Can I Go to an Emergency Room for Dental Pain? – 3 Common Questions Answered

can you go to the ER for dental pain

It’s 11pm on a Friday night. You can’t sleep because of unbearable pain in the back of your mouth. You think you have a tooth infection, but you’re not quite sure what’s going on. Your dentist’s office won’t open until Monday, and over-the-counter pain meds aren’t helping. What options do you have? Can you go to an emergency room for dental issues? Let’s take a look at some common questions we hear about dental emergencies.

Can I Go to an ER for Dental Issues?

Emergency rooms typically have the equipment and staff to handle minor dental emergencies like abscesses and traumatic loss of teeth. They can also prescribe medications to address infections or help manage the pain. Emergency rooms typically aren’t able to handle final repairs like fixing a chipped tooth or placing a filling for a cavity. 

Are Emergency Visits for Dental Pain Covered By Health Insurance?

Most health insurance plans will cover emergency room visits for dental pain. To be certain, call your health insurance company before you go to the ER. You will likely have to pay an emergency room copay. Many states also require health insurance plans to cover emergency visits for TMD and CMD disorders. These are conditions that involve the jaw, jaw joint, and the muscles controlling them.

Medical insurance may also cover other dental emergency services. These might include diagnostic procedures, treatment of inflammation, incisions and drainage of abscesses, curettage of periodontal abscesses, medically necessary tooth removal, soft and hard tissue biopsies and extractions, and surgical placement of dental implants.

Your dental insurance will not typically cover other types of dental emergencies. For instance, fillings for cavity treatment and cosmetic issues are not covered. When in doubt, always call your health and dental insurance companies to understand what services are covered.

Tyler Texas Emergency Room for Pain Management & Urgent Care Needs

Hospitality Health ER in Tyler, Texas is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to treat all types of medical emergencies and urgent care needs. Walk in to our concierge-style emergency room and be greeted by knowledgeable caring staff.

For more on dental health, read Hospitality Health ER’s blog 3 Reasons to Take Your 1-Year-Old to the Dentist and Can Cavities Spread?