Dental Emergency? Visit Your Dentist Instead of the ER
Many dental offices are temporarily closed due to COVID-19. They have suspended all elective and non-urgent procedures. That leaves many patients wondering, “What if I get a toothache? Should I head to the hospital emergency room?” In the vast majority of cases, the answer to that question is no. Most dental offices are still accepting emergency patients. Let’s talk about why you should visit one of them instead of the local ER.
Reasons to Avoid the ER if Possible
Perhaps the biggest reason not to visit the ER during a dental emergency is that you may not get the care you need. The medical professionals there may be able to treat you for uncontrolled bleeding in the mouth or broken facial bones, but they do not have the experience or training necessary to address issues like a cracked tooth or a severe toothache. Only a dentist is qualified to provide adequate treatment for those problems.
Also, keep in mind that many hospitals, especially in urban areas with a high number of COVID-19 cases, are extremely busy. Your toothache may be put very low on their priority list, which means you could end up waiting for a long time before you receive any attention. You might even get sent home without seeing a doctor at all.
Lastly, avoiding the ER can help you maintain social distancing. Hospitals tend to have quite a few people in them, and the more you can avoid needless contact with others, the lower the risk that any contagions will get passed on to you.
Visit Your Dentist Instead
As soon as your dental emergency begins, contact your dentist and describe the situation. If no one is in the office to answer the phone, leave a detailed message or send an email. Most dentists are closely monitoring communication channels and will respond promptly. Once your dentist knows what is going on, they will arrange to see you as soon as possible. They will also provide you with personalized tips on how to care for your tooth until you can receive treatment.
When you get to the dentist’s office, you will be escorted to a treatment room very quickly. You’ll notice that all the staff members are taking extra precautions to prevent the possible spread of any contagions. The dentist will render comfortable, expert care to relieve your pain and protect your oral health. Unlike in an ER, you will not need to sit in a waiting room for a long time, and you will have contact with a very limited number of people.
Dental emergency? You have every reason to skip the ER and call your dentist instead.