Urgent care for a cracked tooth

We received a gallon bucket full of pecans in the shell from a friend. Yes, we do have a nutcracker, but for some reason my husband decided to open the shells with his teeth. One of his teeth cracked. I heard it and he felt it. Our dentist is in Europe until January 4. If we go to the urgent care is this something they can temporarily bond? We saved the piece of the tooth that cracked off. Thanks janet

Janet – The urgent care is not the place to go for a cracked tooth. They don’t have the dental equipment needed to x-ray teeth or the materials to restore them.

You will be able to find a local dentist who accepts dental emergencies to examine and x-ray your husband’s tooth. Since tooth bonding is needed, we recommend a cosmetic dentist to provide the restoration. A cosmetic dentist knows how to use and manipulate composite bonding material so that it matches natural teeth.

You didn’t mention when the accident with your husband’s tooth happened, but he really needs to see a dentist right away.

A lingering toothache, a cracked or chipped tooth, a bleeding tooth,  a lost filling or crown, and various types of trauma to the teeth or tongue should be considered dental emergencies.

Although it may appear that the only damage is a cracked tooth, there may be other trauma to the tooth that is more easily and effectively treated if he sees a dentist right away.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX cosmetic dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Does my child really need a root canal?

My daughter is 7 years old and she has had a horrible toothache for about 2 weeks. It hasn’t been horrible from the beginning, it just got progressively worse. I took her to our pediatric dentist, and she recommended a root canal for my daughter. She called it a pulpotamie (spelling?) but it’s basically the same thing. I am wondering if this is necessary if my daughter is going to lose the tooth anyway. Or why can’t the tooth just be extracted? I am just a little suspicious and for more reasons that this one incident. Thanks. Amy

Amy – If your daughter has an increasingly painful toothache, it’s a sign of an infection, which will continue to spread until it is removed.

A pulpotomy will remove the infection. A dental crown will be placed over the tooth to protect it. One of the advantages to keeping the tooth is that it will prevent the adjacent teeth from moving into an empty space if the tooth is extracted. Additionally, primary teeth help guide permanent teeth into the correct position.

You can consider visiting another pediatric dentist or family dentist to examine, and likely x-ray, your daughter’s tooth and provide you with a second opinion.


This post is sponsored by Plano, TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Free teeth whitening kit is burning my gums

I got a free teeth whitening kit with some other stuff that I ordered online. I have used it for 3 nights in a row and now my gums are really starting to burn bad. What should I do to keep the gel from burning my gums? – Ramona

Ramona – We recommend that you stop using the free whitening kit immediately. If the burning persists over the next day or two, see a dentist.

Sometimes, free teeth whitening kits don’t whiten teeth at all. They may contain other chemicals that are harmful to your teeth and gums. Although they are not free, you will likely get better and safer results from over-the-counter whitening strips than with a free whitening kit.

The only free teeth whitening kit that you can really trust is one from your dentist. And there are dentists who offer free bleaching gel and trays to patients who remain current with their dental cleaning and exams. Either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide are safe ingredients for teeth bleaching gel.  And these should not be used excessively. Custom bleaching trays should be used to prevent the gel from burning your gums and mouth.

If you receive custom trays and whitening gel from a dentist and your gums are still burning, you can use less gel in  the trays, or wear them for a shorter period. If the problem persists, contact your dentist.

It is also recommended that teeth whitening be done under a dentist’s supervision. A dentist will let you know if the bleaching gel will help or harm your teeth, as well as the results you can expect.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.