I called in for an emergency dentist appointment because I had a tooth that was really bothering me. I was overdue for a filling, so I mentioned that over the phone. But, I wasn’t entirely sure which tooth it was because it felt like the pain was stemming from the neighboring tooth. I went in fully expecting for the dentist to give me a couple fillings. He did some tests where he banged on my tooth. Ouch! Then, he concluded that I needed a filling. But I already knew that! So, I asked him to re-check the tooth that I originally thought needed a filling and what do you know – he agreed. So, why didn’t he take care of them? Was he just out of time for the day? This emergency dentist appointment was a complete waste of time. I already knew I needed a filling. Is it possible he misdiagnosed me and the tooth could be infected or that there could be anything more serious going on?
-Ben in Idaho
If you had a tooth infection, it would be pretty easy to spot in an examination. Even though you are in pain, you may not require a root canal. Cavities can run deep but can still be addressed with a filling. And it sounds like that is the approach the emergency dentist is recommending.
The dentist was confirming which tooth needed the filling, because in some cases, pain can refer to other areas. You did the right thing by going in to see the emergency dentist right away. The dentist was administering the proper due diligence required to provide the correct treatment plan. So, even if he seemed rushed, this appointment sounded like an examination and not a treatment appointment.
Although, it is a bit unusual that you had to prompt the dentist to re-check the tooth that you originally were thinking required a filling. So it is understandable that you would be unsure of the diagnosis, especially if the dentist seemed hurried. Many practices will leave room in the daily schedule to accommodate a dental emergency. Whereas others may squeeze you in between other appointments. This could have been what you experienced.
It would be in your best interest have those fillings taken care of as soon as possible, so they don’t get any worse. You failed to mention if you are a regular patient of record? If not, you may call in to another dentist to seek a second opinion, if you are still unsure of the diagnosis. When you make the new appointment, you can state that you have received the current diagnosis and you would like them to confirm it and also have the treatment done at the same time. This will give them ample time to diagnose and properly treat the problem. Thank you for your question.
This post is sponsored by York PA dentist Donald H. Currie, DMD