You never know when a dental emergency will crop up. A crown could come loose after taking a bite of hard candy. A terrible toothache could keep you tossing and turning in the middle of the night. A fall to the ground could leave you with a broken tooth.
What can you do to prepare for these emergencies?
Get the Contact Info
When you’re having a dental emergency, one of the first things you should do is contact your dentist and book an urgent appointment with them. Have your dentist’s number saved on your phone, so you can call them immediately. This is not a time to use the clinic’s online booking system.
In certain emergencies, you should skip the dentist and go straight to the hospital. If you think you’re experiencing an abscessed tooth, and the infection is causing you to have a high fever or severe swelling in your face, you need to go to the emergency room.
Prepare for Emergency Costs
Do you have dental insurance? Your insurance plan could cover the costs of your emergency dental treatments. However, features like deductibles, annual maximums and co-pays will impact how much your plan will cover and how much you will have to spend out of pocket.
Dental Savings Plan
A dental savings plan is a benefit program that you can sign up for. The program offers discounted rates for dental treatments, from standard cleanings to emergency services. With the plan’s discount card, you could significantly reduce the costs of your emergency treatments.
Your dental insurance and discount card may lower the cost of your emergency dental treatment, but it might still leave you with a bill. The best way to pay your bill is with an emergency fund.
An emergency fund is a reserve of savings meant for urgent, unplanned expenses — these include dental emergencies. When you need to cover one of these expenses, you can withdraw the necessary savings from your emergency fund immediately.
It’s always wiser to use savings from your emergency fund in these circumstances than the money in your checking account. Using money from your checking account could disrupt your monthly budget.
If you don’t have enough in your emergency fund to pay for your dental emergency, you can apply for a personal line of credit as a backup plan. Go to a website like CreditFresh to see whether you qualify for a personal line of credit loan. With all of the qualifications, you can apply and see whether you get approved. An approved loan would allow you to use borrowed funds to handle the emergency in a short amount of time.
Improve Your First Aid Kit
The standard first aid kit comes with tools to help with cuts, splinters and burns. Add some items to your first aid kit to make it effective for dental emergencies, too.
What items should you add?
- Dental wax. This can cover up sharp edges of broken teeth or gaps from missing dental crowns and fillings.
- This can dislodge painful debris stuck between teeth.
- Antiseptic oral cleanser. This can clean the mouth after an incident.
- Waterproof container. This can be used to temporarily store tooth chips, fillings and crowns.
It’s better to be safe than sorry. Prepare for dental emergencies now, so you’ll be ready when they crop up.
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