AcciDENTAL Injuries: What to Do When You Have No Dental Insurance

Quick! You or someone you love is in serious tooth or mouth pain. What do you do?

 

Your first instinct is likely, “Go to the Emergency Room,” but this may A. Result in a long wait and truly staggering hospital bill and B. Not help you very much, anyway.

 

So…now what?

 

Keep reading. Here is a list of some of the most common dental accidents/ailments, first steps for managing them, and information about how to recognize a real emergency (versus something that you can probably wait a bit on). We also have tips about where to go if you need help in a hurry and some critical, preventative measures you should take NOW to minimize future trauma (example: “don’t panic if you’re without dental-emergency insurance”).

 

  • Toothaches
  • First-Aid: Rinse with warm water, floss, and, if swollen, cold compress.
  • Can It Wait? Yes, but make a dentist appt asap.
  • Chipped/Broken Tooth 
  • First-Aid: As above, but apply gauze if bleeding and rinse/save pieces.
  • Can It Wait? Yes, but make a dentist appt asap.
  • Knocked-Out Tooth
  • First-Aid:  Retrieve, rinse, and if possible, replace in socket; if not possible, store in milk or water with a bit of salt.
  • Can It Wait? No, get to a dentist.
  • Dislodged Tooth
  • First-Aid: Cold compress and pain reliever.
  • Can It Wait? No, get to a dentist.

  • Object Stuck in Teeth
  • First-Aid: Floss gently (no other object is safe).
  • Can It Wait? Yes, but if it stays, make an appt asap.

  • Lost Filling
  • First-Aid: Sugar-free gum, wax, or cement in cavity.
  • Can It Wait? Yes, but make an appt asap.
  • Lost Crown
  • First-Aid: With swab, apply clove oil to sensitive area. Slip crown over tooth after applying dental cement or adhesive. Oil available in drug stores or spice aisle at grocery stores.
  • Can It Wait? No, but make an orthodontist appt asap.
  • Broken Braces/Wires
  • First-Aid: If poking, use pencil eraser to push until comfortable, or cover the end with wax or cotton. Do not cut wire.
  • Can It Wait? No, but make an orthodontist appt asap.
  • Abcess
  • First-Aid: Rinse mouth with mild solution.
  • Can It Wait? Yes, very painful; infection may spread.
  • Soft-Tissue Injury or Bleeding in Tongue, Cheeks, Gums, or Lips
  • First-Aid: Rinse with mild solution; Apply moist gauze or tea bag for 20 minutes. Follow with cold compress for 10 minutes.
  • Can It Wait? If still bleeding, seek emergency care.

 

Emergency Options

 

As mentioned above, a hospital ER is often not the place to go with dental emergencies? Why? High costs, long waits, and, often, no necessary dentist on the premises. So what’s the best option for someone who needs dental care in a hurry?

 

  1. Call your dentist/specialist; Many have emergency plans that they personally handle or outsource and usually that information is gotten via recording if after hours.
  2. Type “emergency dental care” into your closest device with a search engine and find an on-call dentist close to your home (or wherever you are at the time).
  3. Call your general-care physician to see what he or she recommends.

 

Will this cost you? You bet it will. Keep scrolling.

 

An Ounce of Prevention

 

Prevention is the best way to protect yourself from many dental ailments, and that includes eating a tooth-healthy diet, regular brushing and flossing, and two annual trips to your dentist. Nevertheless, accidents do happen more than you’d think.

 

So, we also recommend:

 

1. Making or buying dental emergency kit for your home and/or car which should include:

 

  • Cotton
  • Bee’s or dental wax
  • A tea bag
  • A product for canker sores
  • Denture adhesive paste (helpful to non-denture wearers in emergencies)
  • Toothache drops (obtain at a pharmacy)
  • Clove oil
  • Floss
  • Gauze
  • Salt packets
  • A clean cloth
  • Bottled water
  • An over-the-counter pain reliever
  • Emergency phone numbers

 

2. Making sure you have dental coverage.

 

If you don’t have insurance or a dental plan (or even if you do but are not pleased with its emergency coverage), please call DentalPlans.com. We are the source of the most plans at best prices anywhere.

 

Listen, it’s easy to think that a dental emergency won’t happen to you or your family members, but you need to know that the number of incidents and accidents doubled between 2000 and 2010. Dental accidents make up 1.65% of all general ER visits. So be prepared and know we’re here for you.

 

Check out our infographic about dental care and your health below!

 

 

Check out our infographic about dental care and your health below!


 

 

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