The landscape of the dental industry has changed completely in recent years. One in six Americans experienced a dental emergency in the past year. A study done by the American Dental Association (ADA) found that every 15 seconds a patient comes into an emergency room for a dental emergency. Comprehensive emergency dental and oral procedures are not within the scope of practice of emergency rooms and urgent care providers. In fact, The ADA estimates that 79% of the ER visits could have been better addressed by a visit to an emergency dental clinic. The ADA also found that emergency rooms throughout the country have seen a dramatic increase in the number of patients seeking treatment for dental pain, from 1.1 million in 2000 to 2.1 million in 2010.
Dr. Stephanie Gray Hackney, who also has a dental practice in Wilmington, NC, saw the need for a dedicated urgent dental care clinic in her area. In March 2018, she launched ASAP Urgent Dental Care, which is the first strictly urgent dental care clinic in the United States in Wilmington, North Carolina.
The dental care clinic, which is not a substitute for a regular dental provider, is staffed by board certified dentists and a professional team, and is located in the same building as a medical center’s urgent care clinic. Services provided include assessment, diagnosis and treatment of urgent dental needs, as well as a referral to a regular dentist if the patient does not already have one. The dental clinic is available seven days a week and is a fee for service (FFS) provider only. Hackney is already planning to add locations in the fast growing regions of Raleigh, Charlotte, and Fayetteville, North Carolina.
The clinic is available for patients with the following symptoms and conditions:
- Tooth pain/Toothaches
- Abscessed teeth
- Broken/knocked out teeth
- Tooth extractions
- Oral and tooth infections
- Injuries to the mouth and lips including lacerations and abrasions
- Problems with dental implants
- Problems following dental work
- Lost filling or crown.