Category Archives: Emergency Dentistry

Will ER treat my dental pain?

I had a couple of infected teeth pulled yesterday. I chose to do it on a Friday, thinking I would have the weekend to recover. I can’t believe the amount of pain I’m in! I’m concerned there is something else wrong because the swelling seems to be getting worse rather than better. My dentist has an emergency number and when I called, the recording said he would return my call within a few hours. The pain is so bad I don’t think I can wait. Can I just go to the emergency room? — Dave

In no uncertain terms, severe dental pain can be some of the worst pain to deal with. If you think you need help immediately, you can rest assured that most emergency rooms are capable of providing care for dental emergencies – unless it is a broken or chipped tooth. The dentist or oral surgeon on call should be able to provide relief for dental infections and/or swelling by prescribing an antibiotic, or in the worst case-scenario, surgical intervention if needed. You will, however, need to follow up with your dentist as soon as possible.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

Should I wait out pain and swelling or insist my dentist see me today?

I woke up this morning with pain and swelling on one side of my mouth. I called the dentist immediately, but they are telling me the earliest I can get in is tomorrow morning. At this point, the only thing I can do is keep popping over-the-counter pain meds and hope that it helps. I will be the first to admit that I usually have a pretty high tolerance for pain, but this is really causing me a lot of discomfort and I feel like it should be considered a dental emergency. I guess my dentist doesn’t agree since they won’t make any effort to get me in sooner. Should I wait until tomorrow or should I call around and see if I can be seen somewhere else?  — Ann Marie

Ann Marie,
This sounds like a dental emergency. It’s likely that you have an infection and the bad news is that it will continue to get worse the longer treatment is delayed and it could quickly become a very serious situation.

Maybe your dental office misunderstood you. Call again, and be very specific describing the symptoms you are experiencing and tell that that you need to be seen today and if they can’t make it happen, then you’ll have to see someone else. Hopefully they will agree to work you in or otherwise they will need to clearly explain why they don’t view it as an emergency. If the latter is the case, they will have to understand why you need to seek treatment elsewhere.

If you have to go somewhere else, call a local emergency dentist first. They tend to keep their schedules more flexible to deal with situations like yours. As a last resort, your medical doctor could buy you some time by prescribing antibiotics. Even if that makes you start feeling better, you’ll still want to see your dentist to determine the cause of the infection and get it treated so that it doesn’t come back.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

My tooth keeps bleeding

What is the best medication to use in treating a constantly bleeding tooth? Every time I brush my teeth, a molar on the lower left bleeds really bad for about an hour. – Tim

Tim – If you are experiencing regular bleeding after you brush your teeth, you should see your dentist. If you don’t have a dentist, an emergency dentist will be able to see you. You can often receive an appointment the same business day.

It could be that the tooth is infected, or that your gums are bleeding as a result of gum disease. A dentist needs to examine the tooth and determine the cause of the bleeding. In the beginning stages of gum disease, a deep cleaning around the teeth and beneath the gums may be all that is needed. Oral antibiotics may be used after the deep cleaning to help control the infection.

You should see a dentist promptly so the situation doesn’t worsen and cause more problems. An infected tooth can result in a lot of pain. If there is an infection, it will continue to spread until the tooth is treated. A root canal treatment may be required.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune, whom many patients consider to be the best dentist in New Orleans.