Emergency Room or Dentist? How to Make the Right Choice

Emergency Dental Care In Ann Arbor Mi

If you’ve just experienced out-of-the-blue dental pain or injury, your mind will immediately try to conjure up the best place to go for help. But does the emergency room (ER) or a dental office make more sense given what’s happened? Fortunately, our Ann Arbor, MI, emergency dentists are here to guide you through different instances and symptoms so you’re informed when every minute counts.

Here’s an overview of dental emergencies and what types of problems are best suited for our office or the ER.

What Problems Become Dental Emergencies

A dental emergency is any situation involving your mouth that requires immediate attention to reduce serious pain, stop uncontrolled bleeding, and save teeth. Common examples include severe toothache, knocked-out teeth, significant gum bleeding, or infection. Identifying the nature and severity of the incident is crucial in determining the right place for treatment.

Visit an emergency dentist if you have:

  • Persistent, unbearable tooth pain suggesting an abscess or other serious issues.
  • A deep crack in a tooth that’s causing significant pain.
  • A tooth that’s been dislodged as immediate care can potentially save it.
  • Tongue, gum, lip, or cheek injuries that won’t stop bleeding
  • Swelling or signs of infection such as fever, foul taste, or difficulty swallowing.

At our Ann Arbor dental office, our team specializes in treating all of the above and can address such urgent needs effectively using root canals, tooth-colored fillings, dental crowns, and more. Keep in mind that less urgent issues such as a small crack or chip is not necessarily something that needs to be solved right away and can wait a day or so.

When to Go to the Emergency Room

While most dental problems are best managed by our emergency dentists, certain conditions do warrant a visit to the ER, especially when they pose a broader health threat. While you’re always welcome inside our office when urgent needs arise, we wouldn’t want for you to arrive and be better treated by an oral maxillofacial surgeon.

Situations that require ER care include:

  • Jaw fractures or major trauma involving facial bones.
  • Lacerations of the mouth that cause bleeding that does not stop after 15-20 minutes of applying pressure.
  • Severe infections resulting in swelling that impedes breathing or swallowing.

Hospitals have the necessary facilities to handle these life-threatening conditions, which are sometimes beyond the scope of what we can manage. It’s vital to recognize these scenarios and act swiftly to ensure the best possible outcome.

Choosing the Right Provider for Your Dental Emergency

Ultimately, the decision to visit a dentist or ER depends on the nature of the emergency. Here are a few guidelines to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Assess the severity and type of injury: If it’s localized to the teeth or gums, our emergency dentists are usually the most suitable option.
  2. Consider the symptoms: Symptoms like extreme pain, swelling, or signs of infection are urgent but often do not require ER intervention unless they are life-threatening.
  3. Check availability: Many dental offices, like ours, offer emergency services, and visiting can save you time and resources compared to the ER.

Knowing these guidelines can ensure you get timely and appropriate care, minimizing long-term damage and maximizing recovery.

Call Our Office ASAP

By understanding these distinctions and preparing ahead of time, our emergency dentists in Ann Arbor, MI, can help ensure you receive the best care in stressful situations. Remember, quick decision-making can be crucial to preventing further complications or even saving a life. Call Excel Dental today at (734) 929-9999 or contact us online.