I Can’t Afford an Emergency Dental Visit

Young man in pain, portraying the need for an emergency dentist

I don’t know how much an emergency dental visit costs, but I know I cannot afford it. Still, my tooth is killing me. I hate going to the dentist, and I would rather be in control of my pain. The tooth smells terrible, so I think that it is rotten. It needs to come out because it hurts so bad. I live in a small town, and I don’t trust the dentists around here anyway. What is the easiest way to pull my tooth at home and avoid going to an emergency dentist when I probably can’t afford it anyway? Alex


There is no easy or safe way to pull your tooth at home. Your description seems to indicate that your tooth is decayed and infected. It is unlikely that a dentist would extract your tooth.

How Much Is an Emergency Dental Visit?

The cost of an emergency dental visit depends on the condition of your tooth, the treatment required, and the complexity and length of treatment. Initial costs can vary from $200 to $1,400 or more depending on what is needed to restore your oral health. Many dentists offer payments plans or financing depending on the treatment required. But please do not let cost keep you from getting the care you need.

Why You Should Not Remove Your Tooth

We do not recommend that you attempt to extract your tooth. Your attempts to remove your tooth can damage tooth roots, nerves, and adjacent teeth. You may experience significant bleeding that is difficult to control.

It is more painful to extract the missing tooth than restore it. A gentle, emergency dentist will first relieve your pain with a pain-free injection to numb the area. The dentist will examine to determine the cause of the pain. You probably need root canal treatment, and the dentist will remove the infected tooth pulp. After cleaning the tooth, a dentist will use filler material to replace the diseased tissue. A dental crown will protect the tooth.

Unnecessarily extracting a tooth is not beneficial. When a tooth is missing, the space will cause the surrounding teeth to drift into that space. Your teeth will be misaligned, which can cause problems with your bite, chewing, and digestion. Later, if you decide to replace the missing tooth, a partial denture, dental bridge, or dental implant will be required—all of which are more expensive than restoring your existing tooth.

We recommend that you see a dentist right away for an exam. Ask friends or family members for recommendations or search online and look at patient reviews.

Dr. Steve Sirin, an Elgin, Illinois dentist, sponsors this post.

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