An emergency room dental extraction sounds pretty scary, and it can be. Hopefully, this will never happen to you. If it does, however, it helps to know when you might need one and what to expect.
When Might I Need to Visit an Emergency Room?
Any condition, dental or otherwise, can be considered an emergency if it requires immediate attention. Usually, it is a life-threatening situation of some kind, but extreme pain is also a good reason to go to an emergency room.
In regards to dentistry, two basic scenarios in which an emergency room dental extraction might be necessary.
Facial or jaw injury: If you have experienced a trauma to the face or jaw, that may very well raise the risk of tooth loss. In this case, saving time means saving teeth. If the injury has caused a tooth to become dislodged, it is still possible for a dentist to reinsert it if you act quickly. Likewise, if a tooth is broken or chipped, an emergency room can at least treat the pain.
Abscess: a dental abscess is another condition calling for immediate care. Without swift treatment, an abscess can lead to a serious infection that can quickly spread to the gums, jaw, and even the lymph nodes.
Are Emergency Rooms Equipped for Dentistry?
Unfortunately, a hospital emergency room is not usually prepared for dental issues, nor are staff members qualified in dentistry. The emergency room can contact a dentist on your behalf, however. They can stabilize this injury and also offer a short-term fix, such as a pain reliever and antibiotics to stave off infection. However, permanent repairs will require the services of a dentist or other oral specialist. While dentists don’t usually work at night or over the weekend, they can often “squeeze you in” for emergency treatments and repairs.