What to Look for in an Emergency Dentist
If you’ve never been to an emergency dentist, consider yourself lucky. It’s no fun to wake up in the middle of the night to excruciating tooth pain, or to chip your tooth and be unable to fit into your regular dentist’s schedule. It’s highly recommended to find a good emergency dentist now, before you need one, and to keep their information handy just in case an oral emergency arises.
So, how do you know an emergency dentist is right for you? A simple Google search of “emergency dentists near me” will easily bring up several relevant results. However, that doesn’t mean all those dentists are going to be the perfect fit for you in your time of need. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before committing to an emergency dentist.
When Are They Available?
The scariest part about emergencies, oral or not, is that they always come at the worst times. When looking for an emergency dentist, it’s ideal to find one that’s open twenty-four hours a day, or later into the evening and earlier in the morning than your regular dentist at the very least. Unless you have a very convenient emergency that occurs between nine in the morning and five in the evening on a weekday that isn’t a holiday, you’re going to want a dentist with more flexible hours.
It’s also a good idea to find a dentist who advertises walk-in hours. Emergencies often can’t wait for appointments, which is why you wouldn’t be seeing your regular dentist to begin with, so finding someone who offers the flexibility of being able to walk straight into the office will benefit you in the long run.
What Services Do They Provide?
When choosing an emergency dentist, it’s a good idea to look at the services and procedures the dentist is able to provide. Ideally, you’ll want a dentist who is prepared for anything, so no matter what emergency you may have, you’ll be well taken care of.
It’s important to realize that an emergency dentist is not the same as a full-service dentist. If you’ve never had to have emergency dental care before, realize that it’s not the same as going to your dentist for a scheduled cleaning or procedure. Your emergency dentist’s number-one priority is making sure that your pain and symptoms are under control by the time you leave. You probably won’t get a full dental exam unless your issue is badly affecting your entire mouth. However, your emergency dentist should be able to treat your emergency and keep you out of pain until you are able to see your regular dentist.
Usually, this means your emergency dentist will perform an x-ray on you to see what’s happening below the surface of your teeth. Then, they will treat you from there. A good emergency dentist will be able to provide tooth extractions when absolutely necessary.
How Do Others Feel About Them?
The great thing about living in today’s world is that other people’s experiences are often available to us with just the click of a button. If an emergency dentist looks okay but you want to get further insight on how they operate, look up their practice online. A quick search of their name should provide reviews from others. A bad review here and there probably isn’t much to be concerned about, but if the overall experience of others looks negative, you probably want to avoid this dentist. On the other side, if most people had a positive and productive experience with this dental practice, you might feel more inclined to use their services when necessary.
It also doesn’t hurt to ask around in person, either. Talk to your neighbours, co-workers and friends to see if they have an emergency dentist that they’d refer you to. Another good idea is to talk to your dentist, either over the phone or at your next appointment, and see if they have anyone that they’d recommend. Sometimes, your dentist will even offer emergency, after-hours services that you didn’t previously know about.
Have You Done Your Research?
Once you’ve found an emergency dentist that you’re interested, either by online search or recommendation, it’s important to take a good look at their practice. Make sure you have their phone number and addressed saved in a location that you’ll know to look at; a good suggestion is to save their information as a contact in your phone. Also, be sure to take a good look around their website. A good emergency dentist will have an informative website. A great example of this is Mint St. Dental’s website. We make sure to list basic information like our contact information, hours of operation and more, and provide helpful sections on our site for the types of services we offer, what insurance plans we accept and more.
Now that you know the ins and outs of what it takes to find a good emergency dentist, you’re ready to start looking.