When your child has a dental emergency, it can be highly stressful trying to get an appointment if you don’t know the protocol. Are you allowed to walk in, or do you have to make an appointment to be seen on the same day? While things differ from office to office, you can generally walk in when your child has a dental emergency.
You May Still Have to Wait if You Walk In
Many dentists schedule room for emergencies into the day, but it’s possible that they’re already fully booked, and you’ll have to wait in the office until some time opens up. If you want to avoid waiting in the office, you could call ahead of time to schedule an emergency appointment. Your child will still be seen that same day, but you can wait from the comfort of your own home.
Some Dental Emergencies May Become Health Emergencies
In some instances, you may want to take your child to an urgent care instead of an emergency dentist. Here are some examples of when to take your child to an urgent care or emergency room:
- Your child’s jaw may be fractured or dislocated
- Swelling is keeping your child from breathing or swallowing properly
- Excessive bleeding from the mouth is excessive and doesn’t stop
- Your child’s tooth is abscessed or infected, and they have a fever
If you’re unsure whether your child’s emergency is an emergency room situation or an emergency dentist situation, just call your dentist and ask! They want your child to receive the best care for their situation.
Your Child Will Likely Receive Only the Necessary Treatment
Emergency appointments may have been fit into an already tight schedule. When you see an emergency dentist, they will treat your child’s most pressing symptoms, relieve pain, and schedule a follow-up appointment for additional care and treatment. For example, if your child is experiencing severe tooth pain due to advanced tooth decay, they may extract the tooth, treat infection, and offer pain relief at the appointment.
They are not likely to offer a cleaning and fluoride treatment in the same visit.
What Constitutes a Pediatric Dental Emergency?
If your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms or conditions, it would be a good idea to call your dentist and ask about their emergency availability:
- Knocked out or loose tooth due to trauma
- Persistent, severe toothache, especially if accompanied by swelling
- Bleeding from the teeth, gums, tongue, or cheek
- Broken, chipped, or fractured teeth
- Lost fillings or crowns
- A tooth that has been jammed deeper into the socket
If your child is complaining about tooth sensitivity, pain, headaches, or difficulty chewing, ask your dentist if it qualifies as an emergency. Some appointments can wait–some can’t. They will be able to tell you for sure.
Your Emergency Pediatric Dentist at Pediatrics on Park
Our pediatric dentist, Dr. Geoffrey Gonazales is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA) and is committed to providing up-to-date effective treatment for children of all ages. He is equipped to provide same-day emergency care for your child whether you walk in or call ahead.
To schedule a routine visit or to talk about emergency dental care options, call 908-916-3243 or fill out our online request form.