If you have a dental problem during the day, your dentist will typically be able to fit you in quickly to get you the treatment you need; however, this may not be possible if your problem starts after your clinic closes for the day. If you have dental pain at night or over a weekend or public holiday, your regular dentist may not be open, and you may need to find emergency treatment.
If you have a dental hospital or general hospital with a dental department in your area, you may be able to get emergency treatment there; however, this may depend on the availability of emergency services and the type of problem you're having.
Out-of-Hours Dental Services in Hospitals
While your local hospital may be open 24/7, this doesn't mean that it always offers emergency dental treatment. Some hospital dental services run to the same kinds of hours as regular dental clinics and aren't open at night, during weekends or over holidays.
However, in some cases, your local hospital's dental department may work a longer day or may be open for part of the weekend or over a holiday so that it can handle dental emergencies. If your problem requires immediate treatment, this may give you access to out-of-hours help, depending on the kind of problem you're experiencing.
Types of Dental Problems
Emergency clinics in hospitals won't necessarily treat every kind of dental problem. For example, emergency services are typically reserved for issues that need immediate treatment such as knocked-out teeth, tooth abscesses, facial swelling caused by dental problems and severe pain. When you call to try to make an appointment, you may be asked questions about your problem; if it isn't deemed to be an emergency, you may be told to wait until you can see your dentist.
In some cases, if the dental clinic is closed, a hospital's emergency department may be able to handle some dental problems. If you can't get emergency dental care, it may be worth calling your local hospital to see if you can be treated in the emergency room. While you aren't likely to be treated by a dentist, emergency doctors may be able to give you antibiotics or stronger painkillers if they think this is necessary.
Tip: If you don't have any luck with your local hospital, try calling your dentist's clinic. While you're likely to get an answerphone message if you call out of hours, this message may contain a contact number you can call for emergency dental care if you need it.
For more information about emergency services, contact a clinic like Dental Smile Clinic.