Category Archives: Emergency Dentist

Can I Put Off a Root Canal?

Hello,

My dentist told me I needed a root canal on my tooth, but I don’t have any pain. How long can I put off getting a root canal?

Haruka, from West Virginia

 

Hi Haruka,

If your tooth is not hurting, or has not hurt in awhile, it may be ok to delay it. It may be what’s called an arrested infection or a latent infection — you may have one but not know it. However, you can still be affected by the infection even if it doesn’t cause pain. Putting off a root canal raises the risk of external resorption —slowly, the infection will eventually kill the root, and the tooth won’t be salvageable. However, an infection caused by active decay will continue until the tooth is destroyed, and action must be taken immediately.

Even without pain, if you have a red pimple-like spot on your gum near the root tip, or the infection is draining in your mouth, these are signs of an active infection. You should make an appointment with your general dentist to get this taken care of. If your pain comes back or you feel severe pain, you should see an emergency dentist.

This blog post is brought to you by Gilbert emergency dentist, Dr. Matthew Roper, of Vistadorada Dental.

 

Is This Crack in my Crown an Emergency?

Hi,

When I got several porcelain crowns placed on my  front teeth, one of them had a defect that the others did not. There has always been this horizontal line towards the bottom of one of my crowns; it’s difficult to see unless you’re looking for it, so it never bothered me before. However, now I can see the fracture line clearly and I can feel it when I run my tongue over it. I’m afraid of it breaking while I’m talking. I’ve had the crowns for over fifteen years, so I’m open to replacing them. Do I need to be seen immediately at an emergency dentist? Or can this wait until my general dentist can see me?

Ross, from Calvin, North Dakota

 

Hi Ross,

This sounds like a cosmetic emergency, but unless you’re in pain or have lost the crown, you don’t necessarily need to see an emergency dentist for this problem. However, instead of going to your general dentist, you should go see a cosmetic dentist. An expert cosmetic dentist can replace the crown. You should try to do this before it breaks completely, because it most likely will in the future. If this happens, you should see an emergency dentist for a temporary crown.

Porcelain crowns often have horizontal “craze” lines, and they are usually undetectable and nothing to worry about. However, since you can now feel the defect, it means your crown has shifted and is in need of replacing.

Depending on the cosmetic dentist you see, they may recommend replacing all of your porcelain crowns due to their age. There is no rush to do this if there are no problems with your crowns. Be aware that it is difficult to color-match a new crown to the older ones unless you go see an expert ceramist.

This blog post is brought to you Gilbert emergency dentist, Dr. Matthew Roper. Please note that cosmetic dentistry is not a specialty recognized by the ADA, but dentists like Dr. Roper have received additional post-graduate training in restorative dentistry, and have the experience to help their patients with their aesthetic concerns.

Emergency Dentist Won’t Fix Crown

Several months ago, I had a crown placed. Shortly after, approximately 3-4 months, a portion of the porcelain broke completely off. Not only was I bothered that the piece fell off so soon after the crown was placed, but it has been bothering me ever since. I returned to the dentist a few times for adjustments, but nothing really improved the issue.

I still need to address the problem, but have zero interest in returning to the same dentist. It is causing me pain and discomfort, so I sought out an emergency dentist who saw me quickly. Unfortunately, the dentist would not correct the current crown issues, stating that, instead, it needed to be completely replaced.

A new crown is not in my budget, especially since the crown should not have broken. Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks,
Mike

Dear Mike,

It is understandable that you are frustrated after experiencing these issues. However, it is important to understand that different dentists have different opinions when it comes to treatments and ways to address issues.

You mentioned your crown was broken. It’s possible that there is no way to save the crown and a new one needs placed. If this is the case, it would be good to return to the dentist who originally placed it, to at least attempt treatment, as it would cost less for you.

Dentists have varying opinions on the length of time a treatment should last. For example, a crown should last at least five years. If a repair to the crown is needed, or a crown needs replaced, the dentist should not charge the patient, or at minimum, charge a reduced fee. You should expect that your dentist will stand behind his or her work.

This blog is sponsored by the office of Gilbert emergency dentist, Dr. Matthew Roper.

 

Should my husband have received a root canal at emergency dentist?

My husband had a tooth that was causing him a great deal of pain for over a year. Throughout that time, I would periodically remind him that it was likely going to result in a root canal if he did not have it checked out. As I had warned him, he ended up dealing with a terrible toothache and had to make a trip to an emergency dentist. However, the emergency dentist only treated him with a crown. Should he have had a root canal?

Thank you,

Karen

Dear Karen,

There are many causes of tooth pain. A cavity, cracked tooth, infection, and numerous other problems can cause pain. Typically, when the decay reaches the center of a tooth, or is near a nerve, it causes the nerve to send signals of distress in the form on pain or discomfort. They can also be necessary if a tooth becomes infected or dead. Needless to say, tooth pain doesn’t always equal a root canal, as different causes of pain need to be treated in different ways.

The emergency dentist should have explained the diagnosis to you, so you knew what was occurring and why. If he failed to do so, you could call the office and find out exactly what was wrong with the tooth.

Something else to learn from this experience is that you can’t waste any time when it comes to tooth problems. The quicker a problem is addressed, the less treatment is typically needed.

This post was brought to you by Gilbert emergency dentist, Dr. Matt Roper.

Was I misdiagnosed by an emergency dentist?

I saw an emergency dentist a couple of days ago and am very upset. A little over a year, it was suggested I get a filling, and I have been putting it off. I mentioned this to the emergency dentist but added that the tooth next to that tooth was the one giving me the trouble at the time of my emergency visit. I indicated the issues I’d been having on the phone, therefore assumed they were going to do the fillings during my visit.

During my visit, he ran a few tests. In other words, he hit my teeth with his mirror a few times. Since my teeth were hurting when I went in, this caused me even more pain. He then proceeded to tell me that I needed a filling, but not on the tooth in question. I then asked about the tooth with the pre-existing cavity, to which he answered also needed a filling. He then told me I would need to come back. I’m still in pain. The visit to the emergency dentist did nothing! Do you think it’s possible that I could have an infection, or something else serious? I don’t want the issue to go unnoticed just because that dentist was in a rush to get through the appointment.

Thanks,
Doug


Dear Doug,

Typically, most infections are obvious. If the dentist performed an x-ray and exam, the infection would have been hard to miss. Cavities are capable of causing tooth pain, especially if they are deeply rooted. Not always are they indicators of infection or a need for a root canal. Regarding the tests, the dentist was likely trying to determine which teeth were causing you trouble, in order to recommend the best treatment route. It’s possible that your tooth could have passed its pain onto its neighboring tooth, or it could be cracked and be causing the pain, which is not always obvious, even with an exam or x-ray. However, the tests are a critical part of a thorough exam. That all being said, it’s alarming that your second cavity was not mentioned until you brought it up. This does indicate that your dentist was rushing through his work, making it understandable to question his assessment.

Moving forward, it would be wise for you to have those fillings done as soon as you can, and consider using a different dentist. It’s important to keep in mind that not all dentists allow time for the work when they haven’t completed an exam. This is because they don’t the amount of time that will be needed, or whether or not the patient will go through with the procedure due to the costs. If you do schedule your fillings with another provider, consider an early appointment, and be sure to pass on that your teeth have recently been diagnosed and the recommended treatment. Finally, ask if they could set aside time for the repairs during this appointment.

This post was written by the office of Gilbert emergency dentist, Dr. Matt Roper.