Emergency room visits for preventable oral health-related issues cost the US health care system up to $2 billion every year. In a 10-year span, the number of people who sought dental care at emergency rooms almost doubled. When it’s an emergency, you don’t necessarily need to go to the emergency room.
Instead, consider visiting your local emergency dentist.
Selecting an emergency dentist now can prepare you for a potential emergency in the future. Otherwise, you might waste valuable time researching your options. You might make the mistake of choosing the first dentist you find.
Not every dentist in the area has emergency dentistry experience, though.
Instead, have a name and address saved on your phone for a rainy day. Keep these factors in mind during your search for a reliable dentist. Read on to learn more!
1. Personal Referrals
First, talk to friends and family members in the area. Ask if they’ve experienced a dental emergency in the past. If they have, consider their firsthand account.
Where did they go? Did the professional have emergency dentistry experience? Ask your friend if they were satisfied with the services they received.
You might also want to ask:
If your friends can’t help, ask about their general dentist instead. There’s a chance their general dentist offers emergency dentistry services.
Otherwise, start your search online. Google “emergency dentist near me” and learn more about the dentists in the area. Try to find dentists who specialize in offering emergency dentistry services.
While you’re online, confirm that each dentist has up-to-date credentials, too. Don’t visit an unlicensed dentist, especially during an emergency.
Start making a list of local dentists to research further. Then, use the rest of these tips to narrow down your options.
2. The Right Services
While you’re online, learn more about the services each emergency dentist offers. It’s important to make sure they’re equipped to handle any emergency. Otherwise, they might send you to someone else in the area.
You could waste valuable time as a result.
Instead, know how to identify you’re in the middle of a dental emergency. It’s important to visit a dentist right away during a dental emergency. Otherwise, you could risk losing a tooth or experiencing further pain.
A few common dental emergencies include:
Delaying treatment in these situations could make matters worse.
For example, a tooth abscess occurs when pus builds against the tip of a tooth’s root. You might develop an abscess if you don’t treat a cavity. The mortality rate for patients with infections caused by abscesses increases by 40%.
Before selecting an emergency dentist, look into the services they offer. Consider how they’ll respond to an emergency. If they don’t specialize in emergency services, look elsewhere.
3. Relevant Training
Once you find a few options for dentists that offer emergency services, look into their credentials. You’ll want to make sure the dentist is knowledgeable and qualified. Otherwise, they might struggle to help during an emergency.
Visit each dentist’s “About Us” page on their website. Check HealthGrades and their Better Business Bureau listing, too. Then, look for information about their training and education.
Consider where they went to school. Make sure they graduated from an accredited institution. Look at how long ago they graduated as well.
If it was a few decades ago, make sure the dentist keeps up with continuing their education.
Dentists who prioritize continuing their education remain up-to-date with techniques, services, and technologies. These dentists are more likely to offer the best possible services.
4. Years of Experience
Once you learn more about each dentist’s training, look into their work experience.
How long have they worked in the field? Consider how long they’ve specialized in emergency dentistry services, too. If they’re new to the industry, look elsewhere.
Instead, choose someone who has helped many patients over the years.
Make sure they have experience with your type of dental emergency, too.
Finding someone with relevant experience will give you peace of mind. You’ll know they’re capable of solving the problem. If they’re unfamiliar with your situation, however, they might fail to help.
5. A Convenient Location
Before selecting an emergency dentist, pull up Google Maps. Determine where each practice is located.
If there’s an emergency, you’ll want to make sure the dentist is nearby. Consider where they are relative to your home or work.
Check their hours, too. Some emergency dentists offer extended hours. You’ll have peace of mind knowing you can visit at any time.
6. A Strong Reputation
As you review your options for dentists, consider their professional reputation. Learn from people who were once in your shoes. Reading online reviews can help you learn more from the patient’s perspective.
Check Google My Business, Better Business Bureau, and HealthGrades.com for reviews. Try to read a few reviews from each site. Scratch the dentist off your list if they have any medical malpractice claims filed against them.
Before making your final choice, consider comparing dentist costs. How much did each dentist charge for their emergency services? You might need to call to determine their pricing.
During the call, determine if they accept your insurance, too. If not, ask if the practice offers pricing plans.
If you don’t have dental insurance, check Boisedentist.com to discover your options.
Don’t choose the cheapest option on your list. You’ll likely pay for the dentist’s experience and expertise. Instead, review your notes.
Try a reliable, experienced dentist you can count on. You’ll feel calmer during an emergency knowing you can rely on their help.
Start Searching: 7 Factors to Consider When Selecting an Emergency Dentist
Take the time to prepare for an emergency before it happens. Keep these factors in mind before selecting an emergency dentist. With these tips, you can find a qualified dentist you can trust.
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