Help patients avoid the emergency room

Q1 Word of Mouth newsletter 2024

Dental conditions continue to be a common reason why patients visit the emergency room. Most patients visiting an emergency room receive an injection, prescription for pain or antibiotics. The American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute estimates that up to 79% of dental emergency room visits would be better served by being seen in community settings.

Patient outreach

Our government programs perform specific outreach to members who may have repeat visits to the emergency room to focus on prevention and to divert patients back to community dentists. Hospitals are also considering emergency room referral programs, making use of in-house dental clinics, urgent care centers and partnerships with practices accepting referrals.

How you can help 

You can play an important role in preventing patients from visiting the emergency room for dental concerns by:

  • Reinforcing post care instructions
  • Informing patients what to do in case of dental pain or other emergency
  • Providing patients with information on how the practice can be contacted after hours

Together, we can help patients engage in good dental care practices, avoiding unnecessary and expensive emergency room treatments.