Category Archives: Dental Emergency

Worried a Dentist Killed My Tooth

I had a toothache. I went to see an emergency dentist because I don’t have a dentist of my own and this seemed urgent.  I described what was going on. He told me he can’t see anything wrong but my description means I’ve cracked my tooth. He suggested a crown. I decided to get right on it to be done with the whole disaster. Unfortunately, not only am I still hurting, but the tooth next to it has started turning gray. I’ve read that means it’s either dead or dying. Did my emergency dentist cause a new emergency?

Bebe M. – Virginia

Bebe,

I feel it’s unlikely the dentist injured or killed the tooth.  There are three possibilities that come to mind right away. I’ll start with the least likely one. Let’s say you injured the cracked tooth and then a few days later, without realizing it, you injured the tooth right next to it.  Yeah, like I said, not likely. But, it’s possible so I mention it.

Another more likely scenario is that both teeth were injured at the same time but the uncrowned tooth took a little longer than the other to show symptoms. This does happen.

As this tooth is dead or dying it will need a root canal treatment. You’ll want to deal with this quickly, though I know you’re tired of the situation. If you don’t it’s going to harbor bacteria and then you’ll have a serious dental emergency on your hands.

I am going to suggest that you go to a different dentist to have this treatment done because of the third possibility—misdiagnosis. It could have been the graying tooth that was the problem all along. Maybe it was referring pain and that’s why the dentist thought the crowned tooth is the problem or maybe he just messed up. Either way get the x-rays the first dentist did and bring them to the dentist you hire to do the root canal treatment. He or she can look at them and let you know if something was missed. If it turns out it was, you can get a refund on your first treatment.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

 

Do My Wisdom Teeth Need an Emergency Dentist?

My wisdom teeth bother me on and off with some swelling. Now it’s a lot worse. In fact, I haven’t been able to eat for two days. I’m miserable.  It’s normally better by now. Do I need to do anything?

Sylvia – Connecticut

Sylvia,

My suspicion is you aren’t under the regular care of a dentist. When there is recurrent pain, such as you described, a dentist generally recommends you have the wisdom teeth removed. Recurring swelling is an indication there’s a problem. Your wisdom teeth can blow up into a serious infection in no time and then you can have a huge problem on your hands. In fact, I think you’re there now.

Tooth infections spread and can become life threatening. I’d like you to see an emergency dentist. They’ll evaluate your wisdom teeth and see if it’s infected.

I’m concerned with the fact that you can’t eat. I wouldn’t be surprised if you woke up with your face swollen in a day or so.

Please don’t put this off. If you’re someone who suffers from dental anxiety, I don’t want you to feel cornered or to allow it to keep you from the dentist. There are emergency dentists who offer sedation dentistry. You can get your wisdom teeth examined and even extracted completely pain free.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

 

My Tooth Lost a Sword Fight

My son and I were playing with his wooden swords. Not only was I soundly defeated, but I believe my front tooth was the biggest loser. I can now wiggle my front tooth. I’m terrified it’s going to fall out. What do I do?

Janelle O. – Massachusetts

Janelle,

Motherhood can be rough sometimes. You’re a cook, a chauffeur, a teacher, a counselor, a nurse, and…..a swordfighter.  Or, in your case….victim.

The first thing I want you to do is stop moving the tooth. If you continue wiggling it, you will increase the likelihood of losing it. It sounds like the ligaments are stretched.  What you don’t want is for them to snap.

I would consider this an emergency dental situation. If you don’t have a regular dentist that can get you in on short notice, do a Google search for “emergency dentist” and go to a decent one in your area.

They’ll need to stabilize your tooth. He may bond it to an adjacent tooth or splint it. There are several methods. If it’s just a minor sprain to the ligament, it should heal on its own.  But, there could be other issues as well when we’re dealing with tooth trauma.

He’ll also need to check that there’s no damage to the pulp of the tooth. If there is, don’t panic. A root canal will take care of that issue.

Bottom line–get seen as quickly as possible. You may also want to invest in some sword fighting lessons as well.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

Why Would a Dentist Refer Me to a Neuro?

I had a horrible toothache about a month ago and I went to the emergency dentist. He told me that my tooth was dying and that it needed a root canal. He did the treatment and I expected the pain to go away, but it never did. I went back to see him yesterday and he did an exam and x-rays and told me the tooth was fine. Worse yet, I think he suggested that the pain was in my head. He suggested that I go see a neurologist. This is nuts. My tooth hurts. Is there really anything a neurologist can do or was the emergency dentist just trying to get me out of his office?

Stephanie – Wyoming

Dear Stephanie,

Though it sounds like the emergency dentist may have been missing some chairside manner, he wasn’t pulling your leg, and he wasn’t necessarily telling you that the pain was in your head either, though it likely sounded that way.

A neurologist can investigate whether nerve damage is causing your pain. Though it doesn’t happen every day, it can happen and it sometimes feels just like a toothache.

There are also other causes for pain, such as sinus pressure or sinus infections. The roots of your teeth reach up quite far, so trouble of almost any kind with your sinus cavities can feel like a toothache, too. If this is the case, you’ll probably have other cold or allergy symptoms as well, and taking a decongestant and/or antibiotic will help. You’ll need to see your primary care physician for a diagnosis if you think this might be the case.

The emergency dentist should have been able to make a diagnosis based on his x-rays and an exam. If there was something wrong with the tooth, or if the root canal was not effective, he should have been able to tell. But, if he was in  hurry, he might have missed something or he might not have looked at the neighboring teeth. Sometimes teeth in the same arch or section of the mouth can refer pain to one another, so it will feel like one tooth is bothering you, but it’s really another that’s giving off distress signals.

The bottom line is that if you’re still in pain, you need to find someone to help you. You may want to book an appointment with another dentist in the area for a second opinion, but make sure you don’t give him any information about your prior diagnosis. This way, you can be sure you’re getting a straight answer, and you’ll know 100% that you should book the next appointment with your primary care physician or a neurologist. Best of luck to you.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

Is There An Affordable Tooth Removal?

I had a cavity. I can’t afford a dentist. Now my face is swelling around my tooth with the cavity. Is there a dentist who does cheap tooth removal or a way I can do it myself?

Dan

Dan,

I know you feel you can’t afford a dentist right now, but I want you to understand how serious this is. People can, and do still, die from tooth infections. If this isn’t dealt with, you put your health in serious jeopardy. In all honesty, you can’t afford not to get this looked at.

Most dentists went into the industry to help people. If you explained your financial situation, they’d likely work out a payment plan for you. Call an emergency dentist and tell them what you’ve told me.

Don’t try to take out the tooth yourself. A piece of the root will likely get left behind, and with it the infection. Plus, there could be a way to save at least the root of the tooth, which will be much healthier for you in the long run.  A root canal could save your tooth.

There are zero interest payment plans with medical credit companies, such as Care Credit.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

Can I Go to An Emergency Dentist Without My Parents?

My mother has nagged me over and over again not to board without my mouthguard. I know I should have listened, but I really didn’t think it would be a big deal.I was wrong.  I face-planted and took a small piece of a tooth out. My mom’s gonna freak.  They’re out of town right now, so I’d love to sort this out before she gets back in town. Would an emergency dentist treat me when they’re gone?

Anthony – Staten Island

Anthony,

It’s refreshing that you’re trying to take responsibility for this. Unfortunately, you can’t get medical treatment on your own until you meet what is called the “age of majority”. In most states, that is 18.

You seem really mature. I especially like that you were willing to admit you wish you’d followed your mom’s advise. I’m guessing your mom will appreciate your honesty as well.

You can still get this taken care of before she returns, but you will need her help. She can give consent to your dentist by phone/email. Given that it is an emergency dental appointment, he or she will likely understand.

If it’s just a chip, the normal treatment would be dental bonding. If the dentist suggests a different treatment, I’d talk to your parents again before moving forward. You want to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of because your parents are gone.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

Tell My Husband His Sore Gum Needs An Emergency Dentist

My husband said he cut his gum when he hit it with his fork. He says it’s fine and just sore, but I’m not so sure. It’s oozing. That doesn’t sound sore. That sounds infected.  Does he need an emergency dentist, as I think he does?

Amy F. – California

Amy,

You’re right. Your husband needs to be seen by his own dentist right away, or an emergency dentist if that’s not possible. It sounds like he has an abscess, which as you noted, means an infection.

If he’s not seen soon, he’ll wake up with a swollen face. I know it’s hard to believe, but even in the United States people still die from tooth infections.  These infections can quickly spread to the brain or heart.

He’ll need to have the infected part of the tooth cleaned out, which has to be done manually by a dentist. It won’t be fixed by simply taking an antibiotic.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

Is it OK to take a Xanax before seeing an emergency dentist?

I’m afraid of the dentist, but I have a pretty severe toothache. I haven’t been to a dentist in years because of the fear. I know I need to go in, but I get sweaty just thinking about it. I do have some Xanax pills. Could I take one of those before going in to settle my mind and emotions?

Melana L. – Michigan

Melana,

You’re not alone in your fear of the dentist, so don’t feel bad about that. I’m glad you realize that it is time to go in. It’s better to be proactive before this gets worse. If you have a tooth infection, it WILL spread.

While the xanax will relax you, it will limit what your emergency dentist can give you and could effect how he treats you. I have a different suggestion that will allow you to get the care you need, while being relaxed, without having to self medicate.

I’d go to an emergency dentist that also does oral conscious sedation. It will completely relax you and give you a pain free appointment.

You will, however, need someone to drive you to and from the appointment, as you’ll be a little too loopy to drive yourself.

I hope this puts you at ease. This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

Should a dental crown fall off?

I got a dental crown. It fell out while my my dentist was on vacation. I got in touch with them and he said that is normal and to wait until he’s back in a couple of weeks. Is it really normal for this to happen?

Holly S. – Staten Island, NY

Holly,

No, this is not normal and I can’t believe your dentist would suggest it is. I’m not saying your not telling the truth. I just am amazed at your dentist’s incompetence.

Dental crowns don’t just fall out if they’re properly bonded on. In fact, most dentist never have a single dental crown fall out in their entire careers.

That feeling is compounded by the fact that your dentist is telling you to wait on him two weeks. In that amount of time, your teeth will likely shift and your crown will no longer fit. You’ll have to have an entirely new crown made.

My suggestion would be that you bypass your dentist and go see an emergency dentist. They’ll see you quickly, even if you’re not an established patient. They can bond your crown on.

I honestly think you need to look for a different dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

Am I a Baby or is Toothache an Emergency?

I feel like such a baby. My tooth really hurts. Like excruciating hurts. My dentist just said to schedule an appointment, but I can’t take this. Am I a baby or is this more of a see me now kind of thing?

Beth C. – New Hampshire

Beth,

If you’re in that much pain, your dentist needs to see you. If he’s unwilling to see you, which is what it sounds like, you need another dentist.

There is a solution.  My suggestions would be to see an emergency dentist. They’ll see you the same day, in most cases. They can get you out of pain , while you schedule a follow up appointment with your dentist or with a different dentist (which would be my suggestion).

Just don’t put it off out of frustration. You want to  make sure this is dealt with because it is likely a tooth infection.

This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.