As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the American Dental Association (ADA) has asked us to suspend elective and routine dental care. However, we are still serving patients with emergency dental needs, including emergency restorative dentistry, TMJ disorder treatment, and sleep apnea treatment.
We’ll talk about these different emergencies one at a time. Here are some of the more common emergency restorative dentistry procedures you might need.
Infected Tooth Treatment
An infected tooth is the most important dental emergency. If your tooth is infected, it can spread infection throughout your body. Infection can go from your tooth to your sinuses to your brain. It can pass directly from your tooth to your blood, causing a systemic infection called sepsis. Or it can infect your lungs, leading to pneumonia. These infections can spread rapidly, taking just a few days to turn deadly. So if you have an infected tooth, it’s important to get it treated quickly.
Here are some symptoms of an infected tooth that needs treatment:
- Toothache (spontaneous or in response to pressure or temperature)
- Tooth discoloration
- Foul taste in the mouth
- Chronic bad breath
- Pimple-like sore on the gums
- Drainage from tooth
- Localized warmth
An infected tooth can be treated with root canal therapy, or by extracting a tooth. After a tooth is extracted, it’s often best to place a dental implant right away. Sometimes complex root canal therapy is best handled by a specialist, and we might refer you to one for treatment.
A note about fever: Fever is a common symptom of COVID-19. If you also have cough or other respiratory symptoms, talk to a doctor or seek medical treatment rather than seeing a dentist.
Chipped or Cracked Tooth
If you experience tooth trauma that has damaged your tooth, repairing the tooth can help prevent further damage.
A chipped tooth is more than a cosmetic problem. The enamel that chipped off means the interior of the tooth is more vulnerable to decay. With thinner enamel, it’s easier for decay to penetrate into the interior of the tooth. And if you’ve exposed the middle layer of the tooth, called the dentin, decay can progress much more quickly.
Sometimes a tooth might even crack or chip so badly that it exposes the interior part of the tooth, called the pulp. When exposed, the tooth pulp is not only very sensitive to pressure, heat, and cold, but can also become infected. If you’ve chipped or cracked a tooth, it’s important to get it checked out to see whether it’s a serious risk.
Restorations like crowns or fillings are intended to protect your teeth from further damage. A lost filling leaves a hole in the tooth where bacteria and food can collect. This can cause rapid decay. The tooth is also structurally weaker without the filling, and it may be more likely to crack.
Dental crowns are put over teeth that need complete protection and support. With a lost crown, the tooth could be vulnerable to decay and fracturing without the protection of your dental crown. It’s especially important to replace a lost crown from a tooth treated with root canal therapy. These teeth are vulnerable to infections, and they might not be treatable a second time.
Even losing a veneer can put your tooth at risk. Although not intended as a protective restoration, it does provide protection to your treated tooth, and the tooth is more vulnerable without it.
Emergency Dental Care in Naples, FL
If you need emergency dental care in or around Naples, the Massa Dental Center is ready to help. Please call (239) 597-7333 today for an appointment with one of our highly skilled restorative dentists.