A few years ago, I realized that I was thinking about dental care all wrong. Instead of listening carefully to my dentist and making the necessary changes, I assumed that he was ultimately responsible for making sure that my teeth stayed healthy. Unfortunately, I developed a few serious cavities because I failed to properly brush and floss my teeth, and I knew that it was my fault. I decided to start taking notes at my dental checkups and carefully abiding by the dentist's orders. The difference was almost miraculous. This blog is all about working with your dentist to improve your result.
When something goes wrong in your mouth, either through injury or decay, the pain can be unbearable, but does that warrant a call to 9-1-1? In some cases, failing to treat dental emergencies like a true emergency can be fatal; however, in others, waiting for normal business hours to resume is the recommended course of action. The only trouble is, though, how do you make that call?
Going To The Emergency Room For A Dental Crisis
If something involving the mouth or teeth happens to you or a member of your family on a Sunday afternoon or major holiday, you're not likely to be able to contact your regular dentist. Still, you know you must take action. Under these circumstances, a visit to the emergency room is warranted, and if you have insurance, it should cover you, provided no dental clinic was available at the time. If, however, you do have access to an emergency dental clinic, one which might be open on a Sunday afternoon or major holiday, that's where you should head.
Insurance matters can be tricky, though, so it's best to know what to expect from your policy long before any type of emergency arises. If you have Medicare, emergency dental procedures should be covered. Also, it may be helpful to check with your dental office regarding payment plans for services not covered by your insurance, or if you don't have any insurance. Unfortunately, uninsured people are being forced to wait until a dental issue does become an emergency, because they feel they have no other recourse. In fact, 56 percent of them don't get regular check-ups, and that can have serious consequences.
The following situations generally require immediate attention; hence, you need to get yourself or the person experiencing them to either the ER or emergency dental clinic, no matter what coverage you may or may not have:
Waiting For The Dentist To Resolve Near-Emergencies
While every dental issue may feel like an emergency to the person enduring it, there are times when it's better to wait until your regular dentist is available. Provided the pain is bearable, no untreated infection is present, there's no threat of losing a permanent tooth and you (or the person with the dental dilemma) can function normally in terms of eating or chewing and swallowing, you can often avoid the ER for the following situations:
Who Decides If There's A Real Emergency?
Although general guidelines normally dictate the course of action for urgent dental care, if you or anyone else feels a serious risk is involved, don't hesitate to visit your local ER. Infections can quickly escalate from the mouth to the bloodstream and that's not something you want to take a gamble on. While you may be left with an insurance crisis later on, in some instances, that is more favorable than risking the health of the patient.
Because dental pain can be so severe, it's easy to conclude you have an emergency on your hands, but whatever the circumstances, getting medical attention may be vital and whenever there's any doubt that the health of the patient is threatened, opt for 9-1-1 immediately and check the 4-1-1 afterwards.