When you schedule an appointment with an emergency dentist, it is a good idea to ensure you have all the information that the dentist is likely to need to diagnose and treat your dental problem. Think about how you would answer the following questions to help your emergency dental appointment go as quickly and smoothly as possible.
1. Where is the Source of the Pain?
Emergency dentists need to know where it hurts so they can work out what is causing your dental pain. Try to be as specific as possible when you answer this question. For example, telling the dentist that your third lower left molar hurts is much more helpful than simply saying you have a toothache.
2. Rate the Pain From 1-10?
Dentists often ask patients to rate their pain from 1 (pain so mild you barely notice it) to 10 (the worst pain you have ever felt). More severe pain not only requires more urgent treatment, but may also suggest that there is a serious infection that needs treatment with antibiotics. Report your pain as honestly and accurately as possible to ensure you get the appropriate treatment.
3. Does the Pain Affect Other Parts of Your Face or Body?
Dental pain can sometimes spread to other parts of the body, including the jaw or sinuses. In rare cases, patients may also have neck or back pain. Letting the dentist know if the pain has spread to any of these places can help them to work out what is causing the pain. Sometimes the root cause is not even a dental problem, but rather a sinus infection or ear infection. If this is the case, then the emergency dentist can refer you to an appropriate medical specialist.
4. How Long Has the Pain Lasted?
Pain that lasts for a long time can indicate a more serious dental problem. In particular, pain that gets progressively worse can indicate an infection that requires urgent treatment. Try to remember how long you have had the pain and give the dentist as much information as you can.
5. Was Your Pain Caused By an Injury?
It is important to let your dentist know if your dental emergency was caused by an accident, such as a blow to the head or face. The treatment required is different if the pain is caused by an injury rather than as a result of dental decay.