Your Guide to Dental Emergency Solutions: Improve Patient Outcomes and Revenue

A Simple Guide to Dental Billing and Best Practices You Should Do
When dental emergencies strike unexpectedly, your patients may experience discomfort and anxiety. Whether it’s a severe toothache or a broken or knocked-out tooth, your efficient management can preserve their wonderful smiles and significantly contribute to their overall satisfaction with your dental practice. Preparedness is key, so understanding the necessary actions and tools for these emergencies is crucial.

In this blog, we’ll empower you with practical advice on dental care during emergencies, increasing patient volume and improving overall care.

What are dental emergencies?

The American Dental Association (ADA) defines it as a “collection of potentially life-threatening diagnoses requiring immediate treatment to stop bleeding, remedy the infection, and alleviate severe pain.”
However, it’s important to note that not all dental emergencies are life-threatening. It can refer to any problem affecting teeth or supporting tissues that require immediate action to prevent biological, functional, or aesthetic complications.

According to Cleveland Clinic, here are some examples of dental emergencies you should know, ensuring you are well-prepared for any situation.

  • Severe toothache
  • Badly cracked tooth
  • Knocked-out tooth
  • Extruded (partially dislodged) tooth
  • Dental abscess (swelling of your face and jaw)
  • Lost or broken dental restoration
  • Severe soft tissue injury (like a busted lip or deep cut)

The most common causes of dental emergencies are due to falls, sports injuries, traffic accidents, or physical violence. Even though these emergencies happened because of similar mechanisms of injury, remember, every patient is unique and should be managed differently.

What dental emergency solutions can patients do?

An estimated 2 million visits to hospital emergency departments (EDs) for dental pain occur annually in the US. A dental injury can happen anywhere: at home, in public, or when your patients are alone. You can give them these tips beforehand so they know what to do if they are in a dental emergency.

  • Severe toothache: Rinse mouth with warm water. Use dental floss to remove if there’s any lodged food. Apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek if you feel any swelling.
  • Badly cracked tooth: As with toothaches, the patient should rinse the mouth using warm water. Save any broken pieces and rinse them as well. If there’s bleeding, apply gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops.
  • Knocked-out tooth: If the patient has the tooth, they should hold it by the crown (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth), and rinse off the root with water if it’s dirty. You can try to put the tooth back in place, making sure it’s facing the right way. Or they can also put it in a small milk container or a product containing a cell growth medium, such as Save-a-Tooth.

The most important thing, however, is that they see a dentist as soon as possible.

Barriers to serving patients with dental emergencies

During these crucial times, urgent dental care should focus on relieving symptoms such as pain or bleeding. A streamlined process that quickly detects where the pain comes from and delivers the appropriate treatment is a must. Instead, most clinics struggle with issues when the patient meets with the front desk until they are ready for payment. These dental billing problems keep patients from being treated immediately, potentially hurting your revenue.

Here are common barriers dental practitioners face that prevent them from serving their patients as soon as possible.

  • Missing or inaccurate patient information: This can include name misspellings, the wrong date of birth, or an incorrect address, which can result in a claim denial because the information doesn’t align with the patient’s record.
  • Errors in billing and coding: Inexperienced staff can input incorrect codes for procedures or outdated codes, which can lead to claim denials. On the other hand, an experienced biller, like our staff in Synapse, can easily interpret notes and use appropriate codes.
  • Failure to verify insurance coverage: This can happen when insurance plans and coverage levels change, and your billing team cannot keep up with the updates. Without a verification process, reimbursement rates and patient responsibilities will be affected.
  • Poor AR management: This happens when dental practices fail to collect fees from patients, which creates a significant cash flow problem. Most practices opt to outsource this to a trusted company like Synapse so we can give their AR our full attention.

Synapse quick and efficient solutions that won’t cost your practice

As you can see – urgent dental care relies on your practice’s swift responses and accurate processes. Navigate every area of dental billing with ease at Synapse. We don’t waste your time and money because our state-of-the-art tech automates everything from the front end to the back end. With the help of Synapse’s highly competent and trained elite staff, you will be able to focus on serving patients experiencing dental emergencies.

Schedule a consultation with us to learn more about what makes for an efficient and accurate dental billing process.

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