Tag Archives: tooth pain

Is All Dental Sedation the Same?

I’m terrified of the dentist. However, this fear is ruining my life. I’ve been seeing a therapist and he suggested, at least in the short term to try sedation dentistry. He’s worried I’m getting infections because my mouth always hurts. We’re still working on my anxiety, but said this is more like an emergency and the sedation will handle the anxiety part for me for now. I looked it up and there seem to be a lot of different types. Given my personal situation, would one be better for me than the other?

Rose

Dear Rose,

A dentist standing behind a woman smiling in a dental chair
Those with dental anxiety CAN have pain-free care again.

You have a very wise therapist. He’s looking out for your mental and physical health. Pain is often a sign of an infection and is considered a dental emergency. Dental infections are different than medical ones. When you’re dealing with a medical infection you can take an antibiotic and almost always that’s enough.

With dental infections, however, if the infection kills the pulp of the tooth an antibiotic won’t help. There’s no longer blood flow to get in the infected part of the tooth. A dentist will have to physically remove the infected pulp. This is known as a root canal treatment.

If left untreated, the infection will continue to spread. If you think about how close your jaw is to your heart and brain, a dental emergency can quickly turn into a medical emergency. Even if it doesn’t, you will begin to lose teeth. If not from decay, then gum disesase. Your teeth will just start falling out.

Depressed yet?

Now for the Good News: Dental Sedation Can Change Your Life

With your high level of anxiety and the amount of work you are likely to need up front, my recommendation is you find a sedation dentist who offers Oral Conscious Sedation. It will be a game changer for you. All you’ll have to do the day of the appointment is take a simple pill. You can spend the rest of your appointment asleep if you want. In fact, most OCS patients end up sleeping through their appointment completely. Others prefer to stay awake but are completely relaxed and in no pain whatsoever.

There is some preparation needed ahead of time. First, you’ll need a consultation with your dentist to go over any medications you are currently taking. This is to ensure the dentist doesn’t give you anything which will have a reaction to something you already take.

You’ll also need to arrange for someone to drive you to and from your appointment as well as remain with you for a few hours after your appointment until you’re more lucid. This is for your physical safety.

I hope this brings you the peace of mind you need.
This blog is brought to you by Libertyville Dentist Dr. David Potts.

Saving a Knocked Out Tooth

I was at a hockey game and saw one of the young men lose a tooth. I always heard the mothers joking about needing a good dental plan if your son joins the team. It got me wondering. Can those teeth be saved or do they have to get replacements for all the teeth they have knocked out?

Patty

Dear Patty,

hockey player with missing tooth

There’s is always a possibility the tooth can be saved. However, conditions have to be in its favor. Here’s what you need to know:

This is a Dental Emergency

Call your dentist and let the office know what happened. It’s important you get treatment within 30 minutes. If they know you’re coming, they’ll be prepared for you when you get there and can start treatment right away. If you don’t have a dentist, then you need to call an emergency dentist. They’ll see non-established patients in cases such as this.

Only Hold the Tooth by the Crown

Never touch the root of the tooth. THat could damage it. Instead, hold it by the crown (the visible part of your tooth).

Keep the Tooth Moist

It’s very important the tooth be kept moist. If you have access to a glass of milk, you can place the tooth there. If that’s unavailable, then you can place the tooth gently between your cheek and gums. This should keep it moist enough.

Preventing Tooth Loss

Of course, ideally, you don’t want to lose a tooth. Here are some tips to make sure you keep those chompers for a long time:

  • Always wear a mouthguard during sports
  • See your dentist for regular checkups to prevent gum disease and decay
  • Brush and floss daily

Following these simple tips will help keep your smile bright and healthy for your lifetime.

Other Types of Dental Emergencies

A tooth being knocked out isn’t the only reason you’d need an emergency dental appointment. The most common reason is pain. This is your body’s way of warning you there’s an infection somewhere. Dental infections can’t just be dealt with by using a simple antibiotic. Your dentist has to get in there and physically remove the infected pulp. This requires a root canal treatment.

Another common issue is a broken or cracked tooth. Your dentist will place a dental crown over the damaged tooth in order to protect it.

It’s always best to know those things in order to be prepared ahead of time.

This blog is brought to you by Libertyville Dentist Dr. David Potts.

The Most Work in One Appointment

I hate dentists. I hope you won’t be offended by that I just find it’s best to be honest up front. I have what is possibly a tooth infection. It hurts. So, if I’m going to suck it up and go in to see a dentist, I want to get as much work done as possible. What’s the most work I could get done in just one visit?

Carlton

Dear Carlton,

A woman's eye closed, asleep from sedation dentistry

I’m sorry about your toothache. Your admission about dentists doesn’t offend me in the least. I also think it’s important for patients to be upfront about things. It helps me to know the best treatment options for them.

How much work can get done in one appointment varies so much from dentist to dentist it’s hard to give you an estimate. Plus, you didn’t mention what procedures you think you’ll need. A tooth infection will need a root canal treatment. However, I don’t know if you’re talking about a root canal on a front tooth or a molar. That also varies in time. Some dentists can do a molar in one hour, but most take up to one and a half to two hours.

Dentists who use dental sedation are usually able to get more work done per appointment. The reason for that is it’s easier on the patient. Dentists limit the patient’s time in the chair out of consideration for their comfort. Sedation keeps them comfortable for longer periods of time. You may even find it changes your outlook about dental care and start going more regularly.

Tooth Pain is a Dental Emergency

Please don’t put this off too long. Tooth pain is often a sign of a dental infection. I know it sounds hard to believe but people still die of tooth infections. The United States saw several deaths from from infected teeth in 2017.

The sooner you deal with it the better. It may be the tooth can be saved. If it gets too far along, it will end up needing to be extracted. That will require expensive tooth replacements, such as dental implants.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. David Potts.

Tooth Pain

If you’re in pain, is it OK to call an emergency dentist if it isn’t really an emergency?

Name Withheld

Well, I guess it depends on the severity of the pain.  If you’re just uncomfortable and can make it until you can get an appointment with your regular dentist, than it wouldn’t really justify going to see an emergency dentist.

If, however, you are in a lot of pain and it is causing you difficulty in your daily life, then that would be considered an emergency. I would go ahead and contact an emergency dentist.

Often, tooth pain is a symptom of something worse. You could have a tooth infection, which is in need of a root canal treatment.  You don’t want to put off your dental care, because you could end up with a more serious problem that will call for invasive treatments.  If you go early enough, the treatment is generally much easier.

This blog is brought to you by Libertyville Dentist Dr. David Potts.