Dental emergencies can be a painful and unpleasant surprise. Fortunately, your dentist can help you weather dental emergencies. Here are the steps you should take if you experience unexpected oral pain, an infection, or a broken tooth:
1. Go to the emergency room if necessary.
Dentists are the specialists who are best equipped to handle dental emergencies. However, you may experience a serious emergency while your dentist's office is closed. Although dentists strive to see patients with emergencies as soon as possible, there may be times when this is not an option. If your face swells due to a tooth infection, you should visit an emergency room as soon as you are able. Abscesses in the mouth can spread to the brain, causing fatal consequences if left untreated. ER staff can give you antibiotics and pain medication to control your symptoms until you're able to see your dentist.
2. Call your dentist as soon as possible.
If you decide to go to the ER, you should still follow up with your dentist as soon as possible. While antibiotics will cure a tooth infection, that infection is likely to return unless you address the root of the problem. Tooth infections occur when decay is present in a tooth. In order to remove the decay, your dentist will need to perform a cavity filling or root canal treatment. The sooner you call your dentist, the sooner you can get the help you need.
3. Work out a payment plan if applicable.
Some people put off scheduling restorative dental work because they don't have the money they need to pay for treatment. This may work for small cavities, but putting off emergency treatment is usually ill-advised. Fortunately, dentists understand that patients sometimes lack the means to pay for necessary dental procedures. Many dentists solve this problem by offering payment plans to emergency patients. If you agree to pay your bill in installments, your dentist will be able to provide the emergency treatment you need upfront. This arrangement can be a relief to patients who are experiencing immediate pain.
4. Return to your dentist for scheduled follow-up appointments.
Depending on the emergency treatment that you receive, your dentist may suggest that you schedule a follow-up appointment. Follow-up appointments are designed to monitor patients' progress. For instance, your dentist may want to see how your root canal or other procedure is healing. Be sure to attend all your follow-up appointments to avoid complications. To learn more, contact an emergency dentistry.