Do You Need to See an Emergency Dentist?

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Urgent Dental Care vs. General Dentistry

You’ve probably seen one on a recent commute: A small urgent dental care office that offers same-day appointments. These clinics have helped many people with middle-of-the-night dental emergencies, but they’re not a substitute for regular dental care. 

People who end up in hospital emergency rooms or urgent dental care offices usually haven’t seen a dentist in years – most commonly because they don’t have dental insurance. Skipping routine dental care may save someone money in the short-term, but it can lead to serious consequences. Regular cleanings and exams can help prevent the conditions that lead to those late-night dental emergencies.

Advantages of General Dentistry

A general dentist is interested in your long-term health, and through annual exams, is able to detect emerging dental problems, as well as underlying conditions that may be affecting your dental health (diabetes, for example). Urgent care providers typically focus on treating a symptom – such as a badly decayed tooth – without developing a treatment plan to improve a patient’s dental health. 

Gum Disease Treatment and Prevention

Gum disease (periodontitis) is a common and irreversible condition, but treatment can slow its progression. Patients who have irritated, bleeding, or receding gums should see a general dentist, because treatment may involve multiple appointments – a single visit to an emergency clinic is not effective in treating periodontitis.

When Cost is a Concern

Most dental insurance policies cover cleanings and routine exams, along with X-rays. People who don’t have insurance may be able to qualify for Care Credit, which allows patients to get the dental care they need and pay off the cost over time. 

At urgent care clinics, people who don’t have insurance tend to choose the least expensive option – for example, a tooth extraction instead of a crown or dental implant. The cheapest option, however, is not always best for the patient. (When a tooth is extracted, the gap left behind causes other teeth to gradually move out of alignment). A general dentist will take time to explain treatment options and their costs, so patients can make educated decisions about their care. 

Schedule Your Dental Exam

If it’s been awhile since you’ve seen a dentist, we encourage you to schedule an exam. At MW Dentistry & Esthetics, we don’t judge or criticize people who haven’t kept up with their dental care – we’re just glad to have the opportunity to help you get back on track!

Call to schedule your appointment: (765) 643-5356.

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