If your child has an accident, you may find yourself in need of emergency dental care from a dentist office that accepts Medicaid. No matter when your child’s emergency happens, it’s important to know your dentist’s emergency care policy and the procedures you need to take. Read through this short guide to get a better understanding of dental emergencies, the steps to take to protect your child’s oral health, and where to go for emergency dental care that’s affordable.
If you are experiencing a true medical emergency, call 911 right away. For all other dental emergencies, visit a nearby Kool Smiles office or call us at 254-781-0553. We have over 120 locations in 15 states across the nation, so it’s likely you’ll be able to find a Kool Smiles location for an emergency dentist near you. We want to ensure you get the oral care you and your family needs.
What Is a Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency can be a complication affecting the teeth, gums or tongue that requires urgent attention from a professional. Examples include a chipped tooth or swelling gums. If you’re unsure of whether your child is having a dental emergency, consider these questions:
Is your child bleeding from the mouth?
Is your child in serious oral pain?
Did your child lose or loosen a tooth unexpectedly?
Is there swelling in the mouth or face?
Are there any bulges, swelling, or knots in the gums?
Is there an object caught between your child’s teeth?
Does your child have a broken jaw?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are most likely experiencing a dental emergency and should call your dentist immediately. If the damage seems severe enough to endanger your child’s immediate overall health, you might want to call 911, but keep in mind, most emergency rooms do not have dentists on staff and may not be able to assist as needed. If you do not have a dentist or are looking for a quick, affordable option in your area, you will want to find a Kool Smiles location near you and have the emergency dental services performed right away.
Some of the most common reasons for needing emergency dental services includes the following:
Knocked-out tooth—This injury needs attention, especially if it’s an adult tooth and not a baby tooth. It is possible to save, if you rinse it, hold it by the crown (not the root) and get to an emergency pediatric dentist immediately.
Severe wisdom tooth pain or pericoronitis—If there is an infection in the gum tissue caused by the an infected tooth, it is called pericoronitis and could lead to an abscess. If a wisdom tooth is impacted and starts to come out, it could infect the area around it. See a pediatric dentist as soon as you can.
Abscessed tooth—This can be life-threatening, if not treated right away. Essentially, this occurs if a tooth is infected and could lead to a pus-filled bump on your gums, tooth sensitivity, a headache, swollen lymph nodes, swelling in the neck or a fever. If not treated, it could spread to the neck, throat and other parts of the body.
Chipped, broken or cracked tooth—Often, this occurs from blunt trauma and can be rather painful. To minimize the pain and swelling, you can use a cold compress or ice on the outside of your mouth. You’ll want to see an emergency dental professional right away.
Dental emergencies do happen, but preventative care is crucial to maintain proper oral health and avoid needing emergency dental services. Make sure your child visits a dentist twice a year, if possible, for checkups and to stay on top of their oral health.
At-Home Relief for Dental Emergencies
If your child is experiencing a dental emergency, you should plan to see a pediatric dentist as soon as possible. As you prepare to bring your child in, there are a few things you can do before the dental visit to provide some temporary, immediate relief for your child. Here’s what you can do:
Stop any bleeding by applying pressure to the area using a clean cloth.
Clean the wound with warm water.
If a tooth has been knocked out, you can gently place it back in place, if possible, which will increase your chances of saving the tooth. National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests biting down gently on gauze to keep the tooth in place. If you cannot place it back in the mouth successfully, put in a cup of warm salt water to keep in the moisture.
Rinse the mouth with warm salt water.
If experiencing a severe toothache, you can apply a cold compress. In this case, you should not apply heat or give the child Aspirin.
What to Expect from Emergency Dental Procedures
If you bring your child to an emergency dental office that accepts Medicaid, you could end up needing emergency treatment. If your child has an infected tooth, an injured tooth or uncontrollable bleeding, the following may be required:
Root canal on infected tooth
Draining abscess from infected areas
Treating soft tissues swelling
The emergency treatment will depend on the situation, the needs of the child, and the potential harm that may occur if not treated.
Does Medicaid Cover Emergency Services?
Medicaid, in general, does not all dental care services. However, Medicaid, in the majority of states, does cover medically necessary dental procedures—and fortunately, this extends to emergency dental services.
In states with expanded Medicaid coverage, necessary emergency dental services for children must be provided to patients enrolled in the program. Under these services, you should be able to:
Control bleeding caused by an accident or trauma
Relieve severe and sudden pain
Treat infections that can spread and cause further damage
If your child is in need of emergency dental treatment, you should be covered under Medicaid. If you are not, you can contact Kool Smiles for access to high-quality care and assistance in figuring out the best payment plan.
For adults, however, Medicaid varies from state to state. Depending on the emergency, you may or may not be covered. Six states, for example, do not cover any dental services for adults (not even emergency dental services). If this is the case, you should still seek emergency dental care.
Kool Smiles: Emergency Dentist Near You Who Takes Medicaid
If your child is in need of emergency dental care, bring him or her to Kool Smiles. We not only accept Medicaid coverage without limiting the number of patients we see, but we also offer emergency dental services to all of our patients, no matter if they’re covered under Medicaid or not.
If your child is having a dental emergency during business hours, you can call us and come straight into our office. We don’t require an appointment. However, we do ask that you call in advance so we can expect your arrival. We can treat your child’s emergency, discuss your dental insurance and provide tips for future preventative care.
If the dental emergency happens after hours, Kool Smiles patients can call 254-781-0553, and we can then direct you to an on-call doctor who will provide you with the quality care you need.
Contact Kool Smiles for Emergency Dental Services or Preventative Care
Kool Smiles provides services in dentistry, orthodontics and pediatrics, so you and your family can get the dental care you need. Our dental professionals offer expert oral care, as well as detailed instructions for prevention or after-care treatment. We can assist you with any dental questions you may have. Our offices are even staffed with multi-lingual representatives and dental professionals who offer translation services at no extra cost.
Does your Medicaid coverage not include dental services? Afraid you can’t afford an emergency dental procedure? At Kool Smiles, we offer a variety of payments plans for both pediatric dental services and adult dental services, so you don’t have to stress. We believe in providing high-quality dental care for all families, no matter their financial circumstances. Call 844-425-1033 to speak with a representative.
If your child is in need of immediate medical attention, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
Consumer Guide to Dentistry: http://www.yourdentistryguide.com/emergency/
Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320552.php
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