When a Situation Calls for an Emergency Dental Surgery Birmingham, AL
Some dental issues are more pressing than others. When dealing with chipped, cracked, infected teeth or damage to orthodontics, patients should never delay. Emergency dental surgery may be necessary to preserve one's oral health.
Emergency dental surgery is available at Inverness Smiles: John Aiken, DMD in Birmingham and the surrounding area. Do not hesitate to get the treatment you need. Call us today at (205) 282-8261 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Understanding Dental Emergencies
A dental emergency is any issue that is potentially life-threatening and requires immediate treatment. Dental emergencies often involve uncontrolled bleeding or severe pain and/or infection. Some situations, however, may feel pressing without being dental emergencies. These may include:
- Cosmetic dental procedures
- Extraction of asymptomatic teeth
- Initial or periodic oral examinations and recall visits, including routine radiographs
- Orthodontic procedures that do not address acute issues
- Restorative dentistry including treatment of asymptomatic carious lesions
- Routine dental cleanings and other preventative measures
Patients should keep in mind that the above list is not exhaustive. If there is any confusion about whether or not an immediate visit is necessary, call us at (205) 282-8261. We can determine if an issue can be resolved at a routine visit or requires emergency dental surgery.
“According to the American Dental Association (ADA), a dental emergency is any issue that is potentially life-threatening and requires immediate treatment.”
A chipped tooth may occur when the enamel is worn away by trauma or excessive wear and tear. As a result, the tooth surface may become sharp and jagged. Patients with tooth decay, cavities, and large fillings are at particular risk for chipped teeth. Bruxism can also wear down the enamel, as can eating acid-rich foods.
Chipped tooth treatment is typically dependent on the chip's location, severity, and symptoms. It becomes a medical emergency when it causes severe pain and impedes one's ability to eat and sleep. More extensive chips may be reattached or bonded. Porcelain veneers or dental onlays may also be an option.
“A chipped tooth may occur when the enamel is worn away by trauma or excessive wear and tear.”
Like chipped teeth, cracked teeth may be caused by trauma or general wear and tear. Symptoms may range from intermittent pain when chewing to sudden temperature sensitivity. It is not uncommon for these symptoms to come and go, making it difficult for cracked teeth to be diagnosed. Patients experiencing these symptoms or suspect they have a cracked tooth should seek medical attention immediately, as early intervention is key to saving the tooth.
Treatment depends on the extent, location, and type of the crack. A fractured cusp may be treated with a filling or crown. A crack that extends vertically toward the root may require a root canal. A split tooth will require endodontic treatment. In contrast, a vertical root fracture may necessitate endodontic surgery or tooth extraction.
“Patients who are experiencing these symptoms or suspect they have a cracked tooth should seek medical attention immediately, as early intervention is key to saving the tooth.”
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Abscesses form as a result of bacterial tooth infections. Though they may occur in different areas of the tooth for different reasons, periapical tooth abscesses are particularly common. This type of abscess typically occurs due to an untreated dental cavity, trauma, or prior dental work.
Infected teeth will need to have their tooth abscesses drained to get rid of the infection. In most cases, root canal treatment will be necessary to attempt to save the tooth. However, in more severe cases, tooth extraction may be necessary. An untreated tooth abscess may lead to life-threatening complications. As such, it requires immediate attention.
“Infected teeth will need to have their tooth abscesses drained to get rid of the infection.”
Questions Answered on This Page
People Also Ask
Damage to Orthodontics
While damage to orthodontics rarely requires dental emergency surgery, a patient's first step should always be to determine the extent of the issue. Damage to orthodontics is typically considered severe when it includes trauma to the teeth, mouth, or face.
Patients with orthodontic devices may suffer puncture wounds or profuse bleeding after experiencing trauma to the mouth. Emergency dental surgery may be necessary when damage to orthodontics results in swelling of the gums, mouth, and face. Unmanageable pain may also be a symptom.
“Patients with orthodontic devices may suffer puncture wounds or profuse bleeding after experiencing trauma to the mouth.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are the symptoms of a tooth abscess?
A. Tooth abscesses are often characterized by a persistent, throbbing headache radiating to the jawbone, neck, or ear. Patients may also experience sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures or to the pressure of chewing or biting. In some cases, tooth abscesses may also lead to fever, swelling, tender lymph nodes, or difficulty breathing or swallowing.
Q. Can chipped teeth ever grow back?
A. No. Once you have chipped your tooth, that portion of your tooth is no longer there and professional repair is necessary. If left untreated, chipped teeth are susceptible to infection and will only worsen with time.
Q. Will a cracked tooth heal completely after emergency dental surgery?
A. It is impossible for a cracked tooth to heal completely. Still, emergency dental surgery may help alleviate any pain and stop the crack from worsening. A properly placed crown will also protect the treated tooth and restore its function.
Q. One of the wires from my braces is poking my cheek. Is this a dental emergency? What should I do?
A. This is not a dental emergency, but it can lead to one. Make an appointment with your dentist to determine whether you need to come in for an appointment. In the meantime, you can use a Q-tip or pencil eraser to push the wire flat against the tooth.
Q. How can I prevent a dental emergency?
A. Unfortunately, even the best-laid plans sometimes go awry. Still, there are always some measures you can take to minimize your risk of a dental emergency. For instance, athletes may want to wear mouthguards when necessary. All patients should also avoid biting down on foods that are too hard, visit the dentist at least twice yearly, and maintain proper oral hygiene.
- Dentin is the inner layer of the tooth structure that is immediately under the enamel and surrounds the dental pulp.
- The enamel is the hard calcified layer that covers the entire tooth and is subject to interaction with multiple substances.
- A pulpectomy is a procedure that involves the complete removal of pulp tissue from the root canal in a tooth.
Call Us Today
Emergency dental surgery can save your tooth and help prevent severe complications. Do not put your health on the line. Call us today at 205-282-8261 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.
Helpful Related Links
- American Dental Association (ADA). Glossary of Dental Clinical Terms. 2022
- American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry® (AACD). Home Page. 2022
- WebMD. WebMD’s Oral Care Guide. 2022
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