21 Feb 8 Things to Look for in an Emergency Dentist
Hopefully, you’ll never have a dental emergency or need emergency dental care. But if you do, it’s better to know who you want to call before you need them so you know you’re going to someone credible.
Not all emergency dentists are the same, and some might not be the right fit for your needs. Here are eight things to look for in an emergency dentist before the worst happens.
Same Day Appointments
When you’re in the middle of a dental crisis, you need to know you can get in to see a dentist as soon as possible. Some emergencies can’t wait for the next day or a week. Your dentist may have a time you need to call in order to guarantee an appointment, but the right dentist for you will do their best to accommodate you during normal hours, no matter what time you call.
Plenty of Treatment Options
Your emergency dentist should be able to perform a variety of treatments. Every dental crisis is different and could be caused by a variety of factors. A good dentist will be able to provide the care you need, not send you somewhere else or shrug their shoulders and wish they could help. You won’t be able to predict what kind of dental emergency you have so the dentist you select should be able to help no matter what.
Fees You Can Afford
If you have insurance, it’s best to find a dentist who accepts it. If you have no insurance or no one close by accepts yours, they need to have affordable fees and payment options so that you don’t have to worry about getting the care you need. Talk to the staff and find out what your options are and what kind of help is available for patients with no dental insurance.
In a dental emergency, you’ll be nervous, anxious, scared, and in pain. Your dentist needs to have sedation options available to help ease your fear and worry. If you’re too upset and in pain to stay calm during the appointment, they won’t be able to help you. A good emergency dentist will have options to help you feel calmer so they can take care of your problem.
Calm and Caring Demeanor
In an already stressful situation, the last thing you need is a dentist or staff that sets you on edge and makes you feel worse. Look for an office that genuinely cares and will do their best to help you. Even if your emergency is upsetting, dealing with a dentist, hygienist, or anyone else in the office shouldn’t be. If you feel like they don’t care before you have an emergency, it won’t get much better when do have one.
Of course no dental office can be open 24/7 but they should have a number you can call for help. What you think is an emergency might be something you can handle on your own, with the right advice. Being able to call in and get a call back with a calm, caring dental professional is absolutely crucial to a dental emergency. They’ll let you know if you need to come in first thing the next morning or if there’s anything you can do at home to help yourself.
Plenty of Experience and Excellent Credentials
Fly-by-night dental offices can be disastrous for patients. In an emergency, the outcome can be even worse. Look for a dentist with plenty of experience and the education and credentials that show they can take care of you. What you don’t need is an unqualified dentist that only makes your situation worse or does something that makes you afraid of going to the dentist in the future.
The perfect emergency dentist will also offer routine procedures. You shouldn’t need two different dentists — one for emergencies and one for regular checkups. Getting all of your dental needs met in one office is ideal. That way, when you do have an emergency, you’re seeing someone who already knows you and your history and can provide even better care. If you find an emergency dentist you like, consider switching to their practice for your routine care as well.
When you’re in excruciating pain or you’ve just had an accident that knocked out a tooth, you may be willing to accept help from almost anyone. Between the pain and the panic, you might not be in a great position to choose the most qualified dentist. Do it now, before you need care, and use these traits to figure out the best person to call in a dental emergency.