How to Deal with a Toothache & Other Dental Emergencies

Have a toothache? That’s a dental emergency you can’t ignore — even if you wanted to. The pain can be excruciating. This is your body’s natural defense system. Your tooth is trying to tell you something.

What should you do in this or any dental emergency? Call us at our dentist office in Tucson! You need urgent dental care. We are an emergency dentist. We can usually get you in. Our office can even help you with a 24 hour dental emergency if the toothache is intense.

What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

Any situation that isn’t in your regular dental care regimen can be considered a dental emergency. A dentist emergency includes urgent dental care, but it also includes a filling that fell out, and you’re feeling no pain. You might not need an urgent care dentist within 24 hours, or even within a few days, but you shouldn’t put it off. Your tooth is exposed and can continue to decay. This will increase your chances of needing a root canal — and may even lead to the failure of the tooth, requiring a tooth extraction.

What We Can Do if You Have a Toothache

If you have tooth crown pain, we’ll do a dental Xray to take a closer look at your tooth. We’ll look for signs of infection. We’ll take a look at your mouth and create a dental care plan.

If the tooth is infected, you may need a root canal.

Don’t worry — you probably won’t need a tooth extraction. We only do a tooth extraction if the tooth completely fails. You probably would have felt a toothache long before this. There are usually plenty of things we can do to help you avoid a tooth extraction.

Do You Need a Root Canal?

If you need a root canal, relax. In terms of pain and discomfort, root canals really aren’t that big of a deal. And they can be a very fast solution to a toothache. If you have a toothache and need a root canal, this would be considered dental urgent care.

Thanks to modern numbing agents, modern root canals aren’t very painful. You’ll feel a small pinch as we apply the pain reliever. Other than that, you shouldn’t feel anything — your root canal should be a piece of cake. If you do feel discomfort, tell us. We can always give you more numbing agent.

Once we numb the area, we’ll drill an access hole into the tooth. Then we’ll use special tools to remove the damaged nerve and root pulp tissue. Finally, we’ll seal the tooth on the same day, or perhaps put in a temporary filling to protect you from root canal pain until a customized crown is ready.

If you have a root canal, you’ll likely need a tooth crown too. We’re not going to lie to you. Both can be pricey, even if you have dental insurance. But they are a bargain when you consider the alternative — a tooth extraction followed by a dental implant. That process can cost you several thousand dollars!

What Happens if Your Tooth Needs Extracted

If your tooth becomes too badly damaged by decay or infection to be repaired, you’ll need a tooth extraction. You might also need a tooth extraction if your mouth has become too crowded, and you need room for orthodontia.

Before your tooth extraction, your dentist will numb the area with a local anesthetic. We may even use a strong general anesthetic that will put you completely asleep, depending on the complexities of the tooth extraction.

If the tooth is impacted, your dentist will cut away the gum and bone tissue covering the tooth. We’ll use forceps to grasp the tooth and gently rock it back and forth to loosen it from the jawbone. If the tooth proves especially difficult to remove, we’ll extract the tooth in pieces.

Following a tooth extraction, it’s not uncommon for a blood clot to form in the socket. We’ll pack the socket with gauze and have you bite into it to stop the bleeding. We may have to place a few strategic stitches to stop the bleeding. These are usually self-absorbing.

After a tooth extraction, we’ll discuss your options for tooth replacement. A dental implant is your best choice, but it can be expensive. We can also give you dentures or a dental bridge as a more affordable alternative. What we shouldn’t do after a tooth extraction is ignore the missing tooth. This can lead to problems in your jawbone and may cause your surrounding teeth to shift or dislocate, and may even lead to further tooth loss.

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