When talking about dental problems and visits to the dentist, we tend to set it aside and not think of it as a necessity. We have heard it many times before; visit your dentist at least once every 6 months to make sure that your teeth are in a healthy condition. We still neglect these visits until the time that we really need to have them. But what if by the time we need them, dentists are unavailable? Well, that is what a 24 hour dentist is for. How are they different from your regular dentist? Let us all find out.
A 24 hour dentist or a regular dentist
Have you experienced a terrible toothache in the middle of the night? It was so bad that you couldn’t sleep, and pain relievers barely helped. What did you do then? Because your dentist was unavailable at that time, you resorted to going to the hospital and be checked by a doctor (who knows little about teeth, by the way). Of course, all he could do was prescribe some pain reliever, and maybe a broad-spectrum antibiotic for the infection. Otherwise, you would have to check in with your dentist the next day, right?
If this happens again, we recommend getting the services of a 24 hour dentist. Yes! There is such a thing as an emergency dentist, as many patients would call them. Instead of having a medical professional treat the symptoms of a bad dental condition instead of the problem itself, find an emergency dentist nearest you.
How can you compare your regular dentist to an emergency dentist?
They are both dental experts
They studied and trained for the same conditions and treatments. They finished the same college degree and got all the credentials a licensed dentist should have.
They differ in work schedule
Regular dentists typically have working hours the same with office hours. They may either be located in their own dental clinics and offices or in outpatient departments of hospitals. Emergency dentists typically start their work after hours. They are available during the time that most regular dentists are already out of the office. They even provide services during weekends and holidays.
They work together
Some think that emergency dentists rival with regular dentists when getting patients. That is not true. In fact, an emergency dentist complements the role of the family dentist. How? Because a regular dentist has all your dental history. He has been seeing you for years and has monitored your dental condition even before you encountered a dental emergency. You would only need an emergency dentist if you need dental attention, but your family dentist is away. Their work collaboration ensures that there is continuity of care, and that benefits no one more than you!
What are dental emergencies?
Like medical emergencies, dental emergencies are often misconstrued in a way that most patients present themselves in emergency facilities sporting a non-urgent condition. Here are some situations that require emergency dental treatment:
Toothache with unknown cause
There are emergency dentists who look at toothaches as a dental emergency. Sometimes, a severe tooth damage may only inflict mild pain, so it is best to visit your doctor as soon as possible. However, if the toothache is really a result of visible tooth decay or cavities, it is best to alleviate the pain using tried-and-tested natural remedies like using clove oil to numb the area, then seek dental attention the next day when your dentist is already available.
Avulsed or knocked out tooth
Partial or complete avulsion of the tooth is always considered an emergency. A tooth can die within hours, so immediate dental treatment is needed to salvage it back to life. You can try to put it back to the socket but never force it. If you completely lost your tooth, clean it with running water without touching the tooth roots. Place it in a container and soak it with milk or place it in between your cheek and gums to keep it moist.
Minor chipping is an exemption to this. But if the fracture or crack is sharp or reaches the roots, it is best to seek emergency dental treatment. The emergency dentist is the only one who can either save the damaged tooth or rule it out as unsalvageable and proceed to tooth extraction. What he aims is for you not to have any complications regarding the tooth fracture.
Trauma that affected the mouth
If you have been in an accident that hurt your face, it may affect the integrity of your mouth and the structures inside it. If you have bleeding wounds inside the mouth, even if the teeth are not affected, it is best to seek emergency dental care too. However, if the impact caused some medical problems like a cut on the tongue of some bone fractures on the jaw, make sure to get to the nearest medical emergency department to solve these first as they may be more serious than your dental injuries.