My husband had a dental emergency 3 days ago. He had not been to the dentist in years, but his tooth hurt so bad that it was making him nauseous. The toothache had been going on for almost 2 months. I told him to schedule an appointment with a dentist but he never did it. He waited too long.
He works an hour away from home and said that the pain got so bad that he scheduled an appointment with an emergency dentist that is 5 minutes from his job. I know he needed a root canal but the dentist did an x-ray and only removed an old silver filling and replaced it with a white one. The dentist skipped the root canal. My husband said the tooth feels great. Shouldn’t the emergency dentist have done a root canal since my husband’s toothache was so intense? I wish he had waited to find a dentist closer to home. Thanks. Keira
Keira – Your husband was wise to quickly seek dental care. A severe toothache is often a symptom of an infection that needs to be treated promptly. But a cavity or tooth trauma can also cause a lot of pain. If tooth decay reaches the pulp, or inside tissue, of the tooth, a root canal is needed. A tooth that is dead or severely damaged might also need root canal treatment as a proactive measure.
Do All Dental Emergencies Need Root Canal Treatment?
Your husband’s extreme discomfort doesn’t necessarily mean that the emergency dentist should have done a root canal treatment. Consider the following:
- Before a dentist recommends any treatment, he or she should examine the tooth and take x-rays, which was done in your husband’s case.
- If only a composite filling is needed, why remove the tooth pulp and drill down the tooth to accommodate a dental crown?
- It’s good to have a conservative approach to preserving as much of the natural tooth as possible. It sounds like the emergency dentist did just that.
If your husband has doubts about whether or not his tooth was properly cared for, he can schedule an appointment with another dentist to examine the tooth. It’s normal to have mild discomfort or sensitivity after a filling is replaced. If the tooth is comfortable—especially the three days after replacing a filling, it seems that the treatment was successful.
This post is sponsored by Decatur, AL dentists Dr. Josh Drake and Dr. Lauren Drake Wallace.