• November 13, 2015

Since the early 2000s, hospitals have recorded a growing number of visits from patients with dental emergencies. Obviously hospitals are the best place to go when we have an emergency, but visits for dental purposes are often uneventful because most hospitals do not have a full-time dentist on staff. A doctor might be able to prescribe patients something for the pain, but they will not be able to diagnose or treat the dental issue.

At Newingham Dental Care, we treat patients with dental emergencies and make yourself available to treat problems before they develop into more serious issues.

I recently read an article from USA Today that focused on the increase in visits to hospitals for dental visits (You can find the article here) . From 2000 to 2012, the American Dental Association reported that ER visits due to dental problems had more than doubled from 1.1 million to 2.2 million. That breaks down to one ER visit across the country every 15 seconds! That’s an alarmingly high number of people. This is concerning to me for a few reasons. First, people are ignoring their dental problems until they become unbearable. And secondly, Americans need to understand that dental problems can not only affect your oral health but your overall health as well.

I’ve read countless stories were patients have actually died as a result of a toothache or untreated abscess in the mouth. It’s possible for untreated dental abscesses to spread to other health teeth or to even make their way to your brain. A few years ago, a young father from Cincinnati died after an untreated abscess made its way to his brain. This tragic story is just one example of how dental problems can quickly become more serious than a ache or pain.

My office is focused on getting patients out of pain and opening our doors to dental emergencies of all kinds. First and foremost, we want to be able to relieve your pain. Then we’ll begin treating the problem and developing a long-term oral health plan.

How to Avoid Dental Emergencies

Some dental emergencies are unavoidable, but a majority of dental issues can be avoided with proper at-home care and regular dental visits. I’m sure we’ve heard this time and time again, but let me explain why regular visits can save you time, money, and health problems down the road. When you visit our office, we not only look at your teeth, but we check the entire oral cavity and take X-rays to see any possible root problems. Some patients can have root problems and have absolutely no pain, while others have unbearable pains. Either way, root problems can destroy a tooth, and if the problem is left untreated, infections can spread to other healthy teeth and other areas of the body.

At home, we encourage patients to brush twice a day and floss regularly. Brushing only cleans about 60 percent of the tooth, so it’s necessary to floss in order to remove plaque and bacteria from areas your toothbrush cannot reach. Bacteria can cause tooth decay or gum infections. Bacteria often forms into plaque, which can then form into tartar, which is simply hardened plaque. Only a professional oral health care worker can examine your mouth for signs of decay or serious gum or root issues. We are the only people who can remove tartar from your teeth and remove infections from the gums before the problem spreads throughout the mouth.

Dental neglect often boils down to lack of insurance or dental coverage, but it’s been proven that dental prevention is hands-down more cost effective than dental neglect. What that means is that it’s better to pay for regular cleanings and fillings, even that means out-of-pocket, than it is to pay for treatments like root canals, crowns, and gum disease treatment.

We work with every patient to develop a treatment plan that fits their budget. We have a variety of payment options and accept all major credit cards.

If it’s been a long time since your last dental visit, understand that there’s never a bad time to get your dental health back on track. My staff loves working with patients of all ages and dental situations. We never judge a patient based on their dental problems, and we take pride in relieving you of pain and helping create a long-lasting smile. Call us today at 248-972-8720 to schedule your first visit with us.