Dental emergencies can happen at any time, whether you are prepared or not. While there are some ways to prevent dental emergencies and some things you can do to deal with a dental emergency, ultimately most dental emergencies require you to see an emergency dentist. In most cases, an emergency dentist is simply a general dentist who provides services to treat dental emergencies.
If you have never had a dental emergency in the past, you may be unsure of what to expect when receiving emergency dental care. To make your dental visit easier, here are three things to expect when seeing an emergency dentist:
Same Day Appointment
Although most dental practices are not designed exclusively for dental emergencies, dentists that treat dental emergencies maintain room in their daily schedules for emergency patients. In most cases, you can expect to get an appointment to visit your emergency dentist the same day you call about the dental emergency. However, this depends on the severity of the problem. Some dental emergencies are more urgent than others. With extremely urgent dental emergencies, like the loss of a tooth, you may be asked to come in immediately. When you call your emergency dentist, they will let you know when to come in and what to do in the meantime.
When visiting the dentist for an emergency dental appointment, you can expect to have an emergency dental exam. During this exam, your emergency dentist will evaluate the emergency to determine its severity and the best treatment plan. Your medical history and list of current medications will also need to be discussed prior to executing any type of treatment. If you are visiting your usual general dentist for emergency dental care, then they will only need ask if there have been any recent changes. This saves time and allows your dentist to provide you with care sooner. This is why it is important to have an established general dentist who is familiar with you, your oral health, and your medical history.
Dental Anesthetics & Sedation
Once the emergency exam has been completed and your dentist has decided upon a treatment plan, the next step is to undergo emergency dental treatment. Depending on the severity of the emergency, your emergency dentist may opt for using dental anesthetics and/or dental sedation. Dental anesthetics are used to numb the affected area and keep you comfortable during emergency dental treatment, while dental sedation relaxes you and relieves anxiety during the procedure. Generally speaking, if your emergency is enough to warrant emergency dental care, then your emergency dentist will most likely use dental anesthetics, as well as dental sedation to make emergency dental care easier on you.
As you can see, seeing an emergency dentist is similar to seeing your general dentist, but with a few key differences. First, you will likely get an emergency appointment sooner that you would get a regular appointment. Second, your dental exam will evaluate the source of the emergency rather than your entire mouth. Finally, your emergency treatment will likely require the use of dental anesthetic or sedation. While not all dental emergencies can be avoided, it helps to know what to expect if a dental emergency were to occur.