Emergency Dentistry in Kitchener, ON
We are a Family & Emergency Dental Clinic in Kitchener! At Enamel Republic, we use our lunch hour to accommodate dental emergencies so that we can see our patients same-day, where possible. If you are new to our office, don’t worry, as we are accepting new patients! We also participate in a local on-call emergency dental service arranged by the Waterloo-Wellington Dental Society. This enables our patients to have access to after-hours emergency service with either Dr. Hornby or other local Dentists.
What is a Dental Emergency?
A dental emergency commonly involves pain, infection or swelling of the teeth and/or gums. However, dental emergencies can also include oral trauma to the teeth, gums or jaws. We often see patients for changes in other oral structures (like the cheeks, tongue, palate, throat and tonsils) that are concerning them, as well. Generally, we will book an emergency appointment for any patient that has a concern about their oral health.
So, feel free to call us for any oral health concerns that you have and we would be more than happy to offer you a consult or emergency appointment!
Common Dental Emergencies and Related Information
Sensitivity or Toothache
If you are experiencing a sudden increase in tooth sensitivity to pressure, hot, cold, sweet, and/or acidic stimuli (and it is unrelated to recent treatment) you should arrange for an assessment with our Kitchener Dentist. Following placement of fillings, crowns, or bridges it can often take 1-4 weeks for these symptoms to gradually diminish and this process is entirely normal. Sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet and or acidic stimuli can indicate the presence of a cavity or a leaking filling/restoration. If this is the case, treatment will be required to eliminate symptoms. In some situations, sensitivity is due to gum recession and an exposed root surface. In these instances, treatment might not be required and your symptoms may be resolved by the application of anti-sensitivity toothpastes. Pressure sensitivity or toothache can often be related to presence of a tooth- or gum-related infection/abscess. Occasionally, these symptoms are associated with bruxing or grinding of teeth during daytime or nighttime. Please contact our office to have your symptoms assessed so that we can help to make you comfortable again.
Localized swelling of soft tissues is commonly associated with infection of gums or teeth. If you are experiencing swelling or drainage of pus, contact your Kitchener Emergency Dentist. Tooth infection or an “abscessed tooth” typically manifests as a “gum boil”, “bump”, or “gum pimple”. This is often accompanied by dull biting pain or discomfort. Short-term treatment involves a course of prescription antibiotics. Definitive treatment of tooth-related infection involves root canal treatment or extraction of the affected tooth. In the event that you experience a larger swelling expanding toward the eye (from an upper tooth) or under the jaw or around the throat (from a lower tooth), go directly to the emergency department at your local hospital as intravenous antibiotics are likely to be required.
Broken or Detached Orthodontic Wires, Brackets or Retainers
In the event that you experience a broken or detached orthodontic wire or bracket, you are at risk of minor soft tissue (tongue or cheek) injury. Call our office as re-bonding of brackets and retainer wires is a short and simple procedure. In the interim, you can purchase orthodontic wax at any major pharmacy – form a small ball with the wax and place over any sharp exposed contours to minimize risk of soft tissue trauma.
Broken or Fractured Tooth
In most cases, broken or fractured teeth can be repaired by a simple filling or crown. Less frequently, teeth may break near to or exposing the dental pulp or nerve and root canal treatment may be required. Rarely, a fracture extends through the entire tooth or deep under the gum line making the tooth unrestorable or “un-fixable” and will require extraction. Until treatment can be completed, discomfort can be minimized by chewing away from the affected tooth and avoiding temperature extremes. Even though your broken tooth might not be uncomfortable, do not put off consultation or treatment as prolonged exposure of the tooth’s interior may result in severe infection. Call and book an appointment for repair with our Emergency Dental Clinic in Kitchener, as soon as possible.
Tooth Trauma or Lost Tooth
Sometimes teeth receive high impact trauma during sports, falls, etc.,. This is especially common in children during early walking stages. When a child receives a traumatic blow to the teeth, an immediate dental examination is required. Often, a mobile or loose tooth/teeth will be splinted to allow healing. When a baby tooth is lost during trauma it should not be replanted in the socket as this could lead to ankylosis, a process by which bone heals directly against the tooth root. This can lead to complications when the baby tooth is due to exfoliate and be replaced by an adult tooth. If your child’s baby tooth is knocked loose, clean it and place it in a small container filled with milk. Bring it to your Kitchener Emergency Dentist for a full assessment.
When an adult tooth receives a traumatic blow and is loosened, splinting will provide stabilization so that the gums and periodontal ligament can heal properly around the tooth’s root. Occasionally, a root canal treatment is required should an abscess form around the root of the tooth. You should avoid biting and/or chewing of food with the traumatized tooth/teeth. Where an adult tooth is knocked out of its socket, clean the tooth, place in a small container filled with milk, and bring it with you to your dental appointment.
Jaw Pain, Stiffness and/or Clicking
Jaw pain and jaw clicking are both common patient concerns. Sometimes these signs and symptoms follow trauma to the face. Other times, these symptoms come and go for a given patient. Patients may also experience jaw stiffness from time to time.
Jaw dysfunction or disorder (commonly TMJD or TMD) is commonly related to patient clenching and/or grinding during the day or while sleeping. Some common home remedies for jaw dysfunction include:
- Mild jaw stretching exercises to limit stiffness and increase range of motion
- Warm compresses to increase muscle pliability and stretching/opening capacity
- Cold compresses to soothe inflammatory pain
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications (this should be a very short term solution)
- Increase wear of your night guard if you have one
- Massage of jaw-opening/closing muscles (cheeks, temples)
Call your Kitchener Dental Office to arrange an examination with your Family Dentist.
Emergency Dentistry in Kitchener: Will an Emergency Dentist extract teeth?
Emergency Dentists will evaluate need for tooth extraction at your emergency dental appointment. Some Emergency Dentists provide Oral Surgery and Tooth Extraction while others may not. If you have a tooth infection or abscess, your emergency dentist will at the very least prescribe an Antibiotic to curtail harmful swelling.
At Enamel Republic, we provide simple and surgical extraction services on an emergency basis.
Emergency Dentistry in Kitchener: How Much are Emergency Dental Appointments?
Emergency dental examinations (not including any required treatment) are billed according to the Ontario Dental Association Fee Guide. The 2019 Fee Guide suggests a cost ranging from $45 – $130, depending on the length of time required to provide a proper assessment. Radiographs (X-Rays) are an additional cost typically in the $30 – $80 range depending on the number and type of image required. These are purely assessment cost estimates and do not include the cost of potential necessary treatments. Best practice is to call your Kitchener Emergency Dental Clinic or Family Dentist and inquire about fee ranges and estimates. It is also advisable to obtain a cost estimate in advance of any necessary treatment.