Did you know that one out of every five kids (20%) in the United States has untreated cavities? Many Americans grossly underestimate the importance of dental care. This undervaluing has led to an astounding 51 million hours of missed school due to children’s dental illnesses. Of the approximate 100,000 practicing dentists currently in the U.S., many offer convenient dentist office hours and affordable prices, meaning there’s little to no excuse for the apathetic temperament towards professional dental care. In fact, that 20% of kids who need fillings can have their problems solved for as little as $50 to $150 at a convenient time.
To make matters worse, not only do folks not know what to do in terms of general dental upkeep, but they don’t even know what to do in the event of a dental emergency.
Accidents resulting in serious dental trauma require immediate action. Taking the right steps can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth, according to the American Dental Association. Common dental emergencies include: biting a lip or tongue, cracked or broken teeth, jaw breakage, knocked-out teeth, objects caught between teeth, and toothaches.
Many dental offices reserve time in their dentist office hours for such emergencies. The first step is to contact your local dentist office immediately and describe the condition. Once it’s confirmed that what you’re experiencing is in fact an emergency, you’ll be slotted for the next available dentist office hours.
However, what if the office is closed? Although there is usually a slot for emergencies in dentist office hours, accidents can happen wherever and whenever. You can always try to find a dentist office that’s open, but it’s likely that if your dentist’s office closed, so too are most others. In these situations, it’s best to go to an emergency room or an urgent care center. Try to find a teaching hospital, as it’s likely to have a dental residency program with both general dentists and oral surgeons on call to help.
Professional dental care is no joke, regardless if it’s an emergency or not. Remember, though there are slots for emergencies in dentist office hours, in the event that the dentist office is closed, find a teaching hospital! If you have any questions about what to do in an emergency, you can consult dental reviews online, call during dentist office hours, or feel free to ask in the comments!