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Emergency Dental Care: Your Questions, Answered


Have you ever thought of what might happen if you were to have a dental emergency? Perhaps an injury or accident led to a cracked tooth, or poor dental hygiene created a situation where emergency dentistry was needed. A dental emergency can happen without warning, and if such an event does happen, you will need emergency dental care.

Not a lot of people understand that specialty emergency dental care is available in many cities across the United States. Dr. Thomas E. Cooke, DDS, a leading emergency dentist in Raleigh, North Carolina, has created this handy guide so that you can understand what happens when urgent dental care is needed. Let’s begin!

Emergency Care Around the Clock

Most traditional dental practices do not offer emergency care. With long patient lists and even longer wait times for appointments, simply walking in to your regular dental clinic for emergency treatment is out of the question.

Emergency dental clinics can be found in most locations. These urgent dental care centers may operate during daylight hours, or may offer 24/7 care. Some of these emergency dental practices have a trained emergency dentist on call, and he or she can meet you at the clinic if you have a dental emergency. Others operate in a similar fashion to a hospital’s emergency room, offering round the clock care and specialized dental treatments for emergencies.

What is Emergency Dental Care?

Emergency dentistry is the practice of helping patients overcome the discomfort of an unexpected event. This can mean a broken or cracked tooth, a missing filling, or some other event caused by trauma, such as from a slip and fall injury. In any dental emergency, the first step is to evaluate the condition and to formulate a treatment plan. The emergency dentist may take x-rays to help diagnose the condition.

Next, the treatment begins. An emergency dental issue may be resolved in the first visit; other times, more extensive care is needed and the dentist will schedule follow-up appointments during regular business hours. Follow-ups may be conducted by your regular dental practice as well.

Dental emergencies often cause a lot of pain and discomfort. The emergency dentist will administer pain relieving medication to stabilize the patient, helping to alleviate the pain they may be experiencing.

Is Emergency Dentistry Expensive?

As with any specialized emergency care, emergency dental care can be expensive. Dentists that are on call for emergencies must juggle a busy schedule, and this can create additional costs for care. Luckily, most dental insurance covers emergencies. Check with your dental insurance provider to see if such care is covered. Some dentists offer convenient financing options, which are great for those without insurance or with insurance that doesn’t cover dental emergencies.

A less expensive option is often available in many cities, especially in areas where there are dental schools. Some of these schools operate emergency dental clinics that are staffed by students completing their dentistry training. If you are worried that you’ll receive care from an inexperienced person, take heart: these facilities are supervised by highly-trained and highly-experienced dentists that oversee all treatments and diagnoses conducted by the students. These emergency clinics usually operate at low costs, helping patients get the treatment they need when they need it.

With this information, you’ll know what to expect if you find yourself in a dental emergency. Emergency dentists have the training and the compassion needed to help you overcome your situation.  To learn more, contact our experts today

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