Are There Dental Surgeons in ERs of Hospitals?

In the United States, the vast majority of hospital emergency rooms (ERs) do not have dentists, oral surgeons, or the equipment or facilities to treat patients who are having a dental emergency. When a patient goes to an emergency room with a dental emergency, an expert surgeon or other staff will prescribe antibiotics and pain medication and tell the patient to see a dentist as soon as possible.

While visiting the emergency room or an urgent care facility is important if the pain is intense or the swelling of a dental infection would prevent a dentist from being able to fix the problem, seeing an ER surgeon for a dental problem is not a long-term solution.

In extreme cases, oral surgeons may treat patients in a hospital surgical center. These cases mainly involve major facial reconstruction after some sort of traumatic injury. In the case of a traumatic injury to the face, teeth, and jaw from a fall, car accident, or some other traumatic event, visiting the emergency room is a good idea. But, the hospital will most likely not fix teeth or a jaw and will refer the patient to an oral surgeon for further treatment.

er surgeonIn the event of a dental emergency, usually defined as a painful toothache, a permanent tooth that has been knocked out, injury to the jaw, or bleeding in your mouth that will not stop, the best course of action is to call your dentist’s emergency phone number. If she doesn’t have one, check around for a specialty emergency dentist in your area. If this is not an option, then consider an emergency room visit to stabilize the situation and seek treatment from your dentist as soon as possible.

So, emergency rooms are not generally equipped to treat a dental emergency, unfortunately. They can treat dental pain and prescribe an antibiotic, but for long-term treatment, a trip to your dentist will be necessary.