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Your Emergency Dentist for a Tooth Abscess

July 20, 2015 in Dental Emergencies,Dentistry,Root Canals by mccarl_dental

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If you’ve ever had an abscessed tooth, you know that waiting until Monday at 9 am isn’t an option. An abscess can strike with little to no warning, and the pain can start as a mild heat and cold sensitivity and develop into severe pain within hours. Physicians realized long ago that Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm wasn’t the only time patients needed medical attention. Emergency rooms exist when you have a new pain, when your doctor’s office is closed, but there are no emergency dentist offices. At McCarl Dental Group, we’ve decided to change that. Our emergency dental care is available when you need us. No matter what your dental emergency, call McCarl Dental Group.

Tooth Abscess Causes

Infection in the root of a tooth or between the gums and teeth can cause an abscess or painful toothache that is caused by spreading infection. This can happen if a tooth is decayed, broken, or if a patient has severe gingivitis (periodontal/gum disease) which allows bacteria to enter the soft center of the tooth or pulp, and cause severe pain. If a tooth is abscessed, infection continues to spread, and surrounding gum tissue and supporting bone structure can become infected.

Tooth Abscess Symptoms

Abscessed teeth can cause a toothache, swelling, pus around the tooth or gum, fever, muscle aches, swollen glands, and general nausea or queasiness. Occasionally, a minor toothache especially when chewing and sensitivity to heat or cold is the main symptom of an abscessed tooth. Sometimes, patients do not recognize these symptoms are related to their teeth.

The more severe and abscess becomes the harder it is to ignore. Patients who experience swelling of the gums or jaw, bitter taste in the mouth, bad breath, or draining sores on the gums are much more likely to realize they have an abscess tooth. However, once the infection reaches this point, it is more difficult to treat. If you have recently had tooth decay (cavities), trauma to your tooth (even if you didn’t believe damage was done), or gum disease, don’t hesitate to contact us, if you experience any of these symptoms.

Emergency Treatment

It is important to contact your dentist as soon as you have dental pain. When you seek treatment for an abscessed tooth, there are a number of things we can do to help you feel better quickly. The first priority for dental treatment for an abscessed tooth is to drain the abscess or pus surrounding the tooth. We will likely prescribe antibiotics to help your body fight the infection, and prevent any further infection. Sometimes the patient will need to start antibiotics before the dentist drains the abscess.

Once you contact our on-call dentist, we will work with you to develop a treatment plan. During the treatment planning process, our dentists take digital x-rays and intra-oral photographs and project them on a large television monitor so our patients can see the damaged tooth very clearly.

Our goal is to preserve the tooth whenever possible. An x-ray will help us determine the extent of the infection. If the abscess appears to be only in the gums, it is possible a minor incision may be enough. However, most abscesses are much deeper, in the pulp of the tooth. Root canal therapy to extract the infected pulp, may be the next step. If a root canal is the best treatment option, our team will remove the infected pulp from your tooth. The tooth is filled with gutta-percha (a gum-like substance), and sealed. The tooth may then need to be restored or strengthened with a crown.

In some cases, the tooth may need to be extracted. This is a mutual decision between the patient and dentist. When an extraction is necessary, a dental implant restored with a crown feels and functions like a normal healthy tooth.

Call for Emergency Dental Care

If you have severe tooth pain, nausea, or fever you believe are related to an abscessed tooth, don’t wait until Monday to get help. Call McCarl Dental Group’s on-call dentist. McCarl Dental Group offers same day emergency care during regular business hours as well as evenings and weekends.

If you’re in need of a dentist for any of your oral health care needs, schedule an appointment today.

Our knowledgeable staff is available at either of our two convenient locations Millersville or Greenbelt, MD.

What is a Root Canal?

October 29, 2011 in Dentistry,Root Canals by McCarl Dental Group

When a tooth has a deep cavity or receives trauma, the nerve tissue deep inside the tooth may be injured beyond recovery. The typical repair procedure of a dental filling or crown may not be sufficient to treat the inflamed or infected nerve. A root canal is then the procedure necessary to treat and save the tooth.

The most common reason for a root canal is tooth decay – a cavity that has spread to the inner pulp tissue of a tooth. This inner pulp tissue contains the small nerve, artery and vein in a tiny canal in the center of a tooth. Sometimes there is no decay but the tooth has a history of deep fillings, has received a traumatic blow or has been worn down from years of grinding your teeth (bruxism).

The most common symptoms that indicate that you may need a root canal are: dental pain from hot or cold temperatures, pressure or swelling in the tissue around the tooth. There may be a bump or abscess on the gum that drains infection. Sometimes the tooth gets darker than the other teeth. Occasionally, none of these signs and symptoms is present, but an infection is noticed on your routine yearly dental x-rays.

During a root canal, a small opening is made in the tooth and slender instruments are inserted into the canals to remove the infected or inflamed pulp. Patients are given local anesthesia for the procedure. The area surrounding the tooth is completely numb and the patient does not feel discomfort during the root canal procedure. Typically, antibiotics and pain medications are prescribed to ensure a comfortable recovery after the Novocain wears off.

Some teeth have one canal in the root, some two, three or even four canals. This accounts for the difference in time and cost associated with root canals on different teeth. When all of the pulp contents of the canals are removed, the canals are disinfected and sealed. After the root canal, a permanent filling and usually a crown are needed to keep the tooth strong. Root canals are usually covered by dental insurance.

Root canals are usually painless procedures but like teenagers, “you only hear about the bad ones.” The dental pain associated with a root canal is caused by the infection. The procedure removes the infected root and the source of the pain. Occasionally, a root canal will need additional visits to control the infection.

Root canal therapy is the treatment of pain and infection that allows dental patients to keep their teeth. All treatment prescribed by dentists at McCarl Dental Group in our Millersville, and Greenbelt Maryland dental offices is recommended to help maintain optimum tooth health and structure.

The dentists at McCarl Dental Group spend time explaining dental treatments and options to our patients. We want each of our patients to understand their dental needs and why we suggest certain types of treatments over others. The primary goal of McCarl Dental Group is to help our patients have a beautiful, healthy smile that will last a lifetime. Call us in Millersville, MD (410) 987-8000 or Greenbelt, MD (301) 474-4144 or visit our website www.McCarl Dental.com

8601 Veterans Hwy, Suite 101, Millersville, MD 21108 USA
Dr. Clayton McCarl, Jr. Millersville, MD cosmetic, restorative, & preventive dentistry. infoshipleys@mccarldental.com
28 Ridge Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770 USA
Dr. Clayton McCarl, Jr. Greenbelt, MD cosmetic, restorative, & preventive dentistry. (301) 474-4144 infogreenbelt@mccarldental.com