On A Roster: How Dentists Are Called Up To Hospitals For Emergencies

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Taking a trip head-first through your car's windshield is a terrifying experience. If you are alert enough after the staggering pain, you will feel the damage done to your face and to your teeth and mouth. In the emergency room at the hospital, surgeons can put your face back together, but a broken jaw and missing teeth require the skilled work of a dentist/dental surgeon. Here is how most hospitals handle cases like yours.

On a Roster

The hospital already has a roster of dental clinics staffed with 24-hour service and/or emergency dentists and dental surgeons. The nurses at the desk will begin calling everyone on the roster until a dentist answers. Then the dentist that responds and arrives at the hospital is the one that typically wires your jaw shut. He or she also surgically puts some of those missing teeth back (if they have been recovered from the scene of the accident).

The Likelihood of Seeing Your Own Dentist

It is very unusual to get your regular dentist to come in for this type of emergency. The random draw of dentists on a roster at the hospital may or may not include your own dentist. Even then, he or she may not be the one called or the one to respond to this emergency call. Most family dentists are not on such a call list at hospitals, so you should not expect your own dentist to patch up your mouth and wire your jaw shut.

Paying the Bill

With the way that these dentists are called up, paying the bill is a very different sort of process. If the dentist that came in for your procedure is covered by your dental insurance, your dental insurance is billed. If the dentist is not covered by your insurance, then the hospital either pays the dental expenses and adds the expenses to your hospital bill, or you pay the dental bill separately. It all depends on the agreements that the hospital has with the dentists on their call roster.

Seeing Your Own Dentist after the Fact

As with any emergency situation and treatment, the emergency room doctors will tell you to follow up with your general physician and your regular dentist. Of course, this will not happen until you are discharged from the hospital. Be sure to follow up with your dentist, as he or she will want to take some x-rays of your jaw and mouth to make sure the hospital's on-call dentist got everything right in place and that your jaw/teeth are healing properly.

For more information about dental emergencies, contact a dental clinic in your area, such as Family 1st Dental, and ask if they know more about the dentist on-call roster.