Ok, you or a loved one is either in serious pain or lost or injured a tooth in a significant way. So you desperately need an emergency dentist. Who can you find to see you right away? Where do you turn and where do you go to find 24 hour emergency dental care or a 24 hour emergency dentist? Is it even possible to find emergency dentists available when you need them?
Let's discuss some of the most common options.
The Best: Call Your Own Dentist
Sure, it seems pretty obvious, but the truth is a lot of people forget that their own dentist is the best "emergency dentist." Many practices are set up to make it easy to get into contact with the doctor after hours, and many, many doctors are more than happy to go out of their way to take care of you or your kids. For them, providing 24 hour emergency dental help is just part of their way of taking care of their patients.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry gives some good advice: "When your child needs urgent dental treatment, your pediatric dentist stands ready to help. Please keep the emergency number available and convenient."
The Uncertain: Go to the Local Hospital Emergency Room
The experts and the general population seem to have mixed feelings about using this as a resource.
According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, anyone looking for an emergency dentists, may find the ER to be a dead end: "Many EDs (Emergency Departments) lack dental services and are not capable of providing definitive treatment for oral conditions."
But some consumers disagree. On the site EmergencyDentists.org, one anonymous commenter says "Emergency rooms absolutely do have dentists on call. If you are in horrible pain, don't hesitate to go to the ER. The least they will do is give you some stronger pain medicine, but they will probably have the on-call dentist come in."
While another commenter disagrees, "They'll give you some painkiller and tell you to go see a dentist."
One important note, though, if you have bleeding from a tooth related problem that you can't stop (or bleeding from any source for that matter), you should immediately go to the emergency room. And according to Dr. Jeffrey S. Guy on MedHelp "if you are having fevers or chills, you absolutely need to be seen."
The Long Shot: Look for a Dental School
If you're absolutely desperate for 24 hour emergency dental care or an emergency dentist, and you live near a big university, here's a long shot to try: That university may have a dental school where you can be treated as a "walk-in."
According to MedHelp's dental experts "If it is a teaching hospital there should be a dental residency program with general dentists and oral surgeons on call. This is where you can go if you can not find a dentist to help you."
And in a recent Los Angeles Times article, Francesca Lunzer Kritz lists at least three major Southern California universities who have 24 hour dentist care, including UCLA, USC and Loma Linda.
The Obvious: Search Online or Search the Phone Book
In the phone book, it's easy. And on the internet it's even easier. Just type in "emergency dentist" or "24 hour emergency dental" or a "24 hour emergency dentist" and see who pops up. Probably you'll find some promising results, but you may not know anything more about them than they have a website or a phone book ad. You're shooting in the dark at a time when you need help the most.
But desperate is desperate and you may be in so much pain that any "emergency dentist" or "24 hour dentist" is better than none.
Our Way: Call or Visit Dentistry.com
If you can't reach your own dentist, our way may be the best way to find emergency dentists or a 24 hour dentist. It's easy to search the directory of Dentistry.com!
Start now or call 1-866-970-0441 for an emergency dentist near you. Operators are available 24 hours a day!