Learn about ER referral programs

Every 15 seconds someone, somewhere visits an emergency room for a dental-related problem.

Dental EmergenciesThe majority of these patients are suffering from dental decay.

Eighty percent of those visits are due to preventable conditions.

In 2014, the ADA launched Action for Dental Health, a nationwide, community-based movement aimed at ending the dental health crisis facing America today. One of the program’s primary goals is to reduce the number of people who visit the emergency room for dental conditions by referring them to community health centers or private dental practices, where they can receive proper dental care.

To cut down on these emergency room visits, dentists across the country are collaborating with hospitals in unique ways to refer these patients to dental offices and clinics. The hope is that by avoiding the emergency room patients will receive appropriate and effective treatment that is significantly less expensive than that available in a hospital.

ER alternatives include programs working with dental schools, health centers and private practices. For more information about ER referral programs and the ADA’s Action for Dental Health, visit ADA.org/action.

There you will find specific examples of the types of programs available as well as a 10-step guide and video for tips for starting your own program.

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