What To Expect From An Emergency Dentist And Your First Visit

Do you need an emergency dentist? When pain, an injury, or another issue creeps up during off-hours, a dental clinic that handles evening and weekend problems is necessary. If you're not sure what to expect from your visit, take a look at what emergency service typically involves.

Pre-Visit Phone Call

Before you walk through the dental office door you need to let the emergency team know you are on your way. Different practices have their own policies when it comes to this type of visit. You may need to call the dentist's answering service and wait for a call back. If the clinic has regular off-peak hours you may only need to call the office's receptionist or scheduling staff member.

Prepare for the call with as much information as you can. This includes the current dental problem, any treatment you've already had (such as ice or pain medication), and anything else you feel the dentist should know about the situation. If you're in too much pain to speak clearly, ask a family member or friend to call for you.

In-Office Questions

When you arrive at the dental office you may need to answer more questions—especially if you didn't speak directly to the dentist during your pre-visit phone call. These questions may include, but aren't limited to:

  1. Are you in pain? The dentist may follow this up with questions about the type and severity of pain you have.
  2. Did you lose a tooth/part of a tooth? If you've injured your mouth, the dentist needs to know the extent of the damage. The dentist also needs to know if you still have the missing tooth or part.
  3. Did you lose a dental restoration? The dentist will also need to know if you've lost a filling, cap, or other similar restoration.

Along with the questions, the dentist will also need to conduct an emergency exam. Read on for more information on what you can expect.

Emergency Examination

Like any other dental exam, you will sit back in the patient chair, open your mouth, and let the dentist explore the issue. An emergency exam may also include:

  1. X-rays. If you aren't sure of the pain's source or have an injury the dentist may need to x-ray the area.
  2. More questions. As the dentist investigates the issue, they may have additional questions to ask.
  3. A treatment. The goal of the visit is to find relief. The dentist will recommend a treatment plan for your individual needs.

From a cracked tooth to a sports injury, an emergency dentist can treat evening, night-time, and weekend dental dilemmas. Between the pre-visit call, question and answer session, and exam, you'll get the help you need—without having to wait until the next day.