What are the best dental excuses to miss work?
The most common excuses for missing work include:
- Regular dental check-ups
- Broken Tooth
- Lost filling
- Oral infections
- Bad toothache
- Cavity filling
- A dental procedure, such as tooth extractions
Most dental issues are a reasonable excuse to miss work. Your oral health is important and most issues can be painful. As such, seeking treatment is usually a high priority.
Fortunately for you, I’ve put together a large list of reasons to get out of work as it relates to your oral health. We’ll discuss different emergencies, such as facial swelling or teeth grinding, and how you can use these excuses to leave work.
- The most believable excuse to leave work on short notice for a dental issue is a broken tooth. The best longer notice excuse for missing work is having regular check-ups. Other common excuses include losing a filling, oral infections, painful teeth, cavity fillings, or needing a dental procedure.
- Dental emergencies are considered a family emergency. You can take time off from work if your family member requires treatment. Consult your employee handbook or human resources department to understand your company’s time off policy.
- Requesting time off can be done in-person, over the phone, via text or email. The method in which you request time off depends on your relationship with your boss and company policy for time off. Most companies require written communication for taking time off.
- Requesting time off is as simple as stating you have a dental emergency and cannot make it into work. You should brief your boss on any challenges that may arise and offer solutions.
- If a dental emergency happens at work, evaluate the severity of the emergency to see if it’s worth leaving work immediately. See if your dental office can fit you in for an appointment and inform your supervisor immediately.
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Dental emergencies for missing work on short notice
You can use the following dental emergencies for missing work, even if it is on short notice. However, you are still responsible for taking time off under your company’s time off policies.
The complete list of dental excuses to miss work includes the following:
- Broken tooth
- Lost filling or crown
- Severe toothache
- Abscessed tooth
- Impacted tooth
- Avulsed or knocked out tooth
- Tooth infection
- Trauma to your teeth
- Mouth or facial swelling
- Oral bleeding that doesn’t stop
- Jaw pain
- Tongue injury
- Lip or cheek injury
- Oral cancer
- Oral thrush
- Gum disease
- Dry socket
- Tooth sensitivity
- Teeth grinding
- Oral allergies
- Oral burns
- Tooth discoloration
- Oral surgeries
- Dental emergencies related to chronic health conditions
- Dental cleanings
- Filling a cavity
- Tooth extraction
- Root canal
- Crown or bridge replacement
- Dental implants
The majority of these excuses can be scheduled out in advance. In other words, you’re more likely to know that you have a dentist appointment for your regularly scheduled cleanings. Dental cleanings are an excellent excuse when you need time off later.
However, some of these excuses are last minute. For example, nobody can predict when their teeth are going to break, or they’re going to lose a filling.
It is essential when using these excuses to maintain honesty. Don’t lie about having a fake dental excuse to get out of work.
Often, people are found out when they tell a lie but run into somebody they know. Additionally, your employer can request proof of going to the dentist or other emergency.
It is also important to note that you can use these excuses for yourself or a family member. For example, you may have young kids with an emergency situation, such as a broken tooth. You may be the best option to help your children seek medical treatment despite being a working parent.
Let’s take a look at each of the dental emergencies in more detail. Check out our guide to leaving work early if you’re just needing an excuse to take off from work on a Friday.
#1 Broken Tooth
My most memorable time breaking a tooth was when my coworker decided to bring in Tootsie Pops for the office to share. And as just as the owl says in the commercials, it takes three licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop:
Unfortunately, the crunch happened to be the sound of my tooth breaking. The Tootsie Pop was a little bit harder than my tooth.
If you’ve ever broken a tooth, you may be experiencing the following:
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- Pain while chewing
- Jagged teeth
I am a huge baby when it comes to breaking my teeth. I will always make it a priority to get to my dentist immediately following a broken tooth. Food may as well be my love language, so having pain while chewing doesn’t work for me.
Leaving a broken tooth unresolved may lead to problems including:
- Infected tooth
- The tooth has less strength and is susceptible to further damage
- Injury to your tongue or cheek
#2 Lost filling or crown
Another one of my most popular dental emergencies is when a filling disintegrated in my mouth. It was a sudden burst of sand-like material, which was then followed by tooth sensitivity.
According to the dentist, the filling was over 20 years old.
It would be best if you considered immediately getting a replacement filling or crown. The last thing you need is a gaping hole in your tooth, which looks odd and doesn’t help the tooth function appropriately.
Failure to get your tooth repaired can lead to tooth decay, infection, or a larger cavity. Chances are you will also have tooth sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages.
#3 Severe toothache
Always consult your dentist whenever you have a severe toothache. A severe toothache can be an underlying sign of a more extreme dental problem.
Examples of problems that usually start as a severe toothache may include:
- A broken or damaged tooth
- Missing filling
- Gum disease
At least 90% of men are probably going to say, “why would I go to the dentist for a toothache? What are they going to do?”
I get it.
Nobody wants to go to the dentist, especially for something that may be a minor toothache. Dental insurance only covers so much, so why take the risk?
However, your dentist can help you get to the bottom of your problem. Some examples of what your dentist can do for you include:
- Diagnose the problem
- Fill a broken tooth
- Replace a missing crown
- Prescribe pain medication
- Send you to a specialist
#4 Abscessed tooth
An abscessed tooth is when a pocket of pus forms around the tooth root. The pus forms because the area has become infected. If left untreated, you can experience some severe health problems.
Signs you may have an abscessed tooth may include:
- Unpleasant taste in your mouth
- Face or neck swelling
An abscessed tooth makes a perfect excuse to get out of work.
You don’t want to leave an infection untreated. The longer you leave an abscessed tooth untreated, the more likely infection will spread or you’ll lose the tooth.
Your dentist can help you by removing the infection from the area. The tooth is cleaned, and the area is filled with material to prevent further infection. Your tooth is then restored.
#5 Impacted tooth
Another good reason to miss work for a dental appointment is when you have an impacted tooth.
An impacted tooth is when a tooth cannot break through the gum line. The usual cause for impacted teeth is when there isn’t enough room for your tooth to come in or other teeth are blocking it.
Younger individuals are the most likely impacted by an impacted tooth. However, it is not uncommon for adults to get them as well.
Wisdom teeth are the most commonly affected. However, another commonly impacted tooth is your canines.
#6 Avulsed tooth (Knocked out tooth)
An avulsed tooth is a fancy way of saying your tooth got knocked out.
The most common reasons someone loses a tooth include:
- Sports injuries
- Car accidents
- Facial trauma
You should immediately see your dentist if you have knocked out a tooth and the tooth starts to die. Avulsed teeth may be able to be implanted if you seek immediate treatment. The longer you wait, the less likely you’ll be to regain your teeth.
#7 Tooth infection
A tooth infection is similar to an abscessed tooth. However, an abscessed tooth is a type of infection around the tooth root, but a tooth infection occurs inside the tooth.
Common symptoms may include toothache, fever, and swelling.
#8 Tooth trauma or injury
Tooth trauma is a broad term that you can use as an excuse to get out of work. You can think about tooth trauma as any impact to your tooth that causes an injury. Tooth trauma can be as minor as a slight chip or as major as losing the tooth entirely.
#9 Mouth or face swelling
Any swelling around your mouth or face is a good excuse to leave work and see your dentist. Mouth and facial swelling can be signs of a more significant dental problem. Your dentist will be able to diagnose why your mouth or face is swelling and provide treatment.
#10 Oral bleeding that does not stop
Consult your doctor or dentist immediately if you have bleeding from your mouth that doesn’t seem to stop. Typically, oral bleeding that doesn’t stop is a sign of a more serious problem.
Typical problems from continual oral bleeding may include:
- Oral cancer
- Tooth Abscess
- Gum disease
- Underlying medical conditions
The quicker you can get diagnosed, the sooner you can take preventative measures.
#11 Jaw pain or injury
Having jaw pain is a valid reason to get out of work if you can go see a dentist. Jaw pain can be a sign of a serious dental problem. There are several triggers for unexpected jaw pain, including:
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) – TMD affects the connection between your jaw and skull and is often caused by stress or teeth grinding.
- Inflammation of the sinuses
#12 Tongue injury or laceration
Did you know that dentists will often work on tongue injuries as well? If you have an injury to your tongue, you can consult a doctor or a dentist for your initial screening. Dentists are often the first choice for people with tongue injuries due to their expertise in oral care.
#13 Lip or cheek injury
As with tongue injuries, dentists will also look at lip and cheek injuries. Alternatively, you can see your doctor.
#14 Oral cancer or suspicious lesion
Dentists are often the first to diagnose oral cancers. Your dentist will typically screen for oral cancers and suspicious lesions during your routine checkup.
However, you should seek out a medical professional if you suspect any signs of oral cancer. Early detection is usually critical for successful treatment. Your dentist may decide to do a biopsy to make a diagnosis.
#15 Oral thrush or yeast infection
Oral thrush is a fungal infection that usually affects people with weakened immune systems. You will often notice white patches in your mouth that may be sensitive to the touch. Your dentist May treat oral thrush with an antifungal medication.
#16 Gum disease or periodontitis
You might find yourself with gum disease if you haven’t heeded your dentist warning about constant flossing.
Gum disease will often start as gingivitis, with inflamed gums that may easily bleed when flossing. Typically, gingivitis is reversible with proper oral care.
Failing to treat your gingivitis may lead to periodontitis. Periodontist is the next stage of gum disease, affecting the supporting tissues around your teeth. Failure to treat your periodontist may result in losing teeth.
#17 Dry socket after tooth extraction
You may be subject to a dry socket if you’ve had a tooth extraction recently. A dry socket is when the blood does not properly clot in the socket where your tooth was removed. You may have exposed bone and nerves where the tooth was extracted.
#18 Tooth sensitivity or hypersensitivity
As a self-proclaimed food lover, having tooth sensitivity is the worst. Who wants to eat with half of their mouth while trying to avoid pain from a sensitive tooth?
Teeth sensitivity is often caused by many factors which expose the tooth’s root. When a hot or cold food or beverage, acidic food, or other stimulant reaches the nerve, you’ll often experience shooting pain.
#19 Bruxism (teeth grinding)
You should consult your dentist if you grind your teeth at night while sleeping. Teeth grinding can lead to problems such as damaging your teeth, jaw pain, headaches, and not getting restful sleep at night.
#20 Oral allergies
Certain foods can cause allergic reactions, specifically affecting your throat and mouth. An example is a peanut allergy that causes your mouth or throat to itch or tingle. You should consult a healthcare provider or allergist if you experience any oral allergy.
#21 Oral burns
Who hasn’t bitten into a steaming hot slice of pizza only to burn the top of their mouth?
Most oral burns are self-remedied, such as when biting into hot pizza. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to suck on an ice cube after consuming something too hot.
However, nothing compares to the pain of having to listen to your wife tell you, “I told you that was too hot to eat.”
Regardless, it is important to seek medical attention for oral burns that do not improve on their own.
#22 Tooth discoloration
Having poor oral hygiene with the combination of bad habits, such as smoking and excessive coffee drinking may give you a mouth of gold.
I’m not talking about getting gold fillings, although fillings may be required. Instead, I’m talking about stained yellow teeth.
Having stained teeth isn’t usually an emergency, but poor oral hygiene can lead to a dental emergency. While stained teeth may not be an emergency, seeking treatment is a valid reason to miss work.
#23 Oral surgery
Having oral surgery performed is another valid excuse for missing work. Examples of oral surgeries may include tooth extractions, oral cancer surgery, or receiving dental implants.
#24 Dental emergencies related to chronic health conditions
Certain chronic health conditions can lead to dental emergencies. These dental emergencies often need to be resolved before further problems are created.
An example is diabetic ketoacidosis.
An individual with diabetic ketoacidosis is subject to dry mouth, which can cause tooth decay and infections. This is because their body produces high levels of ketones, affecting the salivary glands needed to produce saliva.
#25 Dental cleaning and preventative care
Having a regularly scheduled cleaning and preventive care is the preferred reason for missing work. Taking an hour or two to get your teeth cleaned can help prevent serious problems down the road, which may cause further work lost time.
#26 Filling a cavity
After your regularly scheduled dental cleaning, you will usually find out about a cavity. In most cases, the dentist will schedule you a few weeks out. Therefore, you will have plenty of time to inform your boss that you’ll need to miss work.
#27 Tooth extraction
A tooth extraction is a perfect example of when you should miss work. Not only will you need to schedule time off for the procedure, but you may experience pain or discomfort after the procedure. You will need plenty of time to rest and recover and will most likely need a follow-up appointment.
#28 Root canal
A root canal is an important procedure to help treat an infected tooth. And since the area is already infected, it is important to take care of the infection immediately. Therefore, a root canal is a good excuse to miss work.
#29 Crown or bridge placement
Crowns are installed to protect a damaged or decaying tooth. It is important to get your crown installed to prevent further damage from taking place.
#30 Dental implants
Dental implants typically follow a tooth extraction. A dental implant will hold your replacement tooth. There are many reasons to miss work for dental implants, such as needing the tooth replaced immediately.
#31 Orthodontics (e.g., braces)
Should you or one of your family members need braces, orthodontics is a good reason to get out of work.
How to tell your boss you can’t work due to a dental emergency
Telling your boss that you can’t work due to a dental emergency is straightforward. It is one of the more believable excuses for missing work.
The best way to tell your boss that you can’t make it to work is to be honest and let your boss know of any challenges that may arise during your absence.
Depending on your relationship with your boss, calling, texting, or email may be acceptable forms of communication. However, you will always want to verify that your boss received the message if you aren’t talking to them directly.
Sample phone call to tell your boss you can’t make it to work
The following is an example phone call that I might have with my boss to say that I can’t make it to work because of a dental emergency.
Me: “Hey Boss, I won’t be able to make it to work today on time. I have a dental emergency and was able to get a last-minute appointment.”
Boss: “No worries. How’s the status of your project going?”
Me: “The project is currently with a coworker for review. I should be able to check to see if it’s back with me tomorrow. However, Jake is also familiar with the project in case anything urgent comes up.”
Sample text message to boss for a dental emergency
The following is the template I use whenever I have a dental emergency. I have already discussed this with my bosses, and a text message is an agreed-upon approach for recording my absences from work.
Hey Boss, I won’t be able to make it into work today. I have a dental emergency and was able to get a last-minute appointment today. I don’t anticipate anything major happening with my projects at work, but Jake is familiar with the projects if something does occur.
Sample email to boss for a dental emergency
The following is an example email that I would send to my boss if I had to leave work for a last-minute dental appointment.
I had to leave for an emergency dental appointment. I broke a tooth chewing on the Tootsie Pops that Tommy brought in, and my dentist had a last-minute opening.
I’ve reviewed my work scope and am not expecting anything urgent. However, Jake also knows my projects and can cover anything that arises.
Typically, I would try to catch my boss in person before leaving work. However, sometimes I cannot find my boss, and an email will suffice.
Keep in mind my relationship with my boss is that I can take off from work if I need to as long as I provide communication.
I would also let a coworker know because my boss will talk to them before they check their email. I would also send a text message to ensure they received the message.
What to do if you have a dental emergency at work
I follow a three-step process whenever I have a dental emergency at work. The process involves:
- Evaluating the severity of the emergency
- See if an emergency dental appointment is available
- Let my supervisor know I need time off
Let’s look at each of the individual steps in more detail.
Evaluate the severity of the emergency
My first step is to evaluate the severity of any dental emergency.
For example, when I broke my tooth on the Tootsie Pop out at work, I stayed to finish my shift. While having a broken tooth was unfortunate, I could live with the pain and finish my work responsibilities.
However, you may have a different opinion when it comes to your own teeth. You may be in enough pain that you feel that you need to take off from work. Taking off time from work is your decision as long as you comply with your company’s policy on time off.
See if an emergency dental appointment is available
Next, I will see what the next possible dental appointment is. In my case, there are no same-day dental appointments, which means I couldn’t have even left work if I wanted to.
However, the last thing I want to do is live with a broken tooth. Therefore, I am grabbing the next available appointment, even during work hours.
Inform your supervisor
Lastly, I will inform my supervisor that I will need time off to make it to my dental appointment.
I will use any of the scripts that we talked about above. I always try to talk to my supervisor in person rather than over technology. However, most companies will require written correspondence when requesting time off.