February 12, 2019
According to a study in American Family Physician, around 1 in 5 people have experienced some kind of dental pain in the last 6 months. On top of wanting to get out pain as quickly as possible, many people are also concerned with the cost of seeing an emergency dentist, especially if they don’t have insurance. In this blog, you’ll learn about the symptoms of a dental emergency and when you should seek out immediate care. You’ll also find out how the cost of care is affected by insurance and get tips for prevention. Learn more below!
What Are the Symptoms of a Dental Emergency?
Symptoms can be divided into two main categories: those that require immediate care, and those that don’t. Here are signs that you need attention right away:
- You have a swollen face, pimple-like bump on your gums, or a severe toothache
- You have a loose or knocked-out permanent tooth
- Your jaw has been injured
- You have bleeding that won’t subside after applying pressure for 15 minutes
Here are some signs that you need dental care soon, but not necessarily right away. But remember, these situations can become very painful if you don’t have them addressed, so schedule the first available appointment as soon as you can:
- Broken or chipped filling, crown, or bridge
- Dull toothache
- Broken or chipped tooth
- Damaged retainer
How Does Having (or Not Having) Insurance Affect the Cost?
Every insurance plan is different, but most plans provide partial coverage for emergency exams and X-rays, as well as restorative treatment such as fillings, crowns, and bridges.
Without insurance, you’ll pay out of pocket for your dental care, but an emergency dentist can sometimes give you multiple treatment options so you can pick the one that fits your budget. For example, although it may not be the best option, you might be able to get a large filling instead of a dental crown.
Tips For Preventing Emergencies
It’s far easier to prevent problems than treat them. If you have insurance, take advantage of it by getting routine checkups and exams so that any problems can be found and treated when they’re as small as possible.
If you don’t have insurance and can’t afford preventive care twice a year, try to at least schedule a checkup once a year. While not ideal, it’s better than going many years in between visits.
Your oral hygiene habits are also incredibly important, so be sure to brush at least twice a day and floss once. If you miss a day or two of flossing, just pick back up where you left off. There are also many tools to help you do a better job, including electric toothbrushes, oral irrigators, and flossing aids.
Finally, wear an athletic guard if you play sports, avoid chewing on ice and hard candies, and avoid using your teeth as tools to open bottles and other packages.
When it comes to keeping your smile healthy, regular professional care and a few good preventive habits will go a long way!
About the Author
Dr. William Olafson is a general and emergency dentist and a graduate of the Nova Southeastern College of Dental Medicine in Florida. He makes emergency care a priority and, in addition to getting his patients out of pain as quickly as possible, also gives them multiple treatment options whenever possible. If you have any questions about a dental emergency or insurance, he can be reached via his website.
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