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Emergency dental care is defined as dental services rendered for the purpose of incidents requiring immediate attention. Examples of emergency dental care include broken teeth, severed teeth, severe tooth pain, broken jaw and bleeding or swelling of the gums as a result of facial trauma. Urgent dental care is similar in nature, but may also include broken or missing fillings and chipped or cracked teeth, which require urgent attention, though not necessarily immediate. Some medical insurance benefits include emergency dental care coverage and most dental insurance plans cover emergency and urgent dental care.
Emergency dental care is available through urgent care dental centers and in some areas may also be obtained through hospital emergency rooms. There are fewer dental urgent care centers than hospitals, but many of the urgent care dental facilities are available around the clock. Unlike a regular dental practice where routine preventative dental care, such as cleanings, x-rays, sealants and exams are performed, emergency dental care facilities are available at all hours to treat emergencies that affect the teeth, gums, jaw, and tongue.
The most common reason for emergency dental care is a broken tooth due to injury. When a tooth breaks free from the root due to impact trauma, the biggest concern is infection. This injury is common among children and while more drastic if it happens to a permanent tooth rather than a baby tooth, the risk of infection is still present. Seeking emergency dental treatment may also provide the chance to save a permanent tooth.
Injuries that occur to the mouth as a result of sports and recreational injuries are common, but can be prevented with the use of a mouth guard. On the other hand, accidents do happen and sometimes there is no way to prevent them. Accidents involving severe mouth trauma that results in lacerations, broken bones or teeth should be treated in an emergency room setting. Accidents involving children should be treated at a children’s hospital if possible as they will probably have quick access to a pediatric dentist.
Some private practice dentists provide emergency dental care as well. Patients with an established relationship with their dentist may have access to after-hours numbers for dental emergencies. At the very least, dentists should be equipped to direct patients to the quickest source of care during a dental emergency. While a dental emergency may not be considered life-threatening, some situations do require immediate attention to avoid potentially bigger problems. The other advantage of seeking emergency dental care is to manage tooth and mouth pain that is likely to occur after an accident or injury.
The truth is that there are so many health risks associated with not practicing good oral hygiene and having your teeth regularly cleaned. The primary goal of the emergency dentist is to address the pain issues and make certain injury cure and ease the pain. It's a good thing to know that we have the best dentist in town.
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