Which Is Better For Urgent After-Hours Dental Needs – Urgent Care Or An Emergency Dentist?

When you have a problem with your mouth outside of your dentist's regular hours, you normally might think of calling and leaving a message with the dentist's answering service. However, if the problem appears to be urgent to the point where you really need to see someone but don't think an emergency room is appropriate, you may want to look at your local urgent care center. Going there wouldn't be right for some dental issues, but other problems could get the attention they need right away.

Medical Issues vs. Appliance/Implant Issues

The key difference is whether the problem is medical or has to do with a dental appliance or implant (or other nonmedical issue). If you drop your dentures and they break, that's not really a medical issue. You should try to contact your dentist through the answering service, however.

But maybe something happened and the dentures caused some sort of injury in your mouth over the weekend. While you'd have to go back to the dentist to have the dentures fixed, you could possibly go to urgent care for the mouth wound. A doctor could check to see if there are signs of infection, for example.

Familiarity Is Important

It also may depend on your familiarity with the emergency dentists in your area. If you have never been to an emergency dentist in the area, but you know and trust your urgent care center, call the urgent care center and see if they can see you for a medical-dental problem. Again, this should be for medical-related mouth issues and not, say, a damaged implant crown that isn't affecting your gums or jawbone.

Services Vary

Do be aware that services vary. Your local urgent care might not have people on staff who are familiar with dental issues, so their ability to help might be limited. But you should be able to get help with infections, abcesses, and pain relief at urgent care while you wait for your regular dentist's office to reopen.

If you are experiencing pain or think you might have an infection in your mouth, a regular urgent care center like Urgent Care Pros should be among your options for help. Call them and let them know this is an issue with a possible infection or other medical issue in your mouth so that they don't think you're asking about having actual dental work done there. Try, too, to get a copy of the records to give to your regular dentist.