What You Need to Know About Emergency Tooth Extractions

April 24, 2023

The good thing about emergencies is that you typically know you need to take immediate action. But what if you’re unaware of the emergency? Let’s face it; dental emergencies can be confusing as they’re not something we think about often.

You could be visiting a dentist’s office for a routine cleaning, and suddenly you’re in pain or have a broken tooth that needs to be extracted. Or, the dentist could tell you that you need to have a tooth pulled immediately. “Oh my!” you exclaim when they drop the bombshell.

Were the signs apparent? Probably not. This underscores the need for awareness – so that a tooth extraction emergency doesn’t take you by surprise. With that in mind, here are situations that may necessitate urgent dental care:

  • Severe Tooth Decay: When your teeth come under attack from cavities, they can weaken and become too damaged to save. Your dentists can check the severity of your dental decay; if it is extensive, they may recommend emergency tooth extraction as the ideal course of action.
  • Infection: If a deep cavity or trauma leaves you with an infection the doctor can’t treat with antibiotics, urgent removal may be necessary. Similarly, the infection may be unresponsive to medication. And if it spreads to other body parts, it can impact your overall health, making an extraction the only viable option.
  • Impacted Teeth: This occurs when a tooth is unable to erupt through the gums due to a lack of space. This situation can cause pain and infection, just like Wisdom Tooth, leading your dentist to recommend an emergency extraction.
  • Severe Pain: Pain is often the first sign of a dental issue needing urgent attention, and it can emanate from various sources – from decay to trauma. If the pain is severe and persistent, your dentist may recommend a tooth extraction to relieve it.
  • Crowded Teeth: Crowding is never a good thing, especially in reference to our teeth. If your mouth can’t accommodate all your pearly whites, some may need to pay the ultimate price – by being extracted.
  • Gum Disease: Advanced gum disease causes inflammation of the gums. As a result, the gums weaken and may start to recede, leaving teeth vulnerable and prone to extraction. To keep the condition from worsening, the dentist may take drastic action by extracting some of your teeth.

Finding a Suitable Emergency Dentist

While some health facilities offer 24-hour services, you’re unlikely to find a dentist’s clinic open in the dead of night. So, how do you find them?

For starters, contact your local emergency department and ask them to provide a referral. It’s also helpful to get in touch with a dentist you know and trusts – they can refer you to a reliable emergency dental facility. Or, if you’re in luck, your general dentist could save the day. If so, find out if you can schedule an emergency appointment for the same day. Alternatively, call and leave a message if your usual dentist is closed. They can advise on how to manage the pain or deal with the issue until they open.

If none of the above works, search online for a qualified emergency dentist near you for a solution. You may also consult your insurance provider for a list of approved emergency services.

After the ordeal, remember to keep an up-to-date list of suitable emergency dental providers. That way, when you experience a dental emergency, you’ll know who to turn to for help.

What About the Cost?

Ideally, we like to shop around for services before making a decision. Unfortunately, emergency tooth extractions don’t give you much leeway in that regard. Mostly, they’re necessary and urgent – finding a competent dentist is the priority. Don’t be tempted to wait until you find the cheapest provider – it’s not worth the risk.

Besides, emergency visits don’t offer much time to compare dental offices. Depending on your situation and its urgency, you may incur additional costs to rush the extraction process. These can range from extra fees for visits outside regular working hours to the cost of sedation, medication, and x-rays. Depending on the severity, you may also need an expensive procedure to extract the tooth.

What’s more, your insurance may not cover such a procedure, implying you may have to foot the entire bill. But before making a hasty decision, consult your insurance provider for details on coverage and payment options.

Knowing the situations warranting an emergency dental extraction can help you prepare for the same. As with anything medical, use all available resources – from online research and referrals to professional advice – to ensure you get the care you need. Most of all, remember that ignoring dental emergencies or delaying treatment can worsen the condition and lead to more painful, complicated, and costly procedures.

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