Pain Relief & Emergency Dental Care
This dental practice has always prioritised pain relief and emergency dental care. We reserve time each working day in order to do so. In our opinion, this is both a service to our community as well as being, originally, the basis for the development of the practice of dentistry as it is today.
Such a simple concept but often overlooked.
We diagnose and treat for pain relief or discomfort there and then.
And, particularly, if tooth keeping is selected but also when the preference is to have a tooth removed, we prefer to avoid the unnecessary use of antibiotics and provide immediate appropriate pain relief.
Of course, we always hope that there is not a terminal problem and often a temporary filling, the reshaping of an existing filling or even the filing down of a catch or rough spot can ease the situation. Mostly these procedures are holding measures and sometimes planned, definitive care should follow at a later date.
The most important aspect of emergency care is making the right diagnosis and finding the source of pain.
It is a fact of life that teeth can cause trouble. Toothache seems inevitable so when it happens it is insistent.
Apart from accident, the most usual cause of toothache occurs because the nerve or live part inside the tooth is breaking down. Gases are released that usually develop into an abscess. The pressure of this expanding gas or abscess is the cause of the pain.
Treatment options for nerve of pulpal breakdown are simple. Either pressure is relieved by taking the whole tooth out, or pressure is relieved by allowing the gas/abscess build up to escape through the tooth, cleaning out the debris within the tooth, medicating to control the infection and then filling the cavity left behind. This tooth keeping process is a multi-visit procedure called root canal treatment (RCT).
Nerve damage can be the result of tooth decay, the result of heavily filled teeth finally protesting or even perhaps from a knock or bump sometimes from a long time previously.
As dental pain can refer it is very important that the right tooth or source of pain is identified. Sometimes this means that treatment should wait until the symptoms can reliably pinpoint the culprit tooth or area. After all no one wants to have teeth removed or RCT started unnecessarily.
Other sources of discomfort are fractures or breaks which can often irritate the tongue – we all play with a sore spot.
Sometimes wisdom teeth are trying to break through and the gum around and on top of the emerging tooth can become infected. In this scenario a person may be able to avoid a dental visit by the simple expedient of using hot/salty rinses to ease the swelling. If this treatment fails or increases pain, then a dentist’s help is needed.
Whatever the cause of the pain it is important to seek help as soon as possible. It is a fact that an underlying problem can only get worse even if antibiotics are prescribed in the first instance – it is better to have appropriate treatment than to be sorry if an infection sets in and treatment to address the problem gets more difficult, painful and expensive.