Finding emergency dental care can be challenging when you have no idea where to start looking. Plus, the excruciating pain and stress that often accompany a dental emergency would likely keep you from thinking straight. You might find yourself unable to call around or scour the internet for an emergency dentist or walk-in dental practice. That is why it is a good idea to prepare for the unexpected — both for your sake and for the people who depend on you.
What is emergency dental care?
Emergency dental care refers to dental services that are offered on short notice to patients in distress who cannot wait for an appointment with their dentist. Emergency dental care also allows patients to receive treatment when regular dental practices close their doors for the night or the weekend.
Emergency dental treatment comes in many forms from a variety of providers. Here are the three most common options.
1. Walk-in dental clinics
These are found in places with fairly high populations. Walk-in emergency dental practices are almost always housed at a central location, such as in the middle of a town or city or close to main transit routes, making them convenient and easy to reach for virtually everyone.
Walk-in dental clinics stay open for long hours. While regular dental practices keep their doors open for nine to ten hours, a walk-in practice remains open long into the night. Some of them even operate on a 24-hour basis.
A walk-in dental clinic can be a lifesaver during a dental emergency. Walk-in clinics generally have short wait times and keep emergency dentists on staff. They resolve dental emergencies with timely treatment or with a referral to a medical doctor or some other type of specialist.
2. On-call dentists
Some dental practices keep regular hours but also keep one dental practitioner on call so that they can attend to dental emergencies. Depending on the nature of the emergency, the person on call may do the following:
- Give helpful advice to manage or mitigate the dental problem
- Arrange for the patient to go to the practice for emergency dental treatment
- Ask the patient to go to the ER if the emergency is serious
3. The hospital or emergency room
If a person fails to find any of the first two treatment options, they can seek help at a hospital. This is especially common if the dental emergency is the result of trauma that also causes excessive bleeding and/or soft tissue damage. A trauma ER doctor will be able to give first-line medical attention and find a dentist to provide any treatment that can only be done by a dentist.
Know your options and stay prepared
A dental emergency can be overwhelming. When one happens, you might have a hard time keeping a level head long enough to find someone or some provider that offers emergency dentistry. That is why you should know a place that you can go or a number that you can call ahead of time, so that when the unexpected happens, you're ready.
If you live near Denham Springs, get in touch with us to find out about our practice. We offer emergency dental treatment to anyone who needs it.
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