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Should I Go to the Hospital or the Dentist for My Dental Emergency?

It is typical for medical systems in the United States to fracture health care among different locations. For many situations, it makes a lot of sense. Each practitioner or group of practitioners has a specific sphere of specialization, and there’s little interaction between them in many cases. However, this division of medical labor can make it a bit confusing. Especially if you suddenly have a medical emergency concerning a body part that isn’t typically treated by your general practitioner. A dental emergency is a prime example. So: hospital or dentist for dental emergency?

Hospital or Dentist for Dental Emergency

Regardless of the cause of your dental emergency, it can be difficult to decide where to go when your injury clearly involves your teeth. Your average emergency doctor isn’t thoroughly trained in dentistry. And your average dentist isn’t thoroughly trained in emergency care, so what are you supposed to do. Fortunately, there’s a pretty simple line that divides patients who need to go to the ER versus those that can just pay a visit to their emergency dentist.

When to Go to the Emergency Room?

You should always go to the emergency room if you face a life-threatening trauma or a serious injury to another part of your body. Basically, if there’s a lot of blood and it isn’t all coming from your mouth, then you should probably call an ambulance or head to the closest emergency room. Even if it is not immediately life-threatening, it is usually a good idea to go to the ER first if there has been any major trauma to something besides your teeth.

At the emergency room, the staff will work to ensure that you’re stable and receiving the care you need. If you have lost or broken teeth, this will likely involve cleaning out the pocket and stitching it closed to prevent a potentially deadly infection from taking hold. Once all of your other health risks are under control and you’ve been discharged, then you can schedule a visit to your dentist’s office to for an examination. At this time, you can begin discussing the issue of tooth replacement.

When to Go to the Emergency Dentist?

A dental emergency generally stays limited to your oral health. Losing a tooth, breaking a tooth, losing a crown, and experiencing severe oral pain are four of the primary reasons patients visit an emergency dentist. Although they are limited to the oral cavity, each of these conditions is severe and requires immediate treatment. Without proper care, you could be providing harmful bacteria with a direct route to your bloodstream. Doing so may result in a dangerous infection.

To help prevent that from happening, it is important to administer basic first aid before making an appointment. For a missing tooth, that means trying to locate the tooth. Once you do, pick it up without touching the root. From there, you should rinse the tooth with milk to clean it. Place it back in the socket to reduce the chance of leaving it open to bacteria. You can help hold the tooth in place by gently biting down on a sterile piece of gauze. At that point, you can make a call to your local emergency dentist to make a same-day appointment.

Finding an Emergency Dentist Near You

Many dental offices offer same day appointments for severe dental distress. But it remains important to choose a dentist that specializes in oral surgery and restorations. At your dentist in Fontana, you’ll find just that the staff all ready for dental emergencies.