When my patients need me I will always make myself available. All of my patients have access to my personal cell phone and I encourage them to call me when they have a dental emergency. If I have to come in a bit early or squeeze someone in during lunch then I do it. I will even open up the office on a holiday or weekend if necessary.
Some emergencies are minor and can wait until tomorrow. Some problems, however, can not wait. Dental trauma, severe pain, or swelling should never be ignored. A small dental abscess can grow quite a bit in a short amount of time, and severe swelling can even compromise your airway. I care about my patients and would gladly see them on a Sunday instead of visiting them in the hospital on Monday. In addition untreated dental infections can be quite painful.
Unfortunately, I know this from personal as well as professional experience. When I was 15 I took a hit from a hockey puck. The impact didn't cause any visible damge but it did damage the nerve in my front tooth. The tooth was asymptomatic for several years but then blew up while I was away at college. It took three days to obtain dental treatment. The pain of the untreated infection was the worst pain I have ever felt in my life, and I never want my patients to go through the same ordeal. The relief I felt when I finally had proper treatment changed my life. It was the first time I thought about becoming a dentist. I am so grateful when I can help someone in a similar situation or better yet prevent it all together.
Just this New Year's Day I opened up the office because an elderly patient had a potentially bad problem. I wouldn't want my own grandmother to wait until Monday so we got her right in. I'm only a call away when you need me and always glad to help.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year,
Andrew N. Sackser DDS