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A dental emergency can include anything from unexpected and severe pain caused by a large cavity, a knocked-out tooth, or a broken tooth. Emergency dentists are available in every U.S. state to handle these situations.
Most dentists offer services during normal office hours, typically five days a week. Emergency dentists offer extended business hours, which most likely includes evenings and weekends. They also provide on-call services during hours that the office is closed. Emergency dentists will usually try to schedule same-day appointments for emergency patients.
If you develop any of the following dental problems or symptoms, you may qualify for emergency dentistry:
Eighty-eight percent of emergency dental procedures could have been prevented with routine oral health care. The best way to avoid emergency dental treatment is to visit your dentist for regular exams, x-rays, and teeth cleanings.
A reliable way to find an emergency dentist in your area is by using the American Dental Association's (ADA) dentist locator tool. According to the ADA, many dentists leave time open during the day for emergency walk-in patients. This means you may be able to get same-day emergency care.
Many general dentists offer emergency dental services. You can call any dentist office in your area and ask them whether they offer these services. However, it is important to keep in mind that some dentists only accept appointments for life-threatening dental conditions.
If you need emergency dental care on the weekend or during a holiday, you can still try calling your dentist. If you do not get a response, they may provide a voicemail message that provides instructions for dental emergencies.
There are a few ways to reduce pain before your emergency dentist appointment if you are experiencing bleeding, swelling, or inflammation. These tips include:
If you experience any of the following symptoms, it is crucial to go to the emergency room rather than an emergency dentist’s office:
Depending on whether you have dental insurance or not, an emergency appointment can be expensive. However, some dentists may offer payment plans.
You can also check out other low-cost dental care options, including government dental clinics, dental school services, charity dental clinics, and discount dental plans. Learn more about affordable emergency treatment options here.
American Dental Association (ADA), “What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?” https://success.ada.org/~/media/CPS/Files/Open%20Files/ADA_COVID19_Dental_Emergency_DDS.pdf
“Search for ADA Member Dentists – Find a Dentist near Me.” Search for ADA Member Dentists – Find a Dentist near Me | American Dental Association, findadentist.ada.org/?_ga=2.21663547.1269264094.1592781444-1245606453.1583348246.
Medical Emergencies in the Dental Office: Response Guide. American Dental Association, 2018.