Is the Emergency Room the Best Place to go for A Dental Emergency?
At Lincoln Family Dentistry we are often asked this question. While we would love to give a quick “yes” or “no” answer, it is not quite that simple. Where you go depends on the type of pain or injury you or a loved one has sustained.
If you or someone you know has a dental emergency, most can be seen by your emergency dentist at Lincoln Family Dentistry. So that you can be a little surer where you need to go in the event of an emergency, let’s look a bit deeper into situations appropriate for treatment at the emergency room as opposed to calling your dentist.
Life-Threatening or Traumatic Injuries
When dealing with a life-threatening injury to the head or a serious trauma to the head or mouth, make sure that you seek treatment first at the emergency room closest to you. If you are wondering what injuries are considered worthy of an emergency room visit, some of the most common are listed below:
- Lacerations to the mouth or face that are deep and possibly in need of stitches
- Fractured or dislocated jaw
- Pain and swelling of the face most likely caused by an abscess or infection that is making it difficult to swallow or breathe
When experiencing any of the above dental emergencies, it is important to first seek treatment at a hospital as they have the necessary tools and equipment to treat the injury and any other issues caused by the injury or infection. For example, in the case of a severe and life-threatening infection, IV antibiotics that are not available at a dental office will be administered. They will also be able to help with your restricted airway. Whatever the dental emergency once you have received the treatment you need at the hospital, it is recommended you visit your dentist for a follow up visit. While a hospital can treat your medical conditions, if an injury has been sustained to the teeth as well, they will not perform any cosmetic or restorative treatment like your dentist; this visit will also ensure your teeth and mouth are healthy and in good working order once again.
Minor Dental Emergencies
While you may be in pain and even have some minor swelling, not all dental emergencies require a hospital visit. In fact, your emergency dentist at Lincoln Family Dentistry is better equipped to treat the condition behind the pain, instead of essentially putting a band aid on it like an emergency room visit will do. Some common minor dental emergencies best seen by your dentist are:
- An avulsed (knocked out) tooth
- Pain in a tooth or minor swelling of the face typically caused by infection
- Teeth that are broken or cracked
If you are experiencing one of the above dental problems, or another non life threatening/traumatic dental emergency, it is important to contact one of our offices as soon as possible. At Lincoln Family Dentistry, we are here for any dental emergency you are experiencing. With extended and weekend hours as well as an after-hours emergency number, taking care of you is our number one priority.
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