Category Archives: Dental Emergency

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.

Tooth Cracked

I bit into something and my tooth cracked. I’ve never even heard of such a thing.  What do I do?

Bronwyn P. – Georgia

Bronwyn,

This happens more frequently than you think.  You need to be seen fairly quickly to take care of this and hopefully save your tooth.

If you don’t already have a dentist you need to see an emergency dentist. They’re willing to take non-established patients, often even the same day.

There is an underlying problem that has caused your tooth to crack that will need to be addressed. Your body is interconnected. What affects your teeth will eventually affect your whole body. Be sure not to neglect this.

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

How can I treat full mouth pain?

I woke up with horrible pain radiating around my entire mouth. It’s pulsating up into my head too.  I have a huge audition today. One that can change my life. I can’t afford this pain, especially in my mouth and jaw.  I need some kind of remedy. Will an emergency dentist help?

LeeAnne S. – Florida

LeeAnne,

A lot of it depends on what kind of dental health you’ve had up until now.  If you’ve had poor dental health, then an emergency dentist might find something that is causing the problem.

If, however, you’ve had great dental health up until this point, then it is likely the stress of your audition is the cause of the pain.  In your anxiety, it’s possible that you’ve been clenching your jaw all night. This would cause the type of pain you’re experiencing.

If that is the case, you can take some anti-inflammatories to help you get through your audition.

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

Is a gum pimple a problem?

`My husband was messing with his mouth, saying it hurts. I looked at it and he has a pimple on his gums.  We popped it and got out all the goop, but it keeps coming back.  Is this something dental?

Helen M. – Washington

Helen,

Yes, this is something dental.  It sounds to me like he has a dental abscess. This can get serious and your husband needs to see an emergency dentist or get an emergency appointment with his existing detnist if he has one.

An abscess means his tooth is infected. That infection will spread.  It can become a serious issue quickly.  Your mouth is close to your brain and that is one of the LAST places you’d want an infection to spread to.

This isn’t something that can be fixed with just antibiotics.  The dentist will have to get in there and physically remove the infected tissue.

Don’t let him put off being seen.

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