Your emergency dentist in Tampa, FL has a broad definition of “dental emergency.” The short answer is anything that causes you oral pain and puts your teeth and gum health at risk.
Because there are so many possible scenarios, it’s hard to consider them all, but the most common dental emergencies are listed below. If you have a situation not listed below, we encourage you to contact our dental office regardless. A team member can give you advice and help you decide whether you should see the dentist.
- Common Dental Emergencies in Tampa, FL
- When a Tooth Cannot Be Saved
- Lowering Your Dental Emergency Risks
Common Dental Emergencies in Tampa, FL
Remember, you can have an emergency dental situation not listed here. Because it is impossible to imagine every case, it is best to call our dental office if you’re unsure.
Deep Decay, Abscess, and Root Infection
These are probably the most common dental emergencies. Often, when tooth decay is not treated, it can spread to the root canal of your tooth. Additionally, tooth trauma can lead to deep root infection and abscesses.
Depending on the level of decay or infection present, you may notice some or all of the following symptoms:
- Toothache or sensitive tooth
- Gum or facial swelling
- Blister on the gum
- Drainage near the tooth or gum
If your dentist finds only decay, we can typically treat it with a tooth-colored filling or crown. However, it’s important to remember that significant decay capable of causing a toothache puts your tooth and your oral health at risk.
Treating decay means numbing the decayed tooth and surrounding tissue, extracting the decay, and closing with a dental filling. If decay is severe, your dentist may recommend a dental crown.
If the decay or trauma is root deep and your dentist finds a root infection, we treat it with root canal therapy in Tampa.
Root canal therapy is the process of numbing your painful tooth and the surrounding gum tissue. Your dentist then extracts the inflamed nerve and materials to ease your pain and clear the infection. Finally, we provide a healing agent and short-term filling. At your next dental visit, we provide a tooth-colored filling or a dental crown.
A dental crown is a cap that fits over a weak, treated, or cosmetically flawed tooth. In the case of a root canal or trauma, it reinstates your bite force. Our crowns will always look like your natural teeth.
Broken Tooth or Restoration
If you knock your tooth out completely, your Tampa dentist recommends placing it in a glass of milk until your dental visit. With timely treatment, we may be able to reposition the tooth into the gum and save it from loss.
A broken restoration leaves your tooth or gums vulnerable to infection, which is why we may consider it a dental emergency. However, if you have a minor chip or nick in your tooth or restoration—and it’s not causing you pain—we may forego the emergency dental visit and have you in for the next available appointment.
We can often crown a broken tooth or restore or change out a restoration. However, with most dental emergencies, there is always the risk that the tooth cannot be saved.
When a Tooth Cannot Be Saved
In some cases, if the infection is too severe or the breakage and trauma are too widespread, your dentist recommends extraction.
Fortunately, in most cases, we can talk to you about tooth replacement. Our tooth replacement options include:
- Dental implants
- Dental bridges
- Partial dentures
A dental implant replaces your lost tooth root and provides several benefits. First, a dental implant root can stimulate your jawbone against bone loss—and it is the only tooth replacement option to do so. Second, it also prevents tooth resettlement—teeth slipping toward smile openings.
Your dentist surgically implants your dental implant and then provides a dental crown or prosthetic after complete integration and healing.
A dental bridge is a bridge tooth or artificial tooth cemented between dental crowns. The crowns cap the tooth to the left and right of your smile gap, allowing the restoring teeth to fill the space.
A partial denture is a removable prosthetic with restoring teeth that stand in for missing teeth. Healthy teeth, clips, and gravity work to support your partial denture.
Lowering Your Dental Emergency Risks
When lowering your risks for the most common dental emergencies, preventive dentistry is your best ally. Visit your dentist every six months for check-ups, a chat about your oral health, and professional teeth cleanings.
Between visits, be sure to brush and floss at least twice daily or after every meal—and always before bed.
Consider a mouthguard if you compete in athletics and a nightguard if you grind and clench your teeth to avoid tooth trauma.
We work to treat dental emergencies as soon as possible. If you have an emergency or if you are not sure, give us a call today.