Kate's Fear of TMJ

Better Options Than The Emergency Room For A Dental Emergency

A hospital emergency room is equipped with doctors, nurses, medical supplies and medications to respond to any type of health problems or injury, but they aren't always the best choice if your emergency involves your teeth, gums or jaw. While an emergency room will be able to help with your problem, an emergency dentist might be a better place to visit.

Not only will you be treated by someone who's an expert in all things dental, you might end up spending far less money in the long run:

When an Emergency Dentist is the Best Idea

Though there are doctors who can treat oral health problems, a dentist is the best option because he's been trained to identify, diagnose and treat problems that plague your mouth. In some states, it might even be against the law for anyone other than a certified dentist to perform certain procedures, such as pulling a tooth or filling a cavity.

Going to an emergency dentist ensures that you'll be diagnosed and treated more quickly than if you go to the ER first and then still have to go see a dentist.

What Emergency Room Doctors Can Do

Emergency room doctors can prescribe painkillers or otherwise treat the pain associated with a dental emergency, such as a knocked out permanent tooth. If you go to the ER, you might also get a prescription for an antibiotic if the doctor thinks you have an oral infection.

The Cost Benefits

The average emergency room visit for a dental emergency hovers upwards of $800. Even if you're sent from the ER to an emergency dentist, you'll still be responsible for paying for the services performed at the hospital. Skipping the ER and going straight to a dentist will save you a lot of money because you won't be paying twice for one emergency. Look into dental insurance, too, because having insurance can help pay for any treatment you receive.

When to Go to the Emergency Room

In many cases, you can skip the ER in favor of an emergency dentist, but there are certain times when you shouldn't hesitate to head to the hospital, even if your injury is related to your mouth. If you've sustained trauma to your face, the emergency room is the place to go.

Examples of trauma include a broken jaw, cuts inside or around the outside of your mouth and severe swelling in or around your mouth. A severe tongue injury, such as biting through the entire tongue, also warrants a trip to the ER. For more help, contact an emergency dental care professional.