When patients come to my office with a toothache, I ask them how long their tooth has bothered them, and they usually respond, “Ah, well, er, it has been hurting for a while.” Like most people, they’d hoped that ignoring a minor problem might just make it go away. That is very uncommon for tooth pain. In fact, it usually gets worse or takes a short vacation – only to return with a vengeance. Sometimes this happens on a Friday afternoon, right before a long weekend. The hospital emergency room won’t be able to treat it, and finding a dental office that is open will usually be difficult. Even if open, offices are often unable to squeeze in someone who isn’t a patient of record, because it is unfair to make those with existing appointments wait for care.
Apart from discomfort, the other issue I see is that ignored tooth pain often turns into much more expensive treatment. Decay under a crown means that the crown could come loose and get swallowed. Decay located under an old filling is positioned much closer to the nerve of the tooth. If allowed to progress, the bacteria will spread into the nerve more quickly, causing a painful abscess. An abscess is “cured” either by a root canal or tooth removal. Antibiotics are usually required for the infection that it caused.
Similarly, a tooth that breaks will often become a tooth that breaks a second or third time. Each break makes the tooth harder to fix, and often much more expensive.
I really enjoy my patients. I don’t want any of them to experience unnecessary pain or expense. And I don’t like to remove a tooth that could have been saved. Please procrastinate the dusting, not the mouth pain.
Contact Winterset Dental today to find out which treatment is right for you.