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Types of Dental Emergencies

Many different types of dental emergencies require urgent medical attention from a dentist. It is always quite significant to familiarize yourself with some of these dental emergencies so as get prepared when faced with similar circumstances. When confronted by dental emergencies it is advisable that you urgently seek attention from a dentist as dental problems if not taken care off immediately may become worse and even go to the extent of jeopardizing one’s general health. Here are some of the common types of dental emergencies.

Knocked Out Teeth

Knocked out teeth is one of the most common types of dental emergencies. An individual tooth can be knocked due to many reasons such as having an accident. Once a teeth is knocked out, the tissue, and the nerve vessels are some of the things that become damaged. In such a case time is of the essence and if you can manage to see a dentist within an hour, then your tooth can be saved as the dentist will be able to fix it back to its rightful position, and there are chances that the tissues will again grow and support the tooth. However, if you do not make it to a dentist on time all is not lost as there are other alternatives such as dental implants or bridges.

Lost Filling or Crown

This is another most common type of dental emergency that is due to wear and tear and decaying of the teeth. Eating, grinding and biting of things such as foods leads to wear and tear of the teeth that result in fillings and crowns falling off or becoming loose. Once the tooth becomes exposed due to lost filling or crown, it becomes sensitive to things like temperature changes including pressure. If you experience a lost filling or crown, it is prudent that you urgently make a dental appointment with your dentist who can help fix the crown or replace the lost filling.

Cracked or Broken Teeth

Even though natural teeth are always stronger also due to wear and tear they are prone to cracks and breaks. Usually, the cracks and fractures are generally painless; however when the crack affects the roots, it is usually painful. Cracks and breaks in most cases are as a result of trauma, grinding and biting. If your tooth becomes fractured or breaks do not wait until you start feeling pain so that you see a dentist, it should be immediate.


Toothache is the other type of dental emergency that is common. The amount of severity of toothache varies depending on the cause of the toothache. Toothache can be due to some varying reasons such as tooth decay, infected gums, exposure of the root or surface and an abscessed tooth. It does not matter how severe the pain is once you have a toothache make a point of visiting your dentist.

Dislodged or Loose Teeth

A tooth can become dislodged or loose because of things like trauma or dental decay. It is possible to save a dislodged or a loose tooth provided that you visit the dentist before they permanently fall off their sockets. If the displaced tooth is still in place and the blood vessels are still attached to it including the nerves, then there is a high chance that your dentist will help to fix your dental emergency.

When faced with dental emergencies always remember that time is of the essence and the faster you make an appointment with your dentist the higher the chances of getting help. No matter how small the problem might appear to be, do not delay to seek dental emergency care.

Should You Call 911 for a Dental Emergency?

If you have a dental emergency, you should seek medical treatment immediately, however, calling 911 may not be necessary. Dental problems can range from minor annoyances to life-threatening problems. Unless the event is a matter of life or death, then calling 911 is usually not necessary. In some cases, it may be better to go directly to an oral surgeon first instead of calling the police. When it comes to a severe dental problem, time is of the essence. Waiting on the police to arrive may take too long. A dental emergency can be very stressful and lead to a state of panic, but it is important to remain calm and seek medical treatment immediately.

If the affected teeth are severely damaged, such as from an assault, calling the police is necessary for safety reasons against the attacker. In this case, getting away from the situation and finding safety is the highest priority. From there, police will be able to drive you to an emergency center. If you find that getting there on your own is faster, then go with this option.

One of the most serious dental emergencies is a luxated tooth or a tooth that has been drastically displaced from its original position. At this point, the tooth only has a few hours left to be saved because the nerves underneath the gums are now exposed. The most important thing is to keep the tooth from drying out by keeping the mouth closed. If the tooth dies out completely, it will have to be removed to prevent an infection. This is one of the more complicated situations. Calling the police would seem like the logical choice, but waiting would be a waste of time. An oral surgeon must be seen in the shortest time possible.

Exercise extreme caution if you are planning to push the tooth back into place. Make sure that your hands are cleaned and be prepared to endure a lot of pain. By no means should this method replace a surgeon’s treatment but it will buy a couple extra hours for the tooth. Try not to talk and keep the mouth stable. With the nerves exposed, bacteria from the air can easily enter into the gums and cause an infection.

Consider the accompanying costs. Generally, police will call an ambulance to assist you, but the cost for the ambulance will be astronomical, even for short distances. Therefore, it is most likely in your best interest to drive yourself or get help from someone to drive you.

For less severe problems, such as a toothache, it is not necessary to call the police. Keep in mind that toothaches should not be brushed off. Generally, toothaches are a sign of a more serious problem, such as an infection. If left untreated, the gums and surrounding nerves could flare up in an instant, which will lead to a more serious issue. A surgeon will not be necessary for a toothache. Instead, a dentist will be able to properly diagnose the issue and suggest the proper procedure. Usually, the dentist will try to do everything they can to save the tooth, and resort to extraction as a last resort. By taking care of the problem in advance, you save yourself a lot of time and money.

In most dental emergencies, calling the police is not necessary and may prove to be unhelpful. This is because of the nature of dental emergencies. They don’t necessarily leave someone incapacitated but they still require immediate attention. Therefore, it is usually better to get to an emergency center on your own.

Does Insurance Cover Dental Emergencies?

Does insurance cover dental emergencies?

The biggest question for most people who have medical health insurance is – does insurance cover dental emergencies? The answer to this is, yes, but only if you have a dental insurance policy or you have it’s a rider. Generally, a rider increases the coverage of your insurance policy which in this case is health insurance to include other medical situations for an additional fee. The term “dental emergency” can be quite confusing. You can classify any unfortunate thing resulting from an accident of any kind that affects the normal functioning of your teeth or jaws as a dental emergency.

The position of dental emergencies in health insurance

If you have a health insurance policy that is supposed to cover emergencies, it’s very unlikely that in case of a dental emergency you will be covered. The situation will still be the same even if you are accessing the services from a hospital rather than an independent dental practitioner. This is because most health insurance program regards dental coverage as an option. For this reason, it gets separated from the rest of the policy. This separation means that to get dental coverage from your health poly, you will have to be subjected to different maximums, deductibles, and co-payments. This means that for you to get a health insurance policy, you are going to be spending more money on your insurance policy.

Secondary insurance options for dental emergencies

If you happen to find yourself with a dental emergency, your best bet is a secondary insurance option. Depending on where the accident has happened you will have a number of options you can consider. If the accident occurred at your workplace, you might have the option of being covered by your employer’s liability insurance. Worker’s compensation insurance maybe also an option in this case. On the other hand, if the dental emergency is a result of an automobile accident, the emergency will be covered by the auto insurance medical coverage portion of the motor vehicle insurance.

Medicare and Medicaid

Getting dental emergency coverage from Medicare and Medicaid health plans is an “it depends” matter. According to statistics from the American Dental Association research report from 2013, out of the 50 states, only 42 offered dental services to Medicaid adult enrollees. Out of the 42 states, 16 offered limited dental emergency services. You should note that these dental emergency services in the 16 states were limited to infection and pain relief. Of the remaining 36 states, 15 states offered dental emergency services that extended a little beyond infection and pain relief. Of all the states, only 11offered extensive dental coverage that included dental emergencies. For Medicare beneficiaries, there are no dental benefits of any kind associated with this program. The special case in this program was if you are a beneficiary of Medicare Advantage, you can add dental emergencies as a rider.

TMD Joint and CMD Disorders

If your dental emergency involves the jaws, the jaw joint, or the muscles that control the jaws, then you will be treated under general health insurance. This is notwithstanding whether you have dental insurance or not. This is because almost all states require health insurance to cover this particular type of dental emergencies. Dental emergencies that involve the jaws, the jaw joint, or its muscles can be classified as TMD Joint or CMD disorders.

Despite there being many amendments to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the dental emergencies have never been addressed. Therefore, unless your insurance pays for it or you have the jaw disorders, all you will get is infection and pain relief.

How to Find a Good Emergency Dentist

At some point, many of us will be faced with teeth problems that might need emergency care from a dentist. Some teeth problems such as a broken denture, infected tooth, a lost crown, or broken teeth might need to be taken care of in the fastest time possible. Sometimes, these problems come without warning leading to a challenge of deciding who to take care of them. When confronted with such a problem, the best decision to make is to seek emergency dental help. Some dentists are available to offer services beyond the normal working hours.

When finding an emergency dentist, there are things you have to consider. You want to end up with the right dentist who can offer you the best treatment for your teeth problem. Many of us do not prepare for a medical emergency and even more for a dental emergency. While it is not very difficult to get emergency medical care, it might be confusing when you need the services of a dentist. Sometimes, you’ll find people who rush to the hospital when experiencing teeth problems. However, this is not the best decision to make since emergency doctors in a hospital might not possess dental care skills. If you are experiencing a dental problem, you should look for the services of an emergency dentist. Here are some tips on how to find a good emergency dentist.

Where is the location?

When facing an emergency dental need, you need to look for a dentist who is near you. The closer you are to the clinic, the better it will be to get immediate assistance. If your tooth has been knocked out, you do not want a situation where you will have to drive for long distances to get immediate dental care. The more time you take, the more pain you will experience.

Does the dentist accept insurance?

Before you select a clinic for emergency dental care, it is important to know whether they accept dental insurance. If they do not accept insurance, you will be required to pay in cash. In case of emergency, there is a high probability that you might not have ready cash in your pocket. Depending on your financial position, determining whether a dentist will accept insurance can be a crucial factor when deciding the right emergency dentist for you.

Professional associations

Even in cases of emergency dental care, you don’t have to be handled by unqualified medical experts. You should check whether the American Dental Association accredits the emergency dentist. Any accredited dentist is hardwired to abide by certain regulations. A certified dentist will maintain the professional code of conduct and only engage in the best medical practices. A fully qualified dentist should have the right medication and tools for treatment. For instance, anesthesia should be applied before the tooth is interfered with.


The good thing about today’s world is that you can access other people’s experiences by reading online reviews of an emergency dentist. The people who have received services are likely to leave bad or good reviews on the dentist’s conduct. You will definitely want to go with a dentist who has received positive reviews from the patients. It is also important to ask around among your friends and neighbors on a preferred emergency dentist.

Once you have done your research and you’re fully satisfied that a particular emergency dentist meets the standards of a good emergency dentist, you should go ahead and visit their facility. Once you choose your preferred candidate, it is imperative to keep their information for later use.


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