Walk In Dental Clinics – What to Expect
It’s important to keep in mind that different dental clinics can be run in very different ways. One clinic might require prospective patients to set an appointment first, before they can meet a dentist. Some clinics might not be willing to accept same-day appointments, or others might only allow these in exceptional cases.
That being said, there is such a thing as a walk-in dental clinic, and even each of these clinics can vary in their service structure. The general idea is that walk in dental clinics allow its patients to seek treatment or care upon their arrival at the clinic – no prior appointment needed. Keeping in mind the impromptu visit, however, there may very well be conditions or restrictions regarding what the patient can or cannot receive as treatment. So before you find yourself having in an emergency situation, it might be helpful for us to set some expectations for you.
You can expect that some dental clinics will only allow patients to walk in and seek immediate treatment, because the situation is (or can easily come close to being) dire.
Some examples? A patient might need to seek urgent dental treatment, for instance, because she is suffering from intolerable pain or discomfort. In a situation like this, it would be understandable for the patient to want to undergo a treatment or receive a prescription, in order to alleviate the pain.
A prospective walk-in patient may be experiencing severe swelling. If the swelling is accompanied by profuse bleeding, then he will also require immediate dental intervention.
Another example could involve some form of injury or trauma to the mouth. The person may have been involved in a car accident, and the mouth might have slammed into the car’s steering wheel or dashboard. This is, of course, considered an emergency, and immediate treatment would be required.
It is obvious that a walk-in clinic will accept emergency cases, at the very least. Other walk-in clinics will also accept patients who are non-emergency cases. It’s important, however, to be familiar with the policies of your preferred walk-in clinic. Some of these places will not carry out basic dental procedures without an appointment. Some examples of what are considered basic can include carrying out root canals, performing teeth cleaning, doing fillings and similar procedures.
Another thing to expect when it comes to walk-in clinics is that they will require you to quickly provide some important information. Your medical history will be discussed, and you might be asked to disclose any conditions you might be suffering from, as well as the medications you are taking. This is important because they need to make sure that you do not have a medical condition which could negatively impact the dental procedure. They also need to make sure that any medication you will be given will not create complications if taken with your existing medication. You’ll also be asked to disclose any allergies that you might have, especially those related to medications. Without this type of information, treatment may not be forthcoming.
Here’s a tip: if you were referred to a dental clinic by your doctor or another medical professional, make sure to have with you the written referral letter. This letter will contain information that the dental clinic will also need in order to have a complete picture of your situation.
All in all, make sure to be informed not only about your walk-in dental clinic, but also about your health and current situation. Being prepared not only saves time, but allows for a smooth and comfortable dental experience!