the quickest possible appointment. Emergency dental service will cost an amount that is dependent on the type of service delivered. In some cases, insurance provides coverage for emergencies, but not all carriers do.

Working procedure of emergency dentistry

Emergency dentistry always attempts to provide immediate relief for whatever pain or discomfort a patient is feeling. If a tooth has been knocked out, the desired solution would be to reattach the tooth to the socket. If that’s not possible, the treatment shifts to treating the pain associated with the situation. Whenever you have soft tissue bleeding, your dentist will try to heal the wound. For severe toothaches, the dentist will first try to find the cause of the pain, then offer medication to relieve that pain.

All cases requiring emergency dental service

Whenever you have a case requiring emergency dentist service, the first thing you need to remember is not to panic. When people around the patient panic, that causes the patient to panic too, and the situation quickly gets out of hand. It’s much better to take a deep breath and assess the situation before acting. You will need to know exactly what has happened to the patient, so you can relate it to the dentist. Contact an emergency dentist and explain the entire situation. It’s also very important to follow any recommendations given to you exactly, because it might mean the difference of saving a tooth or losing one. In extreme emergencies, your dentist may advise you to go straight to a hospital emergency room.

Emergency dentist vs general dentist

The training and background is similar for general dentists and emergency dentists. Both have to go through years of training in order to become professionals and offer their services to the public. A general dentist is equipped to treat conditions that effect patients’ oral health, usually centered around the mouth, teeth, and gums. They can also take dental x-rays, perform cosmetic dentistry, and provide deep cleaning services at their clinics. An emergency dentist has all the same training as a general dentist, but has simply been accustomed to seeing more unusual mouth trauma than a general dentist. For instance, it’s fairly common with sports injuries to have one or more teeth knocked out or chipped. An emergency dentist will be far more likely to treat the situation soon after it occurs, and then a regular dentist would pick up on treatment for the long-term. The primary difference between these two types is simply the situations which are handled by each. A general dentist usually has a more relaxed atmosphere and handles normal dental maintenance. An emergency dentist is often in a charged situation, and tends to handle very unusual, traumatic kinds of mouth injuries.

An Emergency dentist reading dental x ray

Pros and cons of emergency dentistry

One of the biggest benefits of emergency dentists is providing immediate relief to a patient in pain or discomfort. A secondary benefit is that it is usually possible for an emergency dentist to save a tooth that has been broken or damaged in an accident. By providing professional treatment, the possibility of irreversible damage is lessened. And one final benefit is that having an emergency dentist will remove much of the stress from a dental crisis. If there are any disadvantages to emergency dentistry, it might be that you have difficulty arranging an appointment on short notice. If it turns out that this is the case when you have an emergency, the next best thing to do is contact the emergency room at a local wellness clinic. At the very least, emergency treatment will help to alleviate pain and discomfort, even if restorative steps cannot be taken regarding the dental emergency. 

Emergency Dentists performing a surgery on a patient

Tips to avoid dental emergencies

The best way to prevent unnecessary dental emergencies is to adopt a program of good oral hygiene. This means brushing and flossing regularly, and occasionally rinsing your mouth out with a good mouthwash. Chew food carefully, especially hard things like ice or nuts. If you are involved in contact sports, wearing protective gear around your teeth is essential. All it takes is one blow to the head, and you may lose one or more teeth, or have them damaged. Taking vitamins is another good way to stave off dental emergencies. A big part of oral hygiene depends on supplying the body with the nutrients it needs to stay in top condition. By having a regular intake of required vitamins, you can usually stay healthy and avoid the possibility of a dental emergency. Find more on it here.

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