May 23, 2020
When you have severe pain in your mouth, your first instinct may be to go to a hospital emergency room for assistance. If you do, you’re not alone. 800,000 Americans walk into a local ER for assistance with sudden dental issues annually. When they arrive, they find long wait times and limited care options. During the coronavirus crisis, hospitals are going to have a harder time providing the proper care for dental emergency patients because of staff and equipment shortages. For a better treatment experience, you should consider visiting your emergency dentist in Corpus Christi. Here are just some of the reasons why they may be better equipped to help you when you’re facing an unexpected problem in your mouth.
Shorter Wait Times
Many dental practices have decided to limit their care to emergencies issues or reduce total patient loads entirely to provide more time for disinfection procedures. This allows you to spend less time waiting for care during an emergency and reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19. This situation in hospitals is currently much different. Emergency rooms see many more people per day and currently make potential coronavirus cases their top priority. If you walk in to an ER with a dental emergency, you’re going to find yourself waiting a long time for care while surrounded by many other sick people.
Dental Specific Expertise
Your emergency room doctor and your dentist don’t go through the same training. A dentist spends at least three years learning about the structures and diseases of the mouth. Some even complete residency programs after leaving dental school to further enhance their knowledge of oral health care. An emergency room doctor doesn’t have the same level of training in treating dental problems. Their primary goal is going to be getting you out of pain. Your dentist has the expertise and the technology to identify and treat the root cause of your issue so you don’t have to deal with it again in the future.
Lower Overall Costs
Emergency rooms don’t have the equipment necessary to provide complex dental treatments. After a doctor stabilizes you, you’re often going to be referred to a dentist for further care. Instead of paying for both an emergency room visit and a dental appointment, you can save money by reaching out to your dentist first.
When to Visit Each Location
The nature of your dental emergency will determine where to go for care. You should visit your hospital emergency room immediately if you have:
- Severe continuous bleeding
- Swelling that interferes with your breathing
- Broken cheek or jaw bones
Emergency dental offices are best suited for less intense issues. These include:
- Intense sensitivity
- Severe toothaches
- Loose, cracked, or knocked out teeth
- Bleeding gums
Knowing where to go during a dental emergency can make the entire event less stressful. If your issue is somewhat tolerable, try going to your emergency dentist first so you can enjoy a more pleasant treatment experience.
About The Author
Dr. Sarah Pitarra earned her dental degree at Baylor College of Dentistry. She believes in providing dental care that is customized and pain free to every patient. If you think you need emergency care, you can reach her through her website or at 361-855-7171.
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