To the average person, dentistry is not often seen as an essential emergency service. But if you're up at 3 AM with a debilitating pain in your jaw or you're at a Sunday afternoon baseball game and a fly ball knocks out your daughter's front teeth, the thought uppermost in your mind will be: "I need to find a dentist NOW!" This article can help you track down a dentist who can help you in your time of need.

Even if you don't think you will need it, you should always find out from your regular dentist whether emergency treatments can be performed. If possible, when you are first choosing your dentist, make after hours service a condition of your final choice. This is especially important if you or the members of your family are involved in sports or activities that can damage teeth, such as martial arts, baseball, or gymnastics. However even normal activities such as walking down the stairs can lead to emergency dental situations, so be prepared for that.

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Most dental clinics that offer emergency service will have a special after hours number that will connect to an on-call dentist. Calling that number and explaining the situation will result in the dentist giving you instructions, such as meeting him at the office for treatment. Sometimes several dental practices will share on call service, so the clinic you will end up going to for treatment will not be your regular clinic. In a case where medical as well as dental injuries have occurred, go to the emergency room at your local hospital for treatment. The doctor there will inspect the extent of the injuries and will call in a dentist for the dental trauma if warranted.

Your family should also know how to do first aid for dental injuries so that the patient will have the best possible chance of a full recovery. For example, finding a tooth that has been knocked out by trauma and placing it in milk will help preserve it long enough for the dentist to reattach it to the patients jaw, reducing the need for implants or replacement teeth.

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