Spring is on its way! And you may be thinking of going to the dentist or signing up for dental insurance, but time drags on and on until you chip a tooth or get a toothache and you have a dental emergency on your hand. You need immediate dental care, but how do you go about getting this taken care of? Thoughts come rolling with multiple scenarios.
No worries – urgent dental care is available, and there are many resources to help save you time and money when you need to see a dentist right away!
I don’t have dental insurance.
Until an emergency happens with a toothache, abscessed tooth or accident where urgent dental care is needed, most people don’t keep dental insurance on the list of things to do. On top of this, most can’t afford to pay monthly premiums for traditional dental insurance or the cost of dental care at full price at the dental office. What do you do?
The best solution I have found is a discount dental plan. There are many great dental plans on the market today that can assist with saving money on urgent dental care. These plans will provide you reduced fee for service when seeing providers in their network. They are available as low as $99/year, and some of the plans provide additional savings when pay an annual rate up front. If you are unable to wait, these plans can get you set up and ready to use the discounts within 15 minutes to 48 business hours. Be sure when you apply for the plan that there are dentists in your area on the network. Most discount dental plan websites will provide listings of their dentists. I also advise contacting dentists to see who can assist with you urgent dental care needs right away! Since you can see any dentist on the network it’s a great asset to have a discount plan.
I haven’t seen a dentist in years. Who do I call?
If you have dental insurance, contact your insurance or discount plan provider and explain what occurred and express that you are in need of urgent dental care. Ask them to provide you with a list of dentists in your area. This information may also be available on a website or through your employer’s HR dept. The best policy I have found if this is not an option is the good old-fashioned word of mouth method. Ask someone you know and trust if they can refer a dentist to you who can handle emergency cases for your urgent dental care needs.
If you don’t have a dental insurance or discount dental plan, it would be advisable to call the dentist if you cannot afford to pay in full out of pocket to see if they have an in-house discount for patients paying with cash or some sort of payment plan option. If the dentist does not have this option available to clients, ask the dentist if they may know a dentist to refer you to that does offer these options. Be sure to express to the dentist that this is an urgent dental care situation so they understand the urgency of the situation needs to be addressed quickly.
My dentist is not available till Monday. What do I do in a dental emergency?
It’s Saturday and you have toothache that can’t wait until Monday to be addressed. There are some toothache home remedies that may help with urgent dental care needs until you can get to your dentist Monday morning. First call your dental office – most dentists will have a message that tells you what to do if it’s an emergency call. There is also a company that can help you by phone to search for dentists in your area who handle emergencies on weekends at 1-800-dentist (or visit www.1800dentist.com). For those of you that only trust your dentist and are not willing to see another dentist, this website also offers great tips as mentioned above of home remedies to help alleviate your pain until you can see your regular dentist. For example, did you know that clove oil will help relieve toothache pain? It’s less expensive than over-the-counter pain relievers like ambosal and tastes better too.
So go to the dentist and get your urgent dental needs handled right away to avoid pain and suffering. Then you will have a happy, healthy smile and can get back to enjoying your life!