When a dental emergency arises, you will no doubt be in pain and seeking to find help and relief as soon as possible. However, it would be a serious mistake to go to the wrong immediate dental care provider. If, however, your family dentist doesn’t offer emergency service or is not open or available when you happen to need them to be, it will help to have the services of another emergency dental care provider at hand. It’s always best to find a provider you trust before you have a dental emergency, however. Here’s how to avoid common mistakes when looking for an emergency dental care provider.
Be sure they offer the services you actually need. What kinds of dental emergencies might you or your family members typically find themselves in? Do you wear dentures that might break or go missing? Do any of your children have orthodontic devices that might break or need repair? Do you have crowns? Find an emergency dental service that can handle the types of emergencies that your family might experience in addition to routine things that all dentists handle, such as dental implants, infections, broken teeth, loose filings, etc.
Find out whether the office you are considering accepts walk-ins. Although some offices say they handle emergencies, they will still require you to have a designated appointment time. However, many will allow you to walk in and you will be seen on an emergency basis, much like you would in a hospital. One word of caution: Some offices will charge patients an additional fee for walk-in privileges, whereas others won’t. Some will even charge a premium for last-minute, emergency appointment times.
Find out whether your insurance covers the cost of the emergency visit.
Be sure you get along with the dentist. When you find yourself in an emergency situation, the last thing you want is to be stuck getting services from a dentist who is rough, mean, or scatterbrained. Meet them in person before you have an emergency. Do they take the time to listen to you, or do the seem distracted? Don’t wait until you need emergency service to meet the dentist.
Find out exactly when their hours are. Are they open late and on weekends, or do they simply offer emergency walk-ins during regular business hours? Not all dental offices define emergency services the same way. Be absolutely clear about when they offer emergency services before you need them, so you don’t get caught in a situation where their services don’t match your needs.
No one wants to find themselves in a dental emergency situation, but what’s even worse than that is finding yourself needing emergency dental care without knowing exactly where to go to get the kind of high-quality dental care your family deserves when they need it most.