Tag Archives: Dental Emergency

Should I Call an Emergency Dentist for a Lost Filling?

Is it a dental emergency if I lost a filling? It’s the New Years Weekend and I don’t really fancy spending it in the dentist’s office.

Mark C.

Dear Mark,

A man holding his jaw in pain in need of a dentist

What??? You don’t want to ring in 2018 from a dental chair? I can’t imagine why not. What could be more invigorating?

In the case of a lost dental filling, you have a couple of good options. Before I give you those, let me tell you what not to do…ignore it. If you don’t do anything bacteria will get into the newly created space and blow up into a tooth infection. Depending on how fast-moving everything is, you could spend the beginning of the New Year in the hospital.

Besides, having a hole in your tooth will not allow you to enjoy all the New Year’s Eve goodies the way you could if it were filled.

You do have a couple of good options:

Ask Your Dentist for an Emergency Visit

I know. I know. You said you didn’t want to go in. But, seriously, a filling takes hardly any time and you’d be back to normal without this weight on your back of having to go to the dentist’s office at some very near date. Who wants to spend New Years dreading the New Year?

Replacing a filling is normally quick and painless. However, the dentist will want to investigate to find out why the filling came out in the first place. You’ll especially want to make sure there’s no new decay developing which could sabotage your weekend plans.

Get Temporary Filling Material

Some pharmacies stock a temporary dental filling material. This will NOT actually replace your filling and is designed to be temporary— a few days at most. But, it could hold you over through your parties, etc. Then, first thing January 2nd, you’ll really need to get in to see your dentist. No excuses.

If you put it off, you won’t be looking at a filling, but rather a dental crown or tooth extraction. That is definitely not how you want to start the year.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

Front teeth loose after an assault—will they fall out?

I was recently the victim of an assault, and was punched quite hard right in the mouth. I had to go to the emergency room to get stitches because it tore the corner of my mouth. While I was there they did a CAT scan, and said there are no fractures, but my front teeth are loose. One is more loose than the other.

I don’t have any kind of dental coverage and am worried sick that I might lose my front teeth. From what I have described, does it sound like my dentist will be able to save them? I’ve been online, researching what treatments there are for lost teeth. If they fall out, I don’t think I can afford dental implants or a dental bridge, and it doesn’t seem like a partial denture would look good or be comfortable. I am trying to find out if I can sue the guy that hit me if the cops catch him, but that is kind of a long shot.

Eric in Sault St. Marie

Dear Eric,

We’re sorry that this happened to you. Hopefully the police will find the person who did this, and justice will be served.

In terms of your teeth, if the CAT scan was accurate and there are no fractures in the roots of your teeth, they should be stabilized in the correct position in the day or two following the injury. Your dentist should bond the teeth into place, fixing them in the correct position. The bone will then heal, and your teeth should be fine.

Two or three weeks from now, you should go back to the dentist and have him check for nerve damage on either tooth. If either of the nerves are damaged, you will need root canal treatment. If that is the case, tell your dentist that you do not want a dental crown. Some dentists will place a crown on any tooth that has had a root canal, as a matter of course. In this situation, a crown will actually cause the tooth to be structurally weaker. Also tell them not to leave any root canal cement or adhesive in the crown of the tooth, or the tooth will get quite dark in time.

This blog provided as a courtesy of Dr. Malone, Lafayette Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist.