The Difference Between Emergency Room Dental Care and an Emergency Dentist Online

| 5 min read

IYKYK - If you know, you know. That applies in many life experiences. And it’s somewhat applicable to understanding the difference between emergency room dental care and seeing an emergency dentist online.

Some circumstances can cause you to feel as though you have no choice but to seek help for a dental issue in a local ER. Even so, it’s good to know that there’s another alternative.

Before exploring another solution let’s clarify what qualifies as a dental emergency.

Is it really a dental emergency?

“Semi-urgent” or “non-urgent.” That’s how the ADA (American Dental Association) qualifies dental related ER visits.

Most dental emergencies involve some form of trauma with your mouth, teeth, and gums. Bleeding, infection, and swelling also trigger thoughts that something isn’t right.

The bigger picture associated with a dental emergency is the immediate or long term risk to your teeth and gums.

For example, a knocked out tooth, a chipped or fractured tooth, or bleeding within your mouth are not something to ignore. Attention should also be given to prolonged toothaches or an oral abscess.


Do these conditions require a visit to the emergency room?


Is there another solution to determine the severity of your condition…

  • When you prefer not to visit the ER?
  • When you cannot see a dentist in-person?
  • When you want a preliminary or second opinion diagnosis?

Good questions. Bottom-line there are reasons to avoid ER visits for dental care in lieu of a better (and available) solution.

Why (and how) to stay out of the ER for dental care

Dentists know dentistry

ERs are capable and equipped to handle general health issues. They’re limited in their capacity to treat a dental emergency.

A dentist can provide the best and most well-equipped care for your dental emergency. For the most part, a licensed dentist is trained to diagnose and treat the root cause your dental problem.

  • Dedicated equipment and technology is available to provide an accurate dental diagnosis.
  • An online dentist could be available 24/7 to diagnose your dental emergency, provide treatment options, and arrange for a secondary appointment if necessary.

Consider the cost comparison

Lack of insurance and out-of-pocket costs for preventive dental appointments is a common reason for avoiding oral health care. Negligence can compound oral health problems to the point of a dental emergency.

It’s important to consider that an ER visit could be more costly than a dental visit. Seeing a dentist is typically a more cost effective option when compared with going to the ER.

For example, an online emergency dentist is able to provide a targeted diagnosis and next step treatment solutions for your dental issue. And your costs will likely be much less than going to the ER.

Follow-up care is important

An ER visit is a one-and-done process. On the other hand, a dentist will provide solutions for relief, treatment, and any necessary follow-up care that’s required.

Healing is the goal. Persistent or ongoing oral health issues could hinder the healing process.

A licensed dentist is equipped with diagnostic tools and treatment options. They’re also prepared to implement follow-up protocols that help assure your oral health improves.

It’s common for a dental emergency to cause panic or anxiety until treatment or relief is achieved. The faster you achieve relief and treatment the better.

An emergency dentist online could be available 24/7 - saving you the cost and time associated with a visit to the ER.

Connect with an emergency dentist online on an easy-to-use platform

The team of dental professionals are trained to identify, diagnose, and treat any dental condition. From toothaches to second opinions - you’re covered!

  • Access a 24 hour dentist now from your personal, private, and secure account.
  • Select a reason for your visit using a brief questionnaire.
  • Receive virtual dental care from a licensed dentist when you provide your issue details, any photos, and/or dental/health records.

Discover more about on our How it Works page. Or Register Now.