Should You Go to an Emergency Dentist or Go to the ER?
When patients have emergency oral health issues, an emergency dentist can provide care. Emergency dentists tend to have longer hours than general dentists. Their offices may be open through the weekend, over holidays, and at night. Dental trauma does not wait for a convenient time. Some oral health issues can be potentially life-threatening or leave a patient in severe, debilitating pain. The emergency dentist diagnoses the problem and can provide treatment to the patient.
Choosing between the emergency dentist and the ER
When it comes to a dental emergency, some patients may hesitate before choosing the right office to visit. For the individual, a dental emergency is still a medical emergency. In some instances, one provider may be more helpful than the other. Other cases may require the help of the doctor and the dentist.
The scope of emergency dental care
Emergency dentists can handle various problems, including loose teeth, dental abscesses, tooth trauma, and more. As adults, patients should never have loose teeth. When a tooth becomes loose, it can indicate an emergency. Likewise, patients should listen to their bodies when they have severe pain. Severe pain can indicate trauma or an infection in the mouth. If a patient has pain accompanied by jaw swelling and a bad taste, the likelihood of an infection is high.
Emergency dentists provide prompt care to alleviate pain and trauma associated with dental injuries or infections. A dentist can provide antibiotics to a patient and medicine to help ease the pain.
The abilities of the ER doctors during a dental emergency
How does a patient know which type of care to choose? If an emergency dentist is not open or if the dentist is too far to prevent further damage, a patient may want to go to the ER for help. An emergency room should be the first stop when patients suffer trauma to the face, accompanied by severe swelling, abrasions, or fractured jaw. ER doctors have the means necessary to deal with broken bones.
Additionally, if patients leave an infection for several weeks, they may want to see an emergency room doctor as soon as possible. Infections can be life-threatening. Infections can spread, and a medical doctor can prescribe antibiotics to deal with the problem.
In many cases, however, when patients go to the emergency room with an early infection or present with a toothache, the doctor may point them in the direction of an emergency dentist. Doctors cannot perform dentistry on patients.
Emergency rooms are for patients who have a dire need of medical help. If patients have severe dental pain that travels down the jaw and neck, they should seek emergency medical attention. Persistent blood loss and facial injuries associated with oral trauma may require an emergency doctor first. An emergency dentist, however, has the equipment and skills to deal with dental emergencies. They can prescribe antibiotics and treat abscesses, infections, and trauma to the teeth.
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