Emergency Dentist Services – When We Need Them?

Unlike most medical emergencies, dental emergencies in most cases aren’t life-threatening and won’t limit one’s ability to function properly. This is why there’s no clear and exact definition of the term. However, patients often feel pain, abrupt tooth discomfort or tooth loss, and some other circumstances requiring them to seek urgent dental help.

A dental emergency is thus rather patient-defined. It’s up to each person to determine if they have an emergency. For example, you may wake up and feel strong pain in a tooth. The first thing – you grab a Nurofen or a similar painkiller and wait for an hour or two to see if it works. But if it the toothache remains in place or bounces back once the drug effect ends you will seek medical help.

Pain to the area may happen for various reasons. The most common reason is a tooth cavity. You can seek immediate relief in painkillers, but once they stop working pain will be back. You will have to visit a dentist who will fix the issue as soon as possible. Another very common reason for sharp mouth pain is pulp infection. Painkillers often don’t help at all and you have to visit a dentist as soon as possible for root canal treatment and administering an antibiotic drug topically.

Another reason why we would need dental emergency is dental or oral trauma. It happens when your jaws or teeth sustain a mechanical damage. Dental trauma is not uncommon in contact sports, and can even happen in some non-contact sports, especially auto racing, motorbike racing, downhill cycling and similar.

You can, and are often strongly advised to use mouthguard, but sometimes even these can’t help if the pressure from the hit is too strong. Most oral/dental trauma caused by hit requires some form of dental and reconstructive surgery, and sometimes are accompanied with actual medical emergency.

Besides sports, dental trauma can happen at work, in traffic and during recreational activities. Children are especially vulnerable to dental trauma while playing. Some of the most common dental injuries include:

  • Dental Fracture: The bone tissue of one tooth or more is broken. Requires thorough cleaning, placement or capping materials. There are differences if the pulp is damaged too. Tooth fractures where the pulp is damaged will require a much longer recovery and repeated treatments.
  • Luxation and Subluxation is when teeth come loose after a trauma but their bonding with the jawbone remains. This often requires a splint which looks and works similarly to a retainer. Sometimes root canal therapy is needed to heal and prevent possible infections to the wound.
  • Tooth avulsion is a complete loss or knocking out of a tooth. If immediate replanting is possible, the tooth can be replanted successfully. After one hour, replanting may be way less successful. Without an emergency replanting, the tooth is lost forever and the only good solution in this case is getting expensive dental implants or crowns.

Should You Choose White or Metal Fillings?

There is a long lasting debate about which treatment is better, since both of these have their own advantages and disadvantages. Many people still believe that metal fillings are better or at least on par with the composites, but the world is still moving toward using only composite fillings.

Despite the presence of mercury, amalgam is actually very safe and long lasting. The structure of mercury in amalgam is altered in a manner that makes it harmless, but still won’t help for those allergic to it. Amalgam is also relatively inexpensive and easier for dentists to work with, which all results in it being almost as twice cheap a procedure than composite fillings.

However, composites are a much finer material and are better for filling tooth cavities. These are made of acrylic plastics, porcelain and sometimes quartz, making them structurally similar to glass, but actually much thicker. While amalgam fillings are still longer lasting than composites, thickness and consistency of a white filling is better for teeth – not just because it fills cavities better, but there’s also the fact that it doesn’t naturally expand like metal does, so unlike the amalgam alloy, can’t lead to tooth crumbling or fracture over time.

White fillings also bond better to the tooth enamel. So, despite the fact they don’t last as long and are a bit more expensive than amalgam, white fillings will have a better long-term effect on the healthy state of a tooth.

The last, but not the least issue regarding amalgam is looks. It’s a piece of metal, and obviously looks like metal when it’s in your tooth. The colour of composite is a shade of light beige, very similar to the natural colour of tooth enamel. The front teeth are a major concern. Amalgams in these will always be visible despite being smaller and oriented towards the inside. A portion of alloy will remain visible in most cases. This makes white, composite fillings by far the best option for the front teeth. Most cosmetic dentists will opt for this treatment, as it looks far better than mental fillings.

Composite materials are often associated with chipping off, long treatment durations, short lifespan and relatively high price, but continuous white filling material research and development lead to the resolution of all these issues. White fillings were initially only a solution for those who prioritize the look of their teeth to health and comfort, but are now in many things more advanced than amalgam. In the future, these advantages will only become greater.


Dental Implants – A Personal Tale

When most people think of dental implants, images of large needles and other dental tools swarm the mind, as we imagine the worst things that can happen. It’s human nature, unfortunately.

I was no different to this, when nine years ago, I had an accident which resulted in the removal of three of my front teeth. I was concerned that my looks were to be tarnished forever. I imagined myself going into work the next day, sporting Grandma-like dentures. A sure way of keeping the girls at bay, as if they were knocking my door down!

I spoke to my dental surgeon about the possibilities I had in going forward. His first recommendation was dental implants, and they turned out to be the best thing that has ever happened to me both physically and mentally.

Under heavy local anaesthetic, titanium screws were drilled into the upper gum area. The reason that titanium is used is because its biocompatible material is accepted by the body, and it serves as a strong and sturdy structure for the replacement teeth. Your natural bone then locks the implant into place by fusing, or attaching itself, to the implant.

Mounted upon these titanium screws are porcelain structures, perfectly resembling teeth. I was told that the implants would last anywhere up to twenty years. In the nine years i have had them there has been zero deterioration, under the close scrutiny of regular check-ups.

They have given me an entire new level of self-confidence. The beauty of opting for implants is that you can pretty much decide the style and size you want your new oral features to be.

It is a procedure that does not come cheap however, ranging anywhere from $3,000 per tooth. The experience of having the implants attached is not a pleasant one either, but I can say that it is at least not a protracted one. There are many reasons for dental implants, and if you are willing to suffer the cost, and the small amount of dis-comfort, then it is totally worth it.

Before committing to the procedure, ensure you have thoroughly researched your options and potential outcomes.