Make sure you and your family have an emergency plan in place.
Dental emergencies happen. Each year, there are nearly a million visits to the ER for dental emergencies alone, and the rate is significantly higher for adults than children. As a caregiver, you might forget that caring for your needs is important, too. Like most busy adults, we put off what we can put off until we don’t have a choice..
Today, we’re going to help you formulate a dental plan in the event of an emergency. This way, you’ll be prepared if something goes wrong. It’s better to plan ahead of time than wait until there’s an actual emergency to address.
How to Create an Emergency Dental Plan
It’s important to have an emergency dental plan in place because it can be difficult to think on the fly when you’re experiencing a blinding toothache or have accidentally chipped a tooth. So take some time to research and put together a solid emergency dental plan so you can be prepared at a moment’s notice.
What Is a Dental Emergency?
According to the ADA, a dental emergency constitutes any oral issue that is potentially life threatening. But our teeth are sensitive, both literally and figuratively. If you’re in serious pain, then you are experiencing a dental emergency!
A toothache is one common scenario that causes people to seek out emergency dental treatment, which is understandable for a number of reasons. First and foremost, tooth pain can disrupt your life, stopping you in your tracks until you’ve found a solution to the sometimes unendurable agony. A toothache can also be a sign of larger, more serious dental problems.
Losing or chipping a tooth are two other common scenarios that may warrant an emergency dental visit. As with a toothache, these may or may not be an emergency; it all depends on how much pain you’re in and how long you can afford to wait before solving your problem. A lost filling or dental crown are two more common dental emergencies people experience.
Common Causes for Dental Emergencies
Accidents are the most common reason people seek out emergency dental care. This could be anything from a car or bike accident to sustaining an injury while playing sports. It could even be something as unexpected as a household injury while eating or drinking. You could chip a tooth while drinking out of a glass bottle, for instance.
One final cause of dental emergencies is being away from your primary dentist. Perhaps you’re on vacation or out of town for work. You might not have a regular dentist where you are, so anything’s likely to be a dental emergency.
What to Do in Case of a Dental Emergency
The first step in creating an emergency dental plan is to have the number for your primary dentist on hand. You’ll need that in case an emergency happens after hours.
The first thing you should do in the event of a dental emergency is call your dentist. As we’ve already pointed out, dental problems can feel like the end of the world even when they’re not. Your dentist will be able to give you some guidance on whether you need immediate care or whether you can wait until regular office hours.
If you happen to lose a tooth, whether it’s due to an injury or because it was dislodged in some other way, the first thing to do is put your tooth in milk before seeking out emergency dental care. You should also make sure to pack the socket with some form of gauze or even a teabag. This will help prevent infection until you can receive treatment. If your tooth has been broken or chipped, you should try and salvage the broken piece and place it in milk as well.
In the case of injury, you should seek out care immediately. For serious dental injuries, you can go to an urgent care provider or even a regular ER. You should make sure to have your dental insurance information on you as well. This way, if your primary care provider isn’t available, they can give you advice on where else you can seek treatment. This is especially useful if you’re traveling, as they can find dental practices that accept your insurance near your destination.
Knowledge is power, as the saying goes. Understanding your dental insurance and having an emergency dental plan in place helps you make use of your insurance and your dentist. You shouldn’t let a fear of finances deter you from getting the care you need, either. There are often options when faced with an unexpected dental bill. Talk to your dentist’s business office about it.
Do You Need Emergency Dental Care?
Dental health can improve your life in every conceivable way; it gives you a brighter, wider smile, you’re less likely to experience tooth pain, you can eat all of the foods you enjoy, and you can simply enjoy your life.
At Cooley-Bentz Dental Associates, it is our great honor, privilege, and joy to help you and your family live your best lives. Whether you’re looking for a primary dentist or a backup emergency dentist, we are here for you. Contact us today to set up an appointment or give us a call at 601-588-6944 and let us know how we can help you!