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The Emergency Room is not for Dental Care

Posted on 6/20/2015 by Nic Grasvik
When you have a dental emergency, the first thought of many people is to go to the emergency room for treatment. Although this might seem like a good idea, there is very little that the ER can do for you. Instead, you should come to our office in order for us to properly handle the situation. Most people go to the ER because they do not have a dental home, or somewhere that they are already established and can call when a problem occurs. These people wind up in the ER with nothing little to rectify the situation with the exception of providing ways to minimize the pain, such as prescription pain pills. Following are just a few of the reasons that people turn to the ER:

•  No dental insurance - The people that do not have dental insurance assume that they do not need to see the dentist at all. They figure it is too expensive and as long as nothing hurts, they do not need to go. What these people are ignoring is the fact that not having routine dental cleanings allows their teeth to become worse over time. The more plaque and bacteria that builds up, the weaker their teeth, gums, and jawbone becomes, which puts them at risk for a variety of serious dental emergencies. Rather than avoiding the dentist because you do not have insurance, go for regular cleanings to stay on top of your dental issues and prevent an emergency.

•  Young people have no time - Many young people, mostly teens and young adults, also assume they do not need regular dental care. They are either just starting out on their own and do not have insurance or they just assume that they are young, so nothing will be wrong. These people are just like those without insurance - they need regular dental care to prevent visits to the ER, where the ER can really do nothing for them.

•  Lack of resources - Sometimes patients just panic when an emergency occurs. This is especially true when serious accidents occur that cause a knocked out tooth or other major catastrophe. The presence of a large amount of blood and pain can cause patients to panic and forget to call us. Instead, they head to the ER. The medical professionals in the emergency room can help to control the bleeding and minimize the pain, but because time is of the essence when it comes to replacing a knocked out or cracked tooth, it is best to call us first before doing anything else.

The emergency room is typically reserved for medical emergencies - they do not have dentists on hand to handle dental emergencies. The best way to handle these occurrences is to be prepared. Have our number handy in order to be able to call us right away and have the necessary supplies available to handle blood, pain, and the need to hold a knocked out tooth. If for some reason you cannot get a hold of us, the ER can be a resource to help calm you down and get you comfortable, but we still need to be contacted for ultimate treatment. Remember, the best line of defense against any type of emergency is to practice proper oral hygiene and to have a dental home that knows your dental history in and out.

If you do not have a dental home, call us today, (503) 350-1234. Our staff is happy to welcome new patients and provide you with a safe place to take care of your dental health, minimizing the risk of dental emergencies in the first place.


Dr. Nicholas Grasvik
4690 SW Hall Blvd
Beaverton, OR 97005


Easy to find in downtown Beaverton.
Lots of parking available

(503) 350-1234

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4690 SW Hall Blvd, Beaverton, OR 97005