Dental Emergency – My Snaggle Tooth

dental emergency my snaggle tooth

Welcome to Ben’s Chronicles

Hello! I’m Ben from EINSURANCE. Trust me, I know there are plenty of things we’d both probably rather be doing than discussing insurance. But although insurance gets a bad rap, it does have its benefits; especially when you find the right coverage and carrier.

Unfortunately, throughout my life I have had a knack for being at the wrong place, at the right time. Given my gravitational pull toward bad luck, I wanted to share a few of my life experiences with you in hopes that my bad luck could benefit you. So, bear with me over the upcoming weeks, because I’ll be sharing little nuggets I’ve learned through navigating the insurance world. If my mishaps and theories don’t directly help answer any of your insurance related questions, I promise they’ll make you laugh, albeit at my expense…

If you would like me to discuss a specific topic, feel free to email me at

Today our topic is:

Dental Emergency – My Snaggle Tooth

This story is not intended to scare you in any way. In contrast, my hope is that you never find yourself in such a situation, although if you do, know there’s light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

The term ‘dental emergency’ raises the hairs on everyone’s neck. When coupled with pain, it makes the situation even more stressful and dire. Unfortunately, emergency rooms are typically visited after normal working hours. But even then, health related emergencies have clear blueprints to guide a person to safety. Your options can include an ambulance, but ultimately will end up at an emergency room, in some hospital with credible doctors, nurses and staff. Dental emergency don’t come with the same blueprint, and as a result, aren’t as straightforward, and can become quite hectic.

I just want to go to sleep!

One summer, I was enrolled in a training program that was based in New York City. The program was fairly prestigious. The Company whom the training was for, flew everyone into NYC from throughout the world, paid for their housing, and structured a learning/training program for the better part of the summer. Needless to say, there was a lot of investment made into the program. As such, attendance to every class, each day was crucial. In fact, if you failed a test; which were given weekly, you’d be asked to leave. Talk about pressure.

Each day, we’d have several different professors teach a specific subject in class, and then that evening would have some sort of networking event. We were weeks into our training, nestled into our respective summer ‘apartments,’ and familiar with the overall rigors of the program. I was headed back to my apartment from an event and couldn’t wait to hop in bed. As soon as I reached the apartment, I began to feel a sudden, but sharp pain in one of the molars in the back of my mouth. I recall thinking it may have simply been something I ate, and perhaps I could simply floss when I got upstairs, watch some television, and go to sleep. After a pretty thorough floss of my back molars, the pain persisted. Given it was 9pm, and I knew I had to go get up early to make it to class, I called my mother to see if she had any ideas or remedies that could help either sooth my pain so I could go to sleep, or fix the issue altogether.

My mother provided practical, pertinent advice and mentioned I should get some numbing gel from a convenient store. Although it was late, I bolted out in search of a tooth numbing cream. I found some and returned promptly to the apartment. The first application worked like a charm. Enough so, that it allowed me to fall to sleep. Unfortunately, an hour later, I was abruptly awakened by the throbbing pain of my back molar. I reached for the numbing cream for another application. This time, my relief lasted 30 minutes. This dreadful process repeated itself several times, until the cream no longer worked at all. At that point, it was perhaps 1am, and between the pain, my fatigue, and anxiety about needing to wake up in 5 hours, I was completely depleted. This was my first, and thankfully, only real tooth related emergency. As such, it introduced me to a different kind of pain. Up until that point in my life, I had broken bones, been hit quite hard playing football and lacrosse, and had my fair share of falls/spills. All of those instances of pain paled in comparison to what I was experiencing. Tooth pain is in a field of its own. I’m not sure if it’s the nerves that are involved, or the fact that there’s essentially nothing you can do about it or soothe it, but tooth pain is the worst.

Are any dentists in the house

As I sat on the couch at 1am, in a city I wasn’t familiar with, with a dental emergency that a doctor or hospital couldn’t address, I pondered my options. Do I call an ambulance, do I run to an emergency room and hope a doctor prescribes me a stronger numbing cream? I ended up searching online for emergency dentists in the NYC area. I’m not sure if it was because I was in the largest city in the U.S., or because dental emergencies are common, but I found several dentists. Only one answered the phone, however. The dentist was actually out and about in the city and was willing to meet me back at his office in 30 minutes. He explained that he accepted my insurance, but the rates would be elevated given the inconvenience of the time. As you could imagine, I didn’t care, I simply wanted my pain to go away. I rushed to his office, and to my dismay, there was a real problem with one of my molars. So much so, that we had to extract it that night, or morning should I say.

Fortunately, my miracle working dentist was able to work his magic in time for me to get a few hours of rest, and still make it to our training class on time. I wasn’t well rested, but the pain was gone, and in return I had missing space in between my teeth, where my problematic molar used to be.

When you hear about health-related emergencies you typically think about an ER room and a hospital. Keep in mind the dental emergency can be just as painful, and emergent. As such, make sure you: 1. have a plan in place if you ever need a dentist after hours, and 2. have an idea of how your dental insurance will handle such an emergency. All this said, I hope you never have you to utilize a dental emergency plan!

About Dale Williams

Dale Q. Williams, MBA, is a well-respected financial executive whose experience spans from insurance to investment banking. Dale has first hand underwriting experience through working for one of the largest U.S. based insurance carriers, and advisory experience from working for several bulge-bracket and middle-market investment banks. Dale also received his MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business, with concentrations in finance and accounting.