Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What to Expect When Calling an Emergency Dentist

Emergency Dentist
Visiting an emergency dentist is not the same as going in for a regularly scheduled tooth cleaning. It is often something nobody considers, much less plans for, until they are in a situation where they need our services. On the other hand, we deal with dental emergency situations on a daily basis and have come up with a series of protocols, that are designed to streamline the process, so that you can get the care that you need. Our process begins the minute a phone rings, and someone expresses that they may have an emergency. Our goal, during this initial conversation, is to determine what the incident is, diagnose its causes, and give you advice on how best to proceed. You can expect to spend several minutes on the phone which is not to cause you additional distress or discomfort but is to speed up the diagnosis so that we are ready for you when you come in. 

Your emergency care does not begin when you walk into the clinic, it typically begins when you call us which is why it is important for us to get information. We understand that when people call with an emergency they are typically in a lot of pain, caused by a tooth that has been knocked out or is in dire need of a procedure. This is why you will be asked a series of very pointed questions, from which we can get our initial analysis and give you primary directions. If at all possible, we ask that you have someone with you who can take notes and can potentially drive you to the office if we determine that you need to come in and see us immediately. 

Perhaps the most common reason why people call an emergency dentist is because they have been involved in some kind of accident. With the proliferation of sports, unsafe actions by children and numerous spontaneous mishaps occurring daily, it is not surprising that the highest number of calls we get are from people who have experienced  trauma. Our first question is always to determine the scope of the accident and to help you decide if you need to go into an emergency room or come straight to our emergency dentist office. The size, scope, and impact of an accident are all things that need to factor into this decision. 

We also want to know if you are bleeding.  This question is critically important because, in the event of a tooth loss, you may be bleeding to some degree. If the bleeding is heavy, we will recommend that you go to an ER unless you can make it to us in a very short amount of time.  For medium bleeding and light bleeding, we will give you tips on how to slow down or stop the bleeding by using sterile gauze. We will also want to know if the tooth is still attached. If the tooth has been knocked out, we will advise you on how to proceed to protect the tooth itself, if at all possible, so that we can attempt to restore it.