Our dentist was no help, now what?
August 20, 2011 1:32 PM   Subscribe

How do you find emergency dental help on a Saturday (in Dallas)?

My husband has a toothache that is becoming increasingly intolerable. We called our dentist, but he's on vacation and for some blasted reason the dentist that is covering during that time has discouraged the office from sending him patients. (Seriously, wtf.) The office had no tips in terms of emergency dental care.

What is the best option?

We have found a few emergency dental clinics, but none of them take insurance. Do we go to urgent care for pain killers to try to make it through to Monday? Do we pay out of pocket for one of the emergency dental clinics? Do we go to the ER? Any other options?

(For now, he is chewing ice because that's the only thing that is making it bearable. I'm guessing that's a bad idea, so we need to do something asap.)
posted by Terriniski to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
Can you afford to pay for the emergency clinic visit now, and then submit the bill to your insurance afterward? I've done that in the past, but of course it depends on your insurance coverage.

If it so intolerable that he can't wait until Monday, and you have no other options, definitely go to the ER.

And yeah, chewing ice is not so great. My dentist discourages that. IANAD (or an aspirin expert), but I've sometimes put an aspirin (the regular kind, not ibuprofen or anything) right on the offending tooth and let it dissolve. (I don't really mind the taste of regular aspirin, but children's aspirin would probably taste better.)

There's always the old remedy of a shot or two of whiskey, or rubbing some on the hurting areas. My mom used to do that when I was a wee teething tot, but, yeah, probably not the best idea...
posted by SuperSquirrel at 1:41 PM on August 20, 2011

You can go to the ER or (probably cheaper) urgent care, where they will at least give your husband something for pain. They probably won't do anything for the tooth, but if you urgently need relief they can provide that and will tell you to see your dentist on Monday.
posted by charmedimsure at 1:41 PM on August 20, 2011

Do you have an actual phone book (yellow pages)? Some years ago my wife had a dental emergency on a Saturday, and in the phone book under "Dentists," several of the ads said they were open Saturdays. We're in NYC, but I would imagine Dallas might be big enough to also have weekend dentists.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 1:44 PM on August 20, 2011

If you have the financial wherewithal, do the pay-now-get-reimbursed-later thing. Much less pricey than an ER visit, and a significantly shorter wait.
posted by SMPA at 1:52 PM on August 20, 2011

Best answer: Have you tried calling the offices listed here?

This site promises a 24 hour emergency referral system and some home treatment options to minimize pain.

Finally, this dentist says it has Saturday and Sunday emergency appointments available.
posted by charmcityblues at 2:22 PM on August 20, 2011

Go to a super market and get some cloves from the spice rack. I can confirm that it has worked for me and my brother. Here's simple instructions for how to relieve toothaches with cloves until you can go see a dentist:

posted by Hairy Lobster at 3:04 PM on August 20, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions! We were googling at the time I posted this question and had bad luck getting anyone to answer the phone--even places whose office hours were posted online to be well past the time we were calling. We had some luck with the site charmcityblues mentioned, so we headed over there. It cost $200 cash, but they were friendly and professional. Husband got a shot to numb the pain for a bit. Turns out it was an exposed nerve (filling had fallen out or whatever), so he also got a prescription for an antibiotic and a pain killer. That should get him through the next day or two until he can see our regular dentist. When he told the emergency dentist he'd probably just get the filling done at our regular dentist, the emergency dentist even gave him the x-ray. Very helpful! Husband is feeling much better!

Thanks all!
posted by Terriniski at 6:09 PM on August 20, 2011

Just to add for future reference: A local 7-day a week dentist in the area here.
posted by getawaysticks at 7:12 AM on August 23, 2011

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