Dental pain that lasts several days, gets worse, or is severe is a dental emergency. If you are having extreme pain, an infection is likely the cause and you should seek treatment as soon as possible. An infection is a very real medical problem that must be addressed immediately.
Treating a Dental Infection
If you have a dentist, you should call their office to try to make an immediate emergency appointment. If not, you can also go to your regular primary care doctor, the emergency room, a local, free clinic or to a Convenient Care location to seek treatment. These medical providers will only treat the infection with antibiotics and/or painkillers, and cannot give dental care. After you have gone to a general doctor to receive antibiotics, you should still make an appointment to see a dentist to treat the problem or cause for your infection. If you do not receive treatment from a dentist, your infection and pain will most likely return.
Going to the Emergency Room
No one is turned away from the hospital emergency room because of insurance status or inability to pay. Patients are not expected to pay at the time of their visit to the emergency room.
Concerns about the cost of an emergency room visit should not prevent anyone from getting needed treatments for infections or other health care needs, as both Presence Covenant and Carle have discount programs for low-income patients. you will be able to apply for financial assistance after receiving your bill. If you would like more information or assistance in applying for a discount program, please contact CCHCC Community Health Workers at (217) 352-6533.
Going to Carle Convenient Care
Carle Convenient Care is a walk-in clinic that is located at 1818 E. Windsor Road in Urbana, or at 1701 W. Curtis Road in Champaign. You may go to this clinic without an appointment and be seen by a medical doctor to treat your infection. You may be asked if you are able to pay at the time of this visit, but payment is not required at the time of service.A visit to Convenient Care may also be covered by Carle’s financial assistance program called the Community Care Discount Program.
Affordable Dental Care Programs
The Smile Healthy Dental Center: The Smile Healthy Dental Center provides dental services on a sliding scale to uninsured individuals. The dentists and dental hygienists provide hygiene treatments, extractions, and restorative work. They have appointments available for people that are experiencing dental emergencies. To make an appointment,call (217) 403-5477.
Dental Referral Program: The Dental Referral Program (DRP) is a partnership between Champaign County Health Care Consumers and area dentists to provide discounted dental care to adult swith no dental insurance. To enroll in the Dental Referral Program, call (217) 352-6533 and ask about the DRP.
Download the “Dental Emergencies Fact Sheet” (pdf).
Download the “Dental Emergencies Fact Sheet” in Spanish (pdf).