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Do Hospitals Have Emergency Dentists?

May 20, 2024

Dealing with dental emergencies is something many of us go through. But Do hospitals have emergency dentists? It's surprising to know that visits to the ER for tooth pain or other dental issues cost patients over $2 billion annually nationwide. However, most hospitals aren't equipped with dentists on-site, making it tough to get the right dental care there.

While there are times when rushing to the ER is unavoidable, especially for serious emergencies, it's not the ideal spot for dental problems. Emergency dentists specialize in handling dental emergencies with care and expertise. So, rather than going to the ER for dental issues, turning to an emergency dentist ensures you get the focused attention your teeth deserve.

Keep on reading to find out, "Do hospitals have emergency dentists?"

Can you visit the ER for Dental Emergencies?

When you have a dental emergency, your first step should be to contact your dentist, especially during their regular hours. If it's after hours and your situation is urgent, your dentist might recommend going to the ER for severe pain or continuous bleeding. Cases involving injuries to your teeth or face might also need ER attention. Just remember, ER doctors aren't dental experts, so they can't fix tooth problems or pull teeth.

What can the ER do for Tooth Pain?

Several questions may come to our mind, such as: Do hospitals have emergency dentists? What is the emergency treatment that you can get in the ER?

 When you visit the ER for tooth pain, they can offer limited treatment options. Dentists are the experts who can handle dental problems like tooth removal or cavity fillings, but most of hospitals don't have emergency dentists on staff. In the ER, they can help ease your pain temporarily with numbing or pain medication, and they might also give you antibiotics if there's an infection. But remember, for a lasting solution, you'll still need to see a dentist to fix the underlying issue.

Alternatives to the ER for Dental Emergencies

When you are having a dental emergency, your first move should be to contact your dentist to see what they advise. Depending on the urgency, it might be possible to wait until regular dental hours for treatment. 

Let's look closer at common dental emergencies for which you may require an emergency dentist.

Tooth Pain

When you're dealing with a toothache, heading to the ER can offer some relief, but it can also mean dealing with expensive medical bills. If you can't see your dentist right away, you can do things at home to ease the pain until your dental appointment. Start by thoroughly brushing and flossing to clear out any food bits that might be making the pain worse.

You can also take over-the-counter painkillers, but make sure not to put them directly on your gums or teeth—it can cause damage. Using a cold pack on your cheek where it hurts can also help. And there are numbing gels you can buy over-the-counter that can give you temporary relief until you see your dentist.

Knocked-Out Tooth:

Losing a permanent tooth, whether from sports or accidents, is a serious situation that needs immediate attention. Your best chance of saving the tooth is putting it back in place within an hour. Hold it by the top part, rinse it gently with water, and try putting it back into the socket until you can see your dentist. If that's not possible, keep the tooth in milk or a saltwater solution and get to your dentist or an emergency dentist right away.

Tooth Abscess:

A tooth abscess happens when there's an infection around your tooth's root or between the tooth and your gums. You might notice a pimple-like swelling near the tooth or have red, swollen, and painful gums. These infections can spread fast and cause serious tissue damage, even potentially spreading throughout your body. If you suspect an abscess, it's crucial to reach out to your dentist immediately. While waiting for your dental appointment, rinsing your mouth with salt water a few times a day can help reduce infection and ease pain and swelling.

Chipped or Broken Tooth:

When you chip or break a tooth, how urgently you need help depends on the extent of the damage. Small chips or breaks usually don't hurt much, aside from some tooth sensitivity. You can wait to see your dentist, who can fill in the missing part of your tooth during your appointment. However, if the break causes bleeding, swelling, or pain, there are steps you can take. Use gauze to control any bleeding, and over-the-counter pain relievers and a cold compress can help with pain and swelling. For bigger breaks, your dentist may need to use a crown to save the tooth.

Foreign Body Reactions:

At times, food particles can get trapped between your teeth, leading to pain and inflammation—a reaction known as a foreign body reaction. This issue is more common when there are larger spaces between your teeth. Until you can see a dentist, your best bet for relief is regular brushing and flossing to dislodge these food particles.

Managing Bleeding:

It's normal to experience some bleeding in your mouth after brushing, flossing, or dental work. However, this bleeding usually stops within a few minutes. If bleeding persists or occurs without explanation, it could indicate a more serious issue. In such cases, it's crucial to contact your dentist promptly. If the bleeding doesn't stop or becomes excessive and you can't reach your dentist, heading to the ER may be necessary to manage the bleeding effectively.

Dealing with a Lost Filling or Crown:

Losing a filling or dental crown might feel urgent, but it usually doesn't require immediate emergency care. You can wait for a dental appointment as long as you take steps to safeguard your tooth. Keep the lost filling or crown clean and secure, and bring it along when you visit your dentist. Call your dentist right away to schedule the earliest available appointment. Meanwhile, make sure to keep your teeth clean and protected. Regular brushing and flossing remain crucial. Discuss with your dentist the option of using over-the-counter dental wax to shield and safeguard your tooth or using dental cement temporarily to replace the crown at home.

When should you go to the Emergency Room?

If you can't get an emergency dental appointment from an emergency dentist, there are times when going to the emergency room for dental problems is the right move. This includes situations where you have ongoing bleeding that won't stop or is getting worse, severe pain that regular pain relievers can't handle, or an injury involving your teeth and facial bones.

Do hospitals have Emergency Dentists in Pearland, TX?

In Pearland, TX, hospitals don't always have emergency dentists available, so they may not provide immediate specialized dental care during emergencies. This can be challenging because hospitals usually offer basic treatments but may lack resources for complex dental procedures.

Residents should know about other options like dedicated emergency dental clinics or dentists who work after hours for specialized care. Seeking prompt dental care is crucial during emergencies to address issues and avoid complications, emphasizing the importance of follow-up care with a dentist for comprehensive treatment and ongoing oral health.

Conclusion

Do hospitals have emergency dentists? While hospitals may provide initial assistance during dental emergencies, they may not always have emergency dentists readily available for specialized care. It's crucial for individuals to be aware of alternative options, such as dedicated emergency dental clinics or dentists who offer after-hours services. Prompt dental care is essential for addressing issues effectively and maintaining good oral health in the long run.

Looking for Emergency Dental Care in Pearland, TX?

Contact Afroz Burges DDS, PA, TX, and book an appointment online today. New patients can call us at 281-547-2632, while existing callers can reach us at 713-340-2889.

FAQ

Can hospitals provide specialized dental care during emergencies?

While hospitals can offer initial assistance, they may not have emergency dentists for specialized dental procedures.

What are alternative options for emergency dental care?

Dedicated emergency dental clinics or dentists offering after-hours services provide specialized care during dental emergencies.

Why is prompt dental care important during emergencies?

Prompt care helps address underlying issues, prevent complications, and ensure optimal oral health.

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