If you have ever experienced a dental emergency in the past, you know just how stressful they can be. It is challenging to make a quick decision when you are dealing with pain. Your first thought may be to head to the emergency room, but this isn’t always the best solution. Most of the time, you are better off seeing your emergency dentist. Read on to learn when you should go to the emergency room and when giving your dentist a call is a better option.
When Should You Go to the Emergency Room?
The emergency room is the place to be if you’re dealing with a life-threatening emergency. If you have a severe laceration or cut on your face, a broken or dislocated jaw, or a serious infection that is getting in the way of your ability to breathe or swallow, you should head to the ER so you can be treated in a hospital setting. A dental office may not have all of the necessary equipment to treat you, even if they are perfectly equipped and trained for dental emergencies. If you cannot make it to the emergency room, call 911.
When Should You See Your Emergency Dentist?
If you have a dental emergency that isn’t life-threatening, but is still urgent, you should head to the dental office. Here are a few issues that your emergency dentist is always ready to treat:
- Cracked, chipped, and broken teeth
- Knocked out and partially dislodged teeth
- Damaged and lost dental restorations
- Oral abscesses
- Severe toothaches
Why Should You Go to the Emergency Dentist in Most Situations?
Dentists are the professionals who are the most qualified to provide dental care, even if you are dealing with an emergency. It is illegal in most states for anyone other than a dentist to perform restorative dental care, fill cavities, or extract teeth. Most of the time, emergency rooms don’t even have a dentist that they can call to help in these situations. If the issue you are dealing with isn’t life threatening, all the ER staff can really do is provide you with antibiotics, pain relievers, and other medications. You will still need to go to the dentist eventually to have your smile treated.
If you are experiencing a dental emergency, give your dentist a call first. This way, you can receive treatment in a timely manner and get back to your busy schedule in no time!
About the Author
Dr. Gary P. Hutnik is an experienced dentist who has been working in the field for more than three decades. He earned his dental degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and is a proud member of the American Dental Association, Michigan Dental Association, and Academy of General Dentistry. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, he would be happy to help you get some relief. For more information or to schedule an appointment at his office in Lansing, visit his website or call (517) 886-9696.