Tag Archives: Phoenix Emergency Dentist

Can’t Afford to Get Infected Tooth Removed


I think I have a dental emergency. One of my teeth is throbbing with pain. I think I need a root canal, however, I cannot afford one. Should I wait to see a dentist when I can, or go see an emergency dentist immediately? It is really painful, I’m not sure how much longer I can deal with the swelling.

Mallick, from Trenton, New Jersey


Hi Mallick,

If it is swelling that much, you need immediate assistance. If you cannot go see your dentist, you will need to see someone who can do your root canal. If you cannot afford this, you will need to go see an emergency dentist.

If you do not see an emergency dentist for the infection, you run the risk of the infection spreading. An oral infection can spread to the heart or brain, and once it does, it can cause severe consequences and even death.

Also, do not take antibiotics without a treatment plan. The overuse of antibiotics can cause side effects, such as leading to treatment-resistant infections. Once the infection can no longer be treated with antibiotics, it will become more dangerous and more difficult to eradicate.

This blog post is brought to you by Phoenix emergency dentist, Dr. Hillary Peck, of Peck Family Dentistry.

Is a cracked porcelain crown an emergency?

My front teeth have had porcelain crowns for many years. The left one has had a small imperfection on it all this time, but is was not visible to the eye. However, I am now beginning to see it and am able to feel it. I worry that the crown will soon break and I will lose it. If replacing the crown is necessary, I’ll go that route, but want to be sure this is not something for which I should see an emergency dentist.

Thank you,

Dear Eric,

While this is not an emergency, it would be a good idea to find an experienced cosmetic dentist and have the crown replaced. If not, you are correct, you will chance it completely breaking.

You mentioned that, while your crown has always had a slight imperfection, you were unable to see it or feel it. This is called a craze line. Teeth and porcelain have these and they are typically no reason for concern. However, you mentioned that you are now able to see the defect, as well as feel it. This indicates there has been movement which has resulted in the now visible difference in the surface of the crown.

Once a cosmetic dentist has the opportunity to assess the crowns, he or she may suggest replacing all of them, due to their age, or just the one. If just the one crown is replaced, the color-matching skill of the dentist will need to be excellent, in order to ensure the new crown matches the original ones. Do be cautious if you are told that the only way to ensure a perfect color match is to replace all of the crowns. That is a clear sign that the dentist does not have the skill-set to match the new crown to the original one.

This post is sponsored by Phoenix emergency dentist, Dr. Hillary Peck.

Should my son see an emergency dentist for his wisdom teeth?

I am concerned that my son needs to visit an emergency dentist. His wisdom teeth have been causing him a great deal of pain for the last several days. They are even preventing him from eating. I encouraged him to make an appointment with an emergency dentist, but he didn’t see the need, stating that it happens sometimes. He did let me take a quick glance. While I couldn’t see the tooth, I did notice the gums are swollen up around the tooth. He is convinced this is completely normal and the tooth just hasn’t pushed all the way through yet. Is this something you see often? Or, should I continue to encourage him to see an emergency dentist?

Thank you,

Dear Kristi,
Everyone is different. Some people have wisdom teeth break through later in life, while others never get them, or need them to be extracted. The most important piece to this is how the wisdom teeth come in and the amount of space around them. These teeth can cause problems because there is little room for them. They force other teeth out of the way and move everything. It is difficult to clean these teeth, not only because of the cramped space, but because the gums are still covering some of the wisdom teeth. Infections and tooth decay can occur when the gums lift up enough for food and bacteria to enter and become trapped.

Wisdom teeth can also cause pain in other, more typical, ways. Sometimes, when they push the surrounding teeth out of the way, that can cause those teeth to hurt, though sometimes the pain is just in one area. Yet other times, the pain stays in one area. They can also cause sinus, jaw, and ear pain. A general dentist would probably suggest the teeth be taken out. However, because you are noticing swollen gums, it could be a symptom of an infection. In addition, if the pain is so intense that it is preventing eating, there is certainly a problem. Both of these symptoms yield a reason to see an emergency dentist if he doesn’t have a general dentist who can see him very soon. If there is, in fact, an infection, it is crucial he be seen today.

This article is sponsored by Phoenix emergency dentist, Dr. Hillary Peck.

My Face is Swelling Near My Dental Implant

My dental implant has been feeling odd lately. It started hurting and now the surrounding gum feels bouncy. Now my jaw is hurting and it’s painful to eat. The dentist who did my implant is out of town. Do you have a recommendation on how I can take care of this?

Lucy D. – Montana


I’m a bit concerned about the situation you’re in. You’ve got an infection at your dental implant site. If this isn’t dealt with immediately two very bad things can happen.

1. You could die. I know it sounds ridiculous in the twenty-first century, but it still happens that people die from tooth infections. In fact, just this past February a 40-year-old man in California died when his tooth infection spread to his lungs. An equally great risk is your heart or brain, because of their proximity to your teeth.

Don’t think this can be treated just by taking antibiotics. Many people make that mistake and end up in quite the dental emergency pickle. Antibiotics will forestall the infection, but the only way to truly get rid of it is for the dentist to get in there and remove the infected portion.

2. Your implant can fail. If the infection really gets hold, you could lose the implant. If that happens, you can’t just get a new implant. You’ll need to have bone grafting done, then start all over with surgery and healing time, then finally get your implant crown again.

This needs to be dealt with right away. I do realize your dentist is out of town, but I”m sure he has some procedures in place for dental emergencies. If not, then you can just do a Google search for an emergency dentist.

If you get the care you need soon, you’ll have a much better chance of saving your implant.

Now that I”ve likely completely depressed you (sorry about that), let me cheer you up. Once your implant site is healthy, you’re going to love having it as a tooth replacement. Nothing comes closer to having a healthy, natural tooth back. I’m sure your dentist has told you this as well, but you’ll be able to eat, brush, and floss normally. No restrictions.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.

Can I Self-Medicate Before Going to the Dentist’s Office?

I’m not a fan of the dentist. But, I’ve got a toothache and need to go. I have a valium prescription. Can I just take one of those before I go in? Also, I don’t have a dentist. Is there a secret passcode to get in quickly?

Stina L. – Georgia


We’ll start with the secret passcode. Generally, if you tell a dentist you have a dental emergency they’ll try hard to fit you in. Most dentists are compassionate and got into the field because they want to help people.

Now, if you get that appointment we need to help you with your anxiety. While you can take valium, it will affect what your dentist is able to do. Some medications he’ll need to give you could be contraindicative for valium. I have a solution for you, though.

When you google for emergency dentists, look for one who also does sedation dentistry. This is actually better than valium. Depending on the type of sedation used, it can give you a completely relaxed, pain-free experience.

If, for some reason, you decide to just take the valium instead be sure you let the dentist know you took some, along with any other medication in your system. Even tell him about over-the-counter medication. It’s important you do that. It could save your life.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.

Will An Emergency Dentist Treat a Painful Canker Sore?

I’m wondering if I need to schedule my husband an appointment with an emergency dentist. He has been in agony over a canker sore for the past several days. He’s not one to complain, but when he didn’t eat dinner last night I started to worry and I asked to look. The spot looks really angry and is about the size of a kernel of corn. It’s red and raised with white on the top. Also, this isn’t the first one he’s had. He had another one a couple months back, but it was nowhere near this bad.  Would an emergency dentist help him with this, do we need to see a regular doctor, or should we give it more time to see what it does?


Marie – Michigan

Dear Marie,

There may be no need to see an emergency dentist just yet, especially if you haven’t tried any treatments at home. Most of the time, these spots clear up in 10-14 days on their own. It’s just a matter of managing it until you get to that point.

There are several products you can try to see if they give him some relief. An oral anesthetic from the dental aisle of just about any grocery or drug store is a good place to start. You’ll also find products aimed at covering it and protecting it. These tend to come in either a tube or as little gel-like pads that adhere to the tissue. Covers are difficult to keep on, but they can add temporary protection from temperature changes and maybe long enough to eat a meal if he’s careful. If it’s looking like it might be becoming infected, a topical antiseptic should also be applied. Some of the patches and gels already have an antiseptic in them. You can also buy a product made especially for killing germs or do a rinse with a 50/50 mix of hydrogen peroxide and water. Listerine is also a good choice. Although it’s not intended to treat canker sores, some people report pain relief from using it as well.

Covers are difficult to keep on, but they can add temporary protection from temperature changes and maybe long enough to eat a meal if he’s careful. If it’s looking like it might be becoming infected, a topical antiseptic should also be applied. Some of the patches and gels already have an antiseptic in them. You can also buy a product made especially for killing germs or do a rinse with a 50/50 mix of hydrogen peroxide and water. Listerine is also a good choice. Although it’s not intended to treat canker sores, some people report pain relief from using it as well.

True canker sores can be caused by a lot of things, such as biting one’s cheek, friction from a dental appliance, injury, stress, and even allergies. Plus, there are other things that masquerade as if they were canker sores, such as oral cancer or viruses. If your husband has a lot of them, he may want to see a physician or dentist to have an evaluation done. It’s also a good idea to schedule a checkup if this doesn’t clear up within two weeks of the onset or if the pain gets worse, but it doesn’t have to be with the emergency dentist unless the pain is bad.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.

Will Emergency Bonding Last?

I had some trauma to my front tooth. I made a trip to an emergency dentist. He did an x-ray, said the tooth looked good and then used some kind of emergency bonding to repair a chip that happened as a result of the trauma.  How long will that bonding last? I’d want an idea of when it will have to be replaced with permanent bonding.

Andrew P. – Oklahoma


I’m glad you were able to get this taken care of quickly. Emergency dental bonding is permanent bonding. So, if it was done properly, it should last for at least a couple of years.

Dental Trauma can be tricky, so even though you’ve seen an emergency dentist, I’d be more at peace if you followed up with your regular dentist in a few days. I’m not implying the emergency dentist missed something.

Trauma to a tooth can cause the blood flow to be cut off from the tooth, causing the tooth to die. That doesn’t show up on an x-ray. The first signs could be bruising under the tooth or an abscess. So, follow up is important.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.

Should I Use Super Glue With a Porcelain Veneers Emergency?

I’m in a pickle!  I have a job interview the day after tomorrow and one of my porcelain veneers (on a front tooth!!) has fallen off. I called my dentist and he doesn’t consider it an emergency. He can’t see me for a week. I can’t go to my interview like this.  Is it okay to use Superglue to get it back on?

Amber A. – Nevada


STOP!  Put down the Superglue. Now slowly back away.  Whew! That was close.

I know you’re likely freaking out right now, but don’t worry, this can be fixed in time. I’d call around to some cosmetic dentists in your area first thing in the morning. I’m certain at least one of them will be willing to help you if you explain your situation. Most dentists are caring and want to help patients. That’s why they chose dentistry to begin with.

If you use Superglue and get it wrong, not only will your smile look a bit off, but your veneer will likely have to be completely re-done That will put you in an even bigger pickle.

This blog is brought to you by Drs. Kevin and Hillary Peck.

Is It Safe to Get a Root Canal When You’re Pregnant?

I’m pregnant and my dentist just told me I need a root canal. I have had a toothache, but ignored it. I went in for a check up, but wouldn’t let him do x-rays. He says he can tell I need a root canal, by how bad the tooth is. Is that safe when pregnant?

Clara M. – Missouri


I know when you’re pregnant, most medical procedures seem like a big, bad wolf just waiting to hurt your baby, but in this case NOT doing the procedure is what could unleash the wolf. An infection is a dental emergency, and left untreated is dangerous for both you and your baby.

The root canal procedure is safe. There are local anesthetics and antibiotics that are safe during pregnancy. Plus, your dentist knows your concerns and will take extra precautions.

Ideally, the second trimester is the easiest to do this type of procedure, but that has more to do with what is more comfortable for you than safety issues.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.

Do I Need To See An Emergency Dentist For A Defective Crown

When I was just starting out my career, I had porcelain crowns done across all my front teeth. They look great overall, and I’m actually still very happy with the aesthetics. One of them has always had a rough spot or a divot, though. I can feel it with my tongue, but I have never been able to see anything wrong with it. I did mention it to the dentist who did the crowns and she smoothed it out some, but I’ve still noticed over the years. It was close, but not quite perfect. Lately, it has been feeling different- much more rough,  and I can actually see a dark mark. I don’t know if it’s just attracting stains or what, but I don’t think I’ve changed my habits and I get regular cleanings. I’m a little concerned that that it is failing and that I’m going to be out on a business trip and the whole thing will crumble. Is this urgent enough to warrant a trip to the emergency dentist? Should I have the crown redone now or am I worrying about nothing?



Dear Hank,

This may not necessitate a trip to the emergency dentist and it isn’t exactly “urgent,” in that you need to get in as soon as possible, but it is something you should get checked out in the near future. It’s common for crowns (and natural teeth) to have some defects, but it sounds like yours is changing, and that could mean it’s actually cracked now, not just a defect. In this case, it would also pick up stains more readily and there’s a chance it will break sometime soon. It’s impossible to guess when it will happen, though.

Rather than letting it turn into a trip to the emergency dentist, especially if you’re an avid traveler, you should find a dentist who is skilled at cosmetic work and have him examine it. Due to the age of the crowns, it might be time to start thinking about replacing them all. Don’t be surprised if the dentist mentions this.

However, the only reason to update the others is age or wear and tear. If the dentist suggests switching them all out so he can make them all match, that’s a sign that you’re not working with a skilled cosmetic dentist. You should be able to have just that one replaced and have it blend naturally, without having the others redone, too. Best of luck to you.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.