At Macleod Trail Dental, we do plan for dental emergencies. In fact, we offer same-day emergency dental care to accommodate unexpected dental issues. Due to the critical nature of emergency situations, we assign blocks in our daily schedule specifically allocated to dental injuries or unforeseen accidents. Therefore, we provide you with the attention you need when an emergency arises.
Furthermore, our team of Calgary emergency dentists is well trained and well equipped to handle any situation. We offer effective and affordable emergency dental care treatments for:
Chipped, fractured or cracked teeth
Emergency Dental Care for Severe Toothache
A toothache, as its name suggests, refers to pain around a tooth. Toothaches are commonly caused by tooth decay, an abscessed tooth, infected gums, tooth fracture, or a damaged filling.
Treatment for Emergency Tooth Ache
The root cause of a toothache helps determine the appropriate treatment. To get a better idea, your dentist will do a physical examination of your mouth, teeth, gums, jaw and tongue. X-rays may be taken at your appointment. Based on findings, possible treatments include extraction and antibiotics. If an infected nerve is the problem, a root canal may be necessary.
In general, emergency dental care is focused on pain alleviation. Thereafter, follow-up appointments are used to treat the root issue.
How Long Does Emergency Tooth Extraction Take?
We treat each patient as an individual, not a number. Treatment time varies according to your unique needs and type of treatment received. For reference, we’ve included some common treatment times below.
Root canal – Carried out by your dentist over two or more appointments, each appointment is between 60 to 90 minutes.
Tooth filling – A filling is completed in one 60-minute appointment.
Extraction – A tooth extraction is carried out in one dental appointment. Keep in mind, it takes about 1-2 weeks for a full recovery.
Emergency Dental Care for Chipped, Cracked or Broken Teeth
What is the treatment for a broken or chipped tooth?
Treatment for a broken or chipped tooth depends on the extent of the damage. You’ll need a filing, dental cap/crown, dental veneers, or a root canal.
Filling: Dentists rely on fillings to fix small chips in your tooth enamel. If the affected tooth is visible (i.e. in the front of your mouth), a procedure called bonding is done using a tooth-colored composite resin.
Dental Cap/Crown: If you have a lot of decay, or the damaged area is very large, a crown or tooth-shaped cap is applied. A dental cap or crown protects the tooth and improves appearances.
Dental Veneers: Chipped or broken teeth can appear whole and healthy again thanks to a natural-colored dental veneer.
Root Canal: In the most severe cases, a root canal may be necessary to prevent infection if the break is large enough to expose the pulp.
How long does emergency dental care for a chipped or broken tooth take?
Dental crowns and veneers usually require two trips to the dentist. Generally, each appointment is scheduled about 2-3 weeks apart.
For about 2-4 hours following a dental crown procedure, patients typically experience numbness in the mouth and minor tooth sensitivity Avoid cold/hot foods, and don’t chew on the affected side of your mouth for at least 2-3 days after treatment.
Unlike crowns, which require more of your tooth to be filed down, veneers require very little tooth shaving. As a result, you face less pain during recovery. Typically, recovery from the first treatment is significantly longer and more painful than the second. The second appointment is when you are fitted with the actual veneer.
Emergency Dental Care for Trapped Objects
Popcorn hulls, meat fibers, seeds and many other objects can become stuck between your teeth. Do you have a habit of chewing on pens, pencils or toothpicks? A piece could easily break off and get stuck in your teeth.
Often, these types of occurrences can be resolved at home. But, if you are unable to remove the trapped object and/or it is painful, then you must seek emergency dental care.
Dentists use a variety of techniques to safely remove trapped objects. To help you relax, we offer no-fee sedation dentistry.
How long does it take to treat a tooth obstruction?
Typically, this type of emergency dental appointment requires one appointment and no downtime, unless you opt for sedation. For sedation dentistry, have a responsible adult accompany you to and from the appointment. Additionally, plan to take the rest of the day off work to recover.
Emergency Dental Care for Tissue Injuries
Treatment Options for Tissue Injuries
What is soft tissue trauma? Cuts, lacerations or other wounds to the lips, tongue and cheek are all considered soft tissue trauma.
Your appointment begins with a discussion about what caused your recent trauma. From there, the dentist conducts a thorough physical exam of the area, looking for relevant things such as tooth or bone damage, as well as pieces of chipped teeth.
Generally, superficial wounds heal on their own. On the other hand, larger cuts may require stitches. Additionally, an antibiotic is often prescribed to prevent secondary infections. Treatment varies depending on each patient’s condition.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
The time it takes for a tissue injury to heal largely depends on how bad or deep the cut is. Thankfully, your mouth contains many blood vessels that promote quick healing.
Accidents happen. We are here to help with Emergency Dental Calgary services. We offer walk-in same-day emergency dental treatment.
Common dental emergencies include knocked-out teeth, broken or chipped teeth, abscesses, toothaches, and broken fillings. Any type of dental pain or issue that’s keeping you from your normal daily activities (such as going to work or school or being able to eat) is a dental emergency. When in doubt, it’s best to call our Calgary emergency dentist to determine if you need same day care.
Sometimes dental emergencies are cosmetic in nature, such as a broken front tooth or having a crown/filling fall off, leaving a visible void when you smile. Even if you’re not in pain, the situation can impact your day-to-day lifestyle and you need to seek emergency care.
If you’re experiencing swelling around your tooth but you’re not in pain, it’s still important to have your tooth evaluated before the infection has an opportunity to spread elsewhere. In rare circumstances, swelling can even spread further into your face, resulting in a medical emergency. When you see our emergency dentist in Calgary, we’ll provide you with viable options to treat the situation at hand.
Can I go to the hospital for a dental emergency?
The only times you would want to go to the hospital or emergency room for a dental issue is if you have a suspected broken jaw, facial fractures, uncontrollable bleeding, or facial swelling. Common dental emergencies like broken and knocked out teeth should be addressed by a dentist.
If you’re in severe pain and can’t get in touch with a dental provider, your physician or an emergency room can provide you with temporary pain relief. However, any medication (such as anti-biotics or pain reliever) will not address the long-term effects of the situation. The key is to get you out of pain as quickly as possible until you can see a dentist.
The best thing to do if you have a dental emergency is to call our Calgary dentist’s office and have us walk you through what to do next. In rare situations surrounding serious injuries, we may direct you to proceed to the emergency room. Otherwise, it’s best to visit our dentist the same day for immediate care.
Can you go to the dentist without insurance?
Yes. Even if you don’t have dental insurance, it can be worth the minimal investment to pay for preventative care services like checkups and cleanings on a routine basis. With ongoing exams and prevention-based strategies, you can limit the risk of developing treatments that require a bigger investment to address.
Our family dentist in Calgary will file your insurance on your behalf, to help you access the coverage you’re entitled to. That way if you have a sudden toothache or dental emergency that needs treatment the same day, you don’t have to delay your care.
A common misconception about the cost of emergency dental treatment is that if the tooth doesn’t hurt, you can put the procedure off. Unfortunately, delaying necessary treatment can lead to compounded issues and additional treatment needs. So instead of only needing a small filling, that cavity has now evolved into an abscessed tooth that requires a root canal. It’s cheaper to correct it earlier on.
What is an acute dental infection?
Any type of tooth pain that comes on suddenly and severely is considered an acute dental emergency. Some examples would be a cracked tooth, broken filling, large cavity, dental abscess, localized periodontitis (gum disease) or ulcer of some sort.
The difference between an acute and chronic dental infection is that something chronic may be more of a dull pain or a situation that’s been ongoing for quite some time. For instance, generalized periodontal disease, gum recession and bone loss, tooth mobility, halitosis, ongoing tooth abscesses, etc.
People might be more apt to see our Calgary emergency dentist if they’re experiencing an acute dental infection, simply because of the pain involved and inability to eat normally. But chronic dental concerns deserve just as much attention, because they can alter the health and integrity of surrounding teeth.
If you’re seeing us for acute dental pain, the first thing we’ll likely do is numb the tooth to alleviate any discomfort. From there, we can further evaluate what’s going on and discuss viable options to address your pain and keep it from coming back. This process might involve an interim treatment until you can return for a more long-term restorative plan.
What do I do for an after-hours dental emergency?
Any dental emergency that happens outside of our normal business hours still requires professional attention. If you’re a patient of record, we ask you to contact our office and follow the message prompts. Be sure to leave a detailed message regarding your dental emergency. From there, one of our on-call staff or our Calgary dentist will return your call as soon as possible.
If you’re experiencing severe bleeding or a possible broken jaw, you should go straight to the emergency room.
In the meantime, take an anti-inflammatory medication to alleviate any pain or swelling. If you have a knocked out or broken tooth, locate any missing fragments and store them immediately in a sealed container where they are completely submerged in milk, contact solution, saline, or if those aren’t available you can use tap water with a pinch of salt. It’s crucial to see a dentist within the next 1-2 hours to attempt re-implanting or bonding the fragment back into place.
We will be in contact with you as quickly as possible with instructions on what to do next.
What are examples of dental emergencies?
A dental emergency is anything that stops you in your tracks and prevents you from going about your normal daily routine. Our Calgary emergency dentist has seen situations such as children tripping at school and breaking (or knocking out) a front tooth to older adults accidentally dropping their denture and breaking it on the bathroom floor. In either situation, the rest of your day’s schedule has changed – you need to seek out emergency attention to address the pain or situation at hand.
In some dental emergencies we can treat the problem immediately and permanently. In others, we can start the treatment with a temporary answer and then come back to it a couple of weeks later when the infection has died down. For example, if you have an old filling that falls out but it turns out there’s a larger cavity underneath and you’re starting to get an abscess, we could use medication and a temporary filling to alleviate your pain until you come back to have a root canal. Ultimately, we want to give you options so that you never feel forced into a single and specific treatment for your dental emergency.
Is wisdom tooth pain an emergency?
Usually wisdom tooth pain is more of a dull, ongoing, chronic condition as opposed to something requiring immediate care. In most cases we will be able to determine if the tooth needs to be extracted and then make plans to have it removed before any pain or swelling gets worse.
However, there are always exceptions. If a wisdom tooth is impacted or developing decay and hasn’t been removed yet, it’s open to the possibility of additional problems such as an abscess or cyst. Either of those situations could catch you off guard with serious pain, requiring immediate intervention.
Most wisdom tooth emergencies are preventable, and thus quite rare. We make it a policy to consistently evaluate changes in tooth development from one visit to the next, so that you can be prepared for and bypass such situations. If we foresee an issue such as lack of space or a partial eruption, our Calgary wisdom tooth dentist will recommend having your third molars extracted before pain or swelling become a problem.
What is the strongest antibiotic for a tooth infection?
Any time there’s a serious infection going on inside of your mouth, you probably feel inclined to ask about treating it with an antibiotic. In reality, antibiotics only address the immediate bacterial infection but do not prevent it from coming back. So, whatever is causing the pain or infection can keep recurring if you don’t combine the antibiotic medication with a therapeutic or restorative treatment.
Take abscessed teeth for example. The painful fistula (swollen pimple) on your gums goes down when you take an antibiotic. But the medication doesn’t keep bacteria from re-entering the tooth, so the abscess will come back a few weeks later. The only way to combat the cause of your tooth pain would be to go in and remove the damaged nerve then fill in the canal during an endodontic (root canal) procedure.
It’s the same with gum disease. Antibiotics will initially reduce the pain and swelling, but they don’t physically decrease the calcified bacterial deposits under your gums. Instead, those need to be cleaned away. No antibiotic is strong enough to keep a tooth infection from coming back.
Can urgent care help with tooth pain?
If you’re out of town, experiencing a dental emergency in the middle of the night, or find yourself in a situation such as an abscessed tooth, you might be tempted to head straight to urgent care or the hospital. Unfortunately, medical offices such as urgent care and emergency rooms aren’t usually equipped to handle dental emergencies. Rather, they would simply address any symptoms of pain and then refer you to a general dentist for a follow up.
What most people don’t realize is that they can contact our Calgary emergency dentist at any time, even if they’ve never been to our office before. In most cases, we can arrange to fit you into our schedule on the same day. At that point we’ll address the cause of your pain and then discuss what can be done to correct the issue.
The only time we recommend people go to a medical facility for a dental emergency is if there’s an obvious jaw fracture, uncontrollable bleeding, or facial swelling. Such complications require specialist intervention to prevent further complications.
Is a gum abscess an emergency?
Abscessed teeth can range from extremely painful to completely asymptomatic (no signs of pain whatsoever.) As soon as you start to notice a small pimple or “fistula” on your gums, you should contact our emergency dentist in Calgary to have it examined. We’ll take a small X-ray and then determine if the nerve of the tooth is infected.
Unless you’re in severe pain, treating the gum abscess is usually scheduled out for a separate date. In some situations, we’ll prescribe antibiotic to reduce the extent of swelling and infection prior to the procedure. This is especially important if we feel that the tooth will be difficult to numb.
However, there are always exceptions. If you have a gum abscess come on quite suddenly, you might be in severe pain. Symptoms include a bad taste in your mouth, sharp pain when eating, or throbbing in your mouth. It’s best to call our Calgary dentist the same day for advice on what to do next. We may need to see you right away.
Facing a dental emergency?
One of our dentists is ready and waiting to assist you!