Tag Archives: tooth pain

Did the emergency dentist blow off a possible infection in my tooth?

I’m completely put off by the emergency dentist I just saw. I’m partially to blame for the situation I’m in because I’ve blown off getting a filling for about a year on one particular tooth. When I called, I told them about that tooth, but also explained to them that I thought the tooth next to that one also needed a filling. I was assuming they would schedule enough time for the dentist to take care of both. It was one of the last appointments of the day, and when I finally got in the chair, he basically took a few minutes to look in my mouth and proceeded to tell me I needed a filling – but only on the tooth next to the one I already had a cavity in. I questioned him on it and he changed his tune and said I did need two fillings, and that I’d have to come back to have them done. Seriously? I am in pain and now I have to wait even longer! What’s the point of seeing an emergency dentist? It feels like this guy just wanted to get out of there so he hurried me along. He looked at my teeth so fast that now I am wondering if he missed an infection or something more serious. — Jackie

Here’s the thing about cavities… they can be very painful depending on how deep they are in the tooth. It doesn’t always mean there is an infection or a need for a root canal (which is usually pretty obvious had you had a full-blown exam and x-rays).

Dentists perform “tests” to try and figure out what tooth/teeth are bothering you so they can offer the best diagnosis and treatment plan. Teeth often refer pain to neighboring ones and even a cracked tooth can cause a lot of pain. Sometimes things can be missed even if there are x-rays.

It is strange that your dentist missed the second cavity until you called him out on it. It’s understandable that you felt hurried along or maybe even misdiagnosed. Get the fillings done as soon as you can – and maybe find another dentist to do it. Dentists don’t always schedule time for the actual work to be done – especially if they haven’t done a thorough exam. It’s simply too difficult to know the exact course of treatment or how long it will take. If you try a different dentist, be sure to let them know your diagnosis and recommended treatment from the emergency dentist at the time you make the appointment. This should help the office in determining if the dentist can set aside the extra time to do the fillings in addition to the initial exam.

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.

Is tooth pain caused from grinding my teeth or something else?

I’m a teeth grinder at night. I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember, but up until now everything has been fine with my teeth (at my check-up and cleaning several months ago there were no issues).  But something has changed in the last month or so and I am noticing a dull pain (almost like a pulling sensation) in my lower back teeth. It doesn’t last for long periods of time, but it comes and goes on both sides. I thought maybe it could be a cavity, but I’ve never had one before so don’t know what kind of pain is associated with them. I am also concerned that it could it be related to grinding and clenching my teeth? What should I do?  — Marissa

If you grind your teeth, everything is not fine. It’s hard to say what exactly is causing this pain you are experiencing without seeing x-rays or examining your mouth. What is concerning is it sounds like your recent check-up and examination with your dentist may not have been very thorough. Unfortunately, there are many dentists who are just looking for the obvious issues like cavities, fillings, etc. There are other important things they should be looking for during this examination such as TMJ symptoms or periodontal disease.

As for the pain you are experiencing, it does not seem consistent with a cavity. It could be from gum disease or a result of your teeth grinding. But to be sure, you need to get a proper diagnosis. If it’s grinding, you could get a night guard. If it’s something more serious, you need to start treatment right away.  A second opinion from someone other than your regular dentist might be in order.

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.