Emergency Dentist vs. Emergency Room Santa Rosa, CA

If you experience a dental emergency, it is important to know an emergency dentist is just a phone call away. Many dentists who provide emergency services make themselves available 24 hours a day, as emergencies can arise at any time. Emergency dentists are professionals who treat walk-in and last-minute patients who require immediate care.

Emergency dental care is available at Sai Dental Care in Santa Rosa and the surrounding area. In the case of a dental emergency, you should ideally contact our office first. However, there may be times — such as when an issue arises at night, over the weekend, or on a holiday — when your first instinct is to rush to the emergency room. In these situations, carefully consider the severity of the problem and whether it necessitates ER care.

Dental emergencies can arise at any time of day or night, and in a variety of situations. When one does, call Sai Dental Care at (707) 509-1146 to get the immediate treatment you need.

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      When To Go Straight to the ER

      Per the American Dental Association, the number of dental-related ER visits nearly doubled, from 1.1 million to 2.1 million, between 2000 and 2010. Despite the increase in numbers, there are actually very few dental-related concerns for which patients should head immediately to their hospital’s ER department.

      When a Patient Experiences Trauma to the Face

      If a blow to the face or accident results in chipped, cracked, or lost teeth, an emergency dentist should be equipped to handle the situation. However, when the accident or incident causes extensive facial trauma, such as broken bones, puncture wounds, lacerations, or damage to the soft tissues, it may be a good idea for the injured party to seek medical care before emergency dental care. Emergency dentists may have the capacity to restore oral health, but most cannot set broken bones, sew up lacerations, or perform other extensive medical procedures.

      When an Emergency Dentist Is Unavailable

      If someone experiences a dental emergency aside from those mentioned above, and if an emergency dentist is not immediately available to handle it, then the patient should head to the hospital. Though ER personnel may not be able to treat the underlying condition, they can help the patient manage the pain and other symptoms until an emergency dentist becomes available.

      “There are actually very few dental-related concerns for which patients should head immediately to their hospital’s ER department.”

      When To Call a Local Emergency Dentist First

      In the majority of oral health emergencies, patients should contact their emergency dentists before heading to the ER. In addition to helping patients manage symptoms, dental professionals can treat underlying conditions and ensure they do not grow worse. For individuals who are not sure what constitutes a "dental emergency" as opposed to a non-urgent yet uncomfortable situation, the ADA provides guidance. Per the ADA, a dental emergency is a situation characterized by one or more of the following:

      • Bleeding that will not stop
      • Infection accompanied by swelling or pain
      • Painful swelling around or in the mouth, with or without infection
      • Chipped, broken, or dislocated teeth
      • Abscess with localized pain and swelling and no signs of complications
      • Loss of a permanent or temporary restoration

      Other problems that may necessitate immediate but not emergency care include broken, irritating, or malfunctioning dentures; oral sutures; and bent or broken orthodontic appliances or wires.

      “In addition to helping patients manage symptoms, dental professionals can treat underlying conditions and ensure they do not grow worse.”

      What Emergency Dental Treatment Entails

      Emergency dental treatment looks different for everyone, as no two dental issues are exactly the same. However, some occurrences are more common than others, which means there are certain treatments emergency dentists perform more often than others. Examples of frequently performed emergency dental procedures include:

      • Tooth extraction
      • Tooth replacement (placing a knocked-out tooth back in the socket)
      • Filling or crown replacement
      • Tooth restoration

      Regardless of what brings a patient to an emergency dentist’s office, dental teams typically thoroughly clean the mouth and around the affected area, take X-rays of the mouth, and focus on pain and infection management.

      “There are certain treatments emergency dentists perform more often than others.”

      Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Emergency Dentist vs. Emergency Room in Santa Rosa, CA

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Q. How do you know you need to visit an emergency dentist?

      A. Emergency dental issues are ones that require immediate attention to either preserve the tooth or alleviate pain and infection. However, because the definition of a dental emergency is vague for most people, patients should call their dentist if they have any concerns. Otherwise, pay attention for severe pain, exposed roots, excessive bleeding, infection, and swelling.

      Q. How do emergency dental care costs compare?

      A. Unfortunately, in almost all instances, emergency dental visits are more expensive than regular visits. However, how much more depends on the dentist you visit and the treatment necessary. That said, you should not let cost deter you from seeking immediate care.

      Q. Does insurance cover a visit to the emergency dentist?

      A. If you have dental coverage, it may cover the cost of emergency dentistry. However, you should review your policy or talk to your provider to get an accurate answer. Dental insurance does not cover visits to the ER.

      Q. Will your health plan cover a dental-related ER visit?

      A. If you visit the ER for an emergency dental issue, your medical coverage should cover the cost of the visit. It should also cover the cost of prescriptions related to the issue. However, again, you should check your policy to see what it does and does not cover.

      Q. When are emergency dentists open?

      A. The job of an emergency dentist is to be available when other providers are not. As a result, most emergency dental offices accept walk-ins 24/7. Many require patients to call an emergency hotline first, which will connect them to the dentist.

      Quality Dental Services Can Transform Your Smile

      By visiting us as soon as possible, our team can help get you the professional treatment you need. Instead of waiting around and allowing the symptoms to get worse, we can provide you with treatment options.

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      Dental Emergency Terminology

      A dental abscess is a pocket of pus the forms in the tooth root from a bacterial infection.
      A dentist, also known as a dental surgeon, is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the oral cavity.
      Facial Cellulitis
      Facial cellulitis is a condition in which an infection from an abscess or plaque in the teeth causes pain and spreads throughout the face.
      Facial Trauma
      Facial trauma can occur when someone is hit in the face by a ball or accidental elbow, along with smashing the face into objects such as a wall or steering wheel.
      Impacted Wisdom Tooth
      An impacted wisdom tooth is a tooth that does not erupt from the gums properly that can cause pain and become infected without professional extraction.
      Pericoronitis is the inflammation of soft tissues surrounding a tooth that does not fully erupt from the gums and causes pain.
      Irreversible Pulpitis
      Irreversible pulpitis is when the pain in the tooth occurs spontaneously or continues to hurt after the patient removes the hot/cold substance that was causing pain. Normal pulpitis will cease hurting directly after removing what is causing the pain.
      Lateral Luxation
      Lateral luxation is the displacement of a tooth that moves it in the wrong direction while it is still attached to the gums.
      Pericoronitis is the inflammation of soft tissues surrounding a tooth that does not fully erupt from the gums and causes pain.
      Tooth Avulsion
      Tooth avulsion is when the tooth completely displaces from the socket due to an accident or other health issues. We can replant the tooth if the patient seeks immediate care.
      Tooth Fracture
      A tooth fracture can result from multiple sources including an accidental elbow to the face during a sports game, biting on something really hard, falling face first and more.

      Call Sai Dental Care in the Event of an Emergency

      Dental emergencies can happen at any time. Know you can rely on our team when they do. Call (707) 509-1146 for the immediate care you need when one does.

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