Can An Emergency Dentist Perform a Root Canal?

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It’s 9:00 p.m. and what started as moderate tooth pain earlier in the day has progressed to a toothache that no over-the-counter medication has been able to quell. With an ice pack tied around your head like a Christmas wreath, you finally succumb to the reality that you have a dental emergency on your hands. You need an emergency dentist in Fort McMurray – and fast. In your opinion, yours is the best dentist in Fort McMurray, but they have probably closed for the night, and you need an emergency dental clinic. Panicked, you turn to Siri: “Where’s an emergency dentist near me?”. Finally – an emergency dentist in Fort McMurray – open and taking emergency appointments! But this enthusiasm is met with resistance when you realize that you’re not even really sure what an emergency dentist is! What if you need a root canal? What about teeth extraction or wisdom teeth removal? Is an emergency dentist equipped to handle these types of situations or will you need to endure this discomfort until morning? We want to reassure you – the answer is yes. That’s because all dental clinics in Fort McMurray and across Alberta are trained to the same standard and they have to meet strict standards to be able to practice in the province. That means that every dentist in Fort McMurray is trained to be a general dentist, though some will refer to themselves as being a dentist for children (in the case of family dentists) or emergency dentists (when working outside normal business hours on a first-come, first-served basis).  While these dentists will not be seeing patients regularly for checkups and other preventative maintenance, they remain qualified to perform the procedures associated with general dentistry. If you are fortunate enough to experience your dental emergency within the normal business hours of your regular dental clinic in Fort McMurray, it is likely that they can accommodate your need for a same-day appointment. At Fort McMurray Dental, we hold space daily to accommodate emergency dentistry needs.

Dental Emergencies and COVID

The impact of COVID-19 has resulted in decreased capacity for many dental clinics in Fort McMurray and many have changed their hours as a result. Always call ahead when you plan to visit an emergency dentist to ensure that you won’t be turned back around. Maintain awareness of the current COVID-19 protocols for entering a medical/clinical space.

What Is a Root Canal?

While other dental emergency services, like extractions, are fairly self-explanatory, there remains considerable confusion about what a root canal is and whether it’s really as bad as ‘they say’. The truth is, there’s not a lot of substance to that rumour once you understand what a root canal is and how it is performed. If your emergency dentist determines that root canal therapy is the best course of action for your circumstances, you need not worry. The pain that you are experiencing is the result of disease and inflammation of the pulp of the tooth in its inner core. The nerve at the core of the tooth registers this as pain, which is a sign that the tooth is still alive. A root canal will remove the diseased tissue along with the nerve – effectively killing the tooth along with the pain. The best part? This is all done under local anesthetic and your experience will be similar to having a cavity filled. Once your dentist has cleaned out the inside of your tooth, a gummy material called gutta-percha is squeezed into the hollowed tooth to close it off and prevent bacteria from entering. Depending upon the size of the access hole required to perform the root canal, your dentist may either close it with a filling or seal it with a crown.

What Is a Crown?

A crown is essentially a replicated and hollowed-out shell of your natural tooth that is made to fit over top of it. The dentist first grinds the natural tooth into a shape that will easily fit under the crown before cementing it in place with dental adhesive. Crowns provide much needed strength and protection to natural teeth whose structures have been compromised. Crown technology is able to offer a tooth that looks like your own and protects right down to the gum tissue. Crowns can last years with normal use, and they are not susceptible to cavities. Still, regular brushing and flossing of the crowned tooth keep neighboring tissues clean and healthy. If you are experiencing tooth pain that is indicative of an infection, it is important to have it treated as soon as possible. Fort McMurray Dental has successfully treated and restored many dental infections with positive outcomes.  Never treat a toothache with heat – ice and cool drinks will be most effective at reducing the degree of discomfort. An infection often requires antibiotics to fully eradicate. It is important to take the full course of antibiotic prescriptions if prescribed.

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