My Mercury Filling Fell Out: What Now?

Mercury was used almost exclusively for decades in tooth fillings. Dental professionals now know how toxic mercury is and it is rarely—if ever—used in fillings. There are so many more effective and safer alternatives that it doesn’t make sense to use mercury. If you have an undamaged tooth filling with mercury, most experts agree that you shouldn’t do anything. It’s the mercury vapors that are dangerous, and those vapors are only released when the mercury is cracked or disturbed, such as when the mercury filling is removed. But what if your mercury filling falls out?

Contact Your Dentist Right Away

If your mercury filling has come out, contact your Owensboro, KY dentist right away. No matter what condition the filling is in, or the tooth, you’ll need immediate treatment.

Store the Filling

If you know where the mercury filling is, store it securely in a sealed plastic bag. Don’t finger it or lay it on any surface in your home. You don’t want to accidentally spread any toxicity from the mercury.

Care For Your Tooth

If your tooth is painful or sensitive after the loss of the filling, use your judgment for self-care until you can get into your Beaver Dam, KY dentist for tooth restoration. Consider taking an over-the-counter pain reliever in combination with an over-the-counter numbing agent. These types of numbing agents are very effective and can keep you comfortable until you’re able to see the dentist.

Avoid Chewing on the Tooth

In the meantime, avoid chewing on the tooth with the lost filling. You have no way of knowing how much mercury is still in the tooth cavity, whether vapors are being released or how food debris may further damage the tooth.

Above all, don’t panic. Once you visit your Beaver Dam, KY dentist, they will be able to assess the situation and offer a safe treatment.

Emergency Dental Supplies to Keep on Hand

You can always rely on your Owensboro and Beaver Dam, KY dentist to take care of you in emergency situations. But between the time you experience the emergency and the time it takes to get to the dentist, there are some things you can do it help yourself, too. Following are the essential emergency dental supplies you should always keep on hand.

Numbing Ointment

Tooth pain can be absolutely excruciating. For nearly instant relief, use a numbing ointment on the affected area. Many people use a cotton swab to apply it. Within a few seconds, it should start working and give you relief until you can get to the dentist.

Over-the-counter Pain Medication

It’s a good idea to keep acetaminophen and ibuprofen in the house to assist with the pain from a dental emergency. Follow label instructions and never take more than the recommended dose.

Gauze

In cases of bleeding—and a knocked-out tooth can result in a lot of blood loss—you’ll want to have sterile gauze on hand. You can fold the gauze over on itself to pack the area where the tooth came out. Apply dental pressure to control bleeding. Keep replacing with clean gauze as it gets soiled.

Dental Mirror

A dental mirror is a small mirror on an angled metal stick. This will allow you to see way back inside your mouth, much like a dentist can. A dental mirror may help you to assess what the problem is with a molar or an area of sensitive gum tissue so that you can explain it over the phone to your dentist.

When you have a dental emergency, contact your dentist right away. If you end up needing a tooth extraction in Beaver Dam, KY or something else, your dentist will be able to treat you accordingly.

What is a Tooth Pocket and Why is it Important?

If your dentist discovers a tooth pocket inside your mouth, it won’t bring a smile to your face. Instead, a tooth pocket indicates gum disease, often in an advanced stage. As to why this is so important, here’s what you need to know.

A Living Space for Bacteria

When a tooth pocket forms, it becomes the perfect spot for bacteria to grow and thrive. Since bone and gum tissue is supposed to fit very snugly around your tooth, the formation of a tooth pocket means supporting bone and tissue have been destroyed. Unfortunately, as these pockets deepen, bacteria is then able to advance under the gum tissue. If left untreated, the result could be additional bone loss and the need to extract the tooth.

Checking the Depth

To determine how much your gum disease has progressed, your dentist in Owensboro, KY will check the depth of your tooth pocket. In doing so, this will let your dentist know if the problem can be corrected by combining a daily at-home oral care regimen with professional care done at their office, or if your condition has progressed to the point where a periodontal pocket reduction procedure will be necessary. The deeper the pocket, the more likely you will need professional intervention in an effort to save your tooth from being extracted.

Keeping Your Natural Teeth

Since good oral hygiene is critical to your overall health, you should do all you can to keep your natural teeth intact. By incorporating a daily oral care routine that involves brushing at least twice per day and flossing once per day while also visiting your dentist for regular checkups, tooth pockets may be something you never encounter.

If you notice symptoms that may be related to gum disease, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Owensboro, Kentucky as soon as possible.

Woman holds fingers on her cheek showing toothache

The Dangers of DIY Tooth Extraction

You notice one of your teeth is severely loose—should you pull it yourself? No matter how loose a permanent tooth may be, you are much better off to trust tooth extraction in Owensboro to a qualified dentist. Here is a look at some of the things that can go wrong with a DIY tooth extraction.

Severe Pain

Tooth extraction can be painful. You are essentially ripping the tooth away from the soft connective tissue that supports it. Even a tooth that is really loose can have bits of connective tissue still in place. This is why dentists inject a local anesthetic to numb the nerves in the area and keep you comfortable throughout the procedure.

Nerve Damage

The mouth, gums, and jaws are filled with important nerves. Trigeminal nerves that lie near the teeth can actually be connected to multiple other points, such as the lips, gums, and chin. Damage to these nerves during extraction can bring about severe side effects, such as changes in speech or constant electrical pulse sensations. If you don’t know where these nerves are located, you could easily damage them during a DIY attempt to pull a permanent tooth.

Damage to Surrounding Teeth

When your tooth is pulled by a dentist, they do x-rays and thorough examinations to get familiar with the shape of your jaws and the positions of the surrounding teeth. They do this to make sure they can dislodge the existing tooth safely without causing damage to any of the surrounding teeth. When you attempt to pull a tooth on your own, you could easily cause permanent damage to the teeth that surround the area.

Work with an Owensboro Dentist to Have a Tooth Pulled

While teeth extractions are a highly routine dental procedure, this is a procedure that should be trusted to an Owensboro dentist. If you have a tooth that you suspect should be pulled, please reach out to us at the office of Dr. Travis Wilson DMD to schedule an appointment.

“Sedation Dentistry Is Hard on Your Brain” and Other Myths

Some studies indicate that as many as one out of three patients deals with some level of anxiety about going to the dentist. Thankfully, sedation dentistry in Owensboro can make these treatments more comfortable for patients who may not otherwise get the care they need. While sedation dentistry has become a normal part of modern-day dental care, this level of treatment is not immune to some pretty unfair myths.

Myth: Sedation dentistry is hard on your brain.

Sedation dentistry does not have long-term effects on your brain, your memory, or any of your neural processes. This myth stems from the fact that IV sedation is associated with losing memory of what took place, but there is no merit to the idea that the treatment is detrimental to your brain function.

Myth: You can still feel everything while sedated.

When you are sedated via IV, you won’t feel anything at all. However, if you are sedated with oral medications, you do retain your sensitivity. Therefore, if you opt for oral sedation with prescription medication before treatment, the dentist still follows the same protocols. They will use a local anesthetic to the area where work is being done so you don’t feel anything.

Myth: You stay groggy for days after sedation.

After being sedated, whether with IV sedation or oral medication, you may feel groggy for a few hours after treatment. However, most people are back to their fully alert state within a few hours. We do recommend that you arrange for someone to drive you back home from your appointment for this reason.

Find Out About Sedation Dentistry in Owensboro

If you’ve put off dental treatments you know you need because you are anxious about the procedure, sedation dentistry in Owensboro can be a saving grace. Reach out to us at Travis Wilson Family Dentistry to schedule your appointment for treatment with sedation today.

Boy at the dentist consultation. Checking and dental treatment in a clinic.

Think You Have a Cracked Tooth? Signs, Symptoms and What to Do

A cracked tooth is no fun! For some people, a cracked tooth can be painful. For other people, a cracked tooth can lead to problems like tooth rot and even a root canal. If you suspect that you have a cracked tooth, it’s important to recognize the signs of a problem – and to do something about it! Here’s what you need to know.

Signs of a Cracked Tooth

You can crack a tooth when you bite down on something hard, but some people crack their teeth by biting down on soft, chewy things like bread. Some people develop cracks in their teeth because they grind their teeth at night.

If you have a cracked tooth, you may not notice any signs at all. However, if you do have a cracked tooth, you may notice some signs such as:

  • Swelling around the gum.
  • Excessive sensitivity to hot and cold.
  • Occasional pain that seems to have no origin.
  • Pain when biting and chewing.

What to Do If You Have a Cracked Tooth

If you have a cracked tooth, it’s important to see a dentist for a checkup. You don’t have to live with pain in your teeth – and you shouldn’t! If you don’t see the dentist about a cracked tooth, you could find yourself struggling with tooth decay or an infection that could lead to a root canal!

If you suspect that you’ve got a cracked tooth, make an appointment with your dentist in Owensboro KY today. Your dentist can examine your teeth, find the source of your problem, and make recommendations for repair.

A Guide to Preventing and Handling Common Dental Emergencies

You take care of your family’s teeth by making sure that everyone brushes, flosses and goes to those important checkups. However, you’re not quite confident that you know what to do if someone experiences a dental emergency. After all, the thought of a knocked out tooth is enough to make your heart start racing.

Fortunately, most major dental problems are preventable with regular exams and cleanings. Yet surprises can happen, and all it takes is one bad fall or a ball hitting your child’s mouth to send them running to you with serious pain. Prepare for emergencies beforehand using these best practices for family dental care.

Focus On Preventing Oral Injuries

There are many ways to prevent having a dental emergency in the first place. For instance, having small cavities restored early prevents them from growing into larger ones that generate sensitivity. It is also important to avoid habits such as chewing on hard objects that can lead to chips and cracks in the enamel.

Kids are especially vulnerable to dental injuries because of their active lifestyle. Remind your kids to wear a mouth guard during their sports activities, and supervise activities such as jumping on a trampoline and riding a bike when falls are more common.

Consider the Level of Pain

The pain a person experiences from a tooth or gum injury can vary from one person to another. For some people, a minor cavity can feel intensely painful, while another person may not notice it at all. As a general rule, a dentist should see a person with any pain that does not respond to over-the-counter treatments as soon as possible.

For the most part, dental pain can wait until the next available appointment time, but intense, throbbing pain that interferes with the ability to carry on normally qualifies as an emergency. This is especially true if signs of infection are present such as redness, swelling or a pus-filled bubble anywhere in the mouth.

Know How to Handle Soft Tissue Injuries

At some point, everyone has received a minor injury to their cheeks or gums from a sharp chip or popcorn kernel. However, major cuts or lacerations are a dental emergency. To assess the damage, rinse the mouth out with warm water. If the cut is deep or won’t stop bleeding, contact your emergency dentist for an appointment.

Evaluate a Chipped Tooth

Trauma to the mouth sometimes results in a chipped tooth, and these can range from barely noticeable to an entire corner of your front tooth. For the most part, a chipped tooth that does not cause too much emotional or physical distress can wait a day or two until you can get in for a regular appointment.

Your dentist may prefer for you to come in sooner if the chip is extremely large or you are worried that it might have come close to the pulp. A chipped tooth that is causing pain may be a sign that it is deeper than you think, and your dentist should see this as soon as possible.

Preserve a Knocked Out Tooth

Contrary to what you might have heard, baby teeth that get knocked out should still be considered an emergency. This is because pieces of the tooth may still remain in the gums, or the impact may have damaged the adult tooth hiding beneath the baby tooth.

When an adult tooth has been knocked out, prompt dental care can sometimes preserve the tooth. Try to find the tooth, and place it in a glass of milk or warm water until you can reach the dentist. If you can hold it in the original socket in your mouth, do so.

Knowing how to handle a dental emergency gives you the best chance for saving your or your loved one’s smile. When dental pain or an injury strikes, contact the dental clinic of Travis Wilson D.M.D today so that you don’t have a delay in your care.

Dental Emergency — Boy at the Clinic in Owensboro, KY