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It’s Been Hurting For A While

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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 a much more expensive treatment. Decay under a crown means that the crown could come loose and get swallowed. A 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 causes.

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.