Types of endodontic emergencies
Endodontic dental emergencies are divided into three main types: pre-treatment emergencies, intra-appointment emergencies, and post-treatment emergencies.
Pre-treatment emergencies are when a patient comes to the dental office for the first time with tooth pain, swelling, abscess or fracture of the tooth. This requires immediate and prompt treatment.
Intra-appointment emergencies are dental emergencies that occur when dental treatment is underway. It can include sudden pain, which occurs when you are between treatment appointments, accidental exposure of pulp while removing infected tissue from deep dental cavities, etc.
Post-treatment emergencies can manifest as pain after undergoing endodontic treatment. It can be due to over instrumentation or faulty dental fillings.
Signs and symptoms of an endodontic emergency
Signs and symptoms of endodontic emergencies can vary depending upon what type of problem you have.
- Inflammation and infections of the dental pulp manifest with tooth pain. Depending on the severity of the condition, tooth pain can be sharp, shooting, and momentary or dull aching and continuous.
- You may experience intense pain or sensitivity to hot, cold, sour or sweet foods and beverages.
- If you have a cracked tooth, you may experience sudden pain upon releasing a bite.
- You may not even recognise which tooth is causing pain in severe cases of dental pulp inflammation. The entire jaw pains, and it becomes an emergency.
- You may notice swelling of the gums.
- Facial swelling and asymmetry.
- Fractured, chipped or cracked tooth.
- Discoloured teeth (Blackish appearance).
- You see pus coming out of your tooth or gums.
- Dental infections can also cause mild fever and a general feeling of illness.
- In severe cases of dental infections, the swelling can progress to involve the neck and the face. Such a condition is known as Ludwig’s Angina. It can cause airway obstruction and is fatal if emergency treatment is not provided.
When to seek an endodontic emergency appointment?
You should seek an emergency endodontic appointment in case you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above. If you have unbearable tooth pain or swelling of the gums and face, reach out to us, and we will schedule an emergency dental appointment for you. If you have had a fall or accident and have fractured your tooth and injured your gums, you need immediate attention from our board-certified dentist. In cases of any dental emergencies, you can reach out to us, and we will ensure you receive prompt treatment for your endodontic problems.
How can you prevent the need for an emergency endodontic appointment?
Endodontic emergencies can be excruciatingly painful and are a nightmare!
However, you can prevent the need for an emergency endodontic appointment by following a good oral health care routine. Ensure that you are brushing twice a day, once when you wake up and once before bed. In addition, use floss every day to eliminate food debris and plaque accumulation in between the teeth.
Schedule a dental appointment once every six months to ensure your oral health. Many dental diseases start small and do not produce any symptoms initially. Scheduling regular appointments will enable our dentists to diagnose and catch dental diseases at the earliest and treat them before they progress to their severe forms. In addition to this, if you experience any dental problems, do not delay dental care; schedule an appointment with us at the first sign of any dental problem to avoid facing endodontic emergencies.
What to expect from my emergency endodontic appointment?
Our dentist will carry through a complete oral examination to determine the offending tooth. If the infection is severe, they will place on antibiotics and painkillers for a few days before starting the procedure. They may also take some x-rays. Once the offending tooth is isolated, they will promptly begin the treatment.
They will carry out an emergency root canal treatment in cases of dental pulp infections, trauma, swelling or abscess. Dental drills are used to open the tooth. Once the tooth is opened, they will use specialised instruments to remove the infected pulp or drain the pus from the tooth in case of an abscess.
Next, they will put medication and give the tooth a temporary dressing. Your pain will go away drastically after this procedure, and you will experience relief.
You will be called for a second appointment to fill the tooth’s root with a root filling material. Our dentist may advise you to continue antibiotics and painkillers for a few days after the treatment depending on the extent of infection.
Post endodontic treatment
After root canal treatment, our dentist will place a permanent filling and seal the tooth. You might need a dental crown if your tooth was severely damaged. A dental crown is placed on a tooth post endodontic treatment to restore the tooth’s shape, size, strength and functionality.
If you think you may need an emergency endodontic appointment, contact us at our clinic, and we will schedule an urgent appointment for you. If you have any questions or would like to know about our emergency dental services, please reach out to us, and our team of exceptional dental professionals will be there for you.