Your teeth undergo a lot of stress. Unfortunately, sometimes the stress gets to be too much and – ouch! You’ve cracked your tooth or restoration. When this happens, you need treatment as quickly as possible to relieve your discomfort and preserve the tooth.
Left untreated, a cracked tooth or filling can allow bacteria to enter the tender inner part of the tooth where the nerve resides. Once an infection exists, we may have no choice but to perform a root canal or extract the tooth.
At our Ft. Collins dental office, we make it easy for patients who are in an emergency situation to see Dr. Gray quickly – usually the same day.
First, give us a call. We keep open slots in our schedule throughout the day for exactly this type of situation. We don’t believe you should have to suffer for days on end waiting to be seen.
Jennifer, our friendly and helpful front office coordinator, will ask you some questions about how your tooth feels, when the pain started, and where the tooth is in your mouth. There may be some steps you can take to be more comfortable until you are seen by Dr. Gray. Ice packs held against the cheek on the affected side of the mouth and over-the-counter analgesics may reduce pain and swelling.
If your tooth has cracked or you’ve lost or broken a restoration, try to find any broken pieces. In some cases, we can bond the broken part of your tooth or restoration back into place.
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Your emergency appointment will focus on the immediate problem. We will make sure that you are comfortable and if at all possible, perform any immediately needed treatment. Sometimes this involves placing a filling. Depending on the extent of the damage and the cause of the injury, a root canal or an extraction may be necessary.
If we cannot complete your treatment the same day, we will schedule another appointment to finish the necessary treatment. We also feel strongly that it is important to schedule a full exam to look at other areas of the mouth. This allows us to find problems that could become emergencies and address them before you experience pain or a broken tooth.
Of course, not every emergency can be prevented, but routine cleanings reduce your risk of gum disease and decay, and regular check-ups help us catch problems when they are small and manageable – before they turn into a painful emergency situation. Infections and decay can weaken your tooth, but if we can stop these issues in their tracks, we may avoid the need for a root canal or extraction.
Don’t waste another minute in pain! We are here to help. We’ll get you in promptly, determine the best course of action, and help you feel like yourself again. Call our Ft. Collins dental office today so Jennifer can schedule you an emergency dental appointment with Dr. Richard Gray.
Dr. Gray is fortunate to work with an exceptional team. Every person at the office really cares about the well-being of our patients and is dedicated to treating each person with the respect and compassion they deserve.
Dr. Gray graduated from the University of Michigan Dental School. Before pursuing a career in dentistry, he completed a PhD in biochemistry and worked as a staff scientist at Vanderbilt University.
Dr. Gray is sincerely dedicated to providing comprehensive, high-quality dental care with compassion and personal attention for every patient. He believes each patient is an individual and enjoys getting to know everyone who visits the office. He has participated in over 400 hours of continuing education since he came to Colorado. These courses include participation in the Dawson Academy, the Spear Institute, live patient courses, TMJ treatment, smile design, and many other topics that keep him at the forefront of advances in dental treatment.
“Dr. Gray has been our family dentist ever since he opened his business in Ft.Collins. I have always found him to be a caring and professional dentist. Recently, one of family had a weekend dental emergency and Dr. Gray called me personally on a Saturday to assist with this emergency. That was a huge help.”
– Curt S.
Dark spots can be caused by many things, some of which include developmental enamel defects, deep grooves, stain, erosion of the enamel, a chip in the tooth, and decay.
Dr. Gray can take a close look at your tooth and determine what is causing the dark spot and discuss options for how to address it. By the time a cavity is visible as a dark spot on your tooth, it is already quite advanced, and has been growing for a long time (even though it may not hurt or cause sensitivity).
Any time you are concerned about a dark spot, call and make an appointment for an evaluation. If we catch a cavity soon enough, we may be able to repair the tooth with a filling. If it continues to grow larger, a root canal treatment and crown may be needed to save the tooth. Bear in mind that there is always the possibility that our exam will reveal that the dark spot is not a cavity and you can stop worrying about the tooth!
We will treat you the same way we treat patients who have been coming to see us every six months year-after-year.
Sometimes life plays out in ways that prevent us from doing certain things we ought to do–we understand. Our point of view is that we’re happy you made the decision to have your oral health evaluated. We’re here to understand your priorities, present our findings by telling you what we see during our exam, and provide you with the information you need to make decisions about how you want to move forward with your dental care.
It’s difficult to know without examining the tooth. Sometimes front teeth that have been bumped or subjected to trauma can darken in shade. It is important to have these teeth evaluated because root canal treatment may be needed to prevent further damage to the tooth. This damage is called root resorption, and If left unchecked, the tooth may be lost.
Front teeth can also start to turn black due to decay. This is a serious situation which needs to be addressed immediately. Although the decay is extensive and has caused severe destruction of the tooth by the time the tooth starts turning black, these teeth can often still be saved if they are treated right away.
If a tooth is lost due to trauma, there are a few guidelines to follow, which will depend on whether or not the tooth is a baby tooth or permanent tooth:
When a tooth breaks, it is important to call your dentist right away. Sometimes broken teeth do not hurt, but they are still at risk for additional fractures, new decay, and other problems.
A short emergency visit to your dentist will allow him or her to assess the condition of the tooth, discuss risks, benefits, and options for treatment or leaving the tooth as-is, and help you make an informed decision about how to proceed. If you choose not to have the tooth evaluated by your dentist, anything can happen. The tooth may be fine for many years. However, you may develop decay or additional fractures which result in the necessity for multiple costly procedures to save the tooth. You could even lose the tooth due to excessive destruction that could have been prevented if a filling or crown had been placed at the time of the original break.