Post-Emergency Dental Treatment Care

Post-Emergency Dental Treatment Care

Any kind of dental treatment can carry with it some after-effects that every patient should be aware of. After your procedure, your dentist should tell you about what to expect at home, or even provide you with some paperwork, depending on the extent of the treatment. Sometimes you will be asked to come back for a follow-up appointment just to make sure everything is healing OK, especially when it comes to more involved procedures like root canals.

It’s important to follow guidelines for care to ensure you have the best recovery possible. Here’s what you can expect in terms of post-treatment care.

  • Novocaine: Many times, Novocaine is administered to numb the area of your mouth where the dentist will be working. From root canals to fillings, this medication prevents you from feeling pain. It can last for several hours afterwards, so eating and drinking may be a challenge. You can usually resume normal eating activity right away as you feel comfortable, but just be aware the numbness can dull your reaction to heat and cold. So be careful when sipping a hot coffee!
  • Swelling/discomfort: After treatment, sometimes patients can feel discomfort or swelling. This is completely normal and should go away within a day or two. Your dentist may tell you to take some over the counter pain reliever for the pain or she may prescribe narcotic medication that’s a bit stronger. In the latter case, be careful driving a car or operating machinery. Use a cold compress on the area to reduce swelling.
  • Uneven bite: In the case of a new filling, your dentist will do everything he can to ensure the bite is even. But sometimes you don’t realize till you get home that biting down just feels weird and uneven. Make an appointment to go back and have him shave it down until it feels right.
  • Severe pain/pressure: If these symptoms last more than a couple of days, call your dentist. Pain should not linger more than three days or so.
  • Allergic reactions: If you get home and notice hives, swelling, itching or rash, get to the doctor right away. This could indicate an allergy to the medication (lidocaine or Novocaine), the filling material used by the dentist, or even the latex gloves used by the hygienist. Usually, allergic reactions will manifest themselves fairly quickly after exposure, but in some cases the reaction may be delayed.
  • Loss of temporary crown or filling: Sometimes fillings and crowns can dislodge or fall out entirely. Call your dentist for the next course of action.
  • Previous symptoms return: If you were treated for decay due to toothache, for example, but the initial pain you felt from the toothache returns within days or weeks, call the dentist.

Being aware of how your body reacts to dental treatment is key. It doesn’t hurt to call the dentist if something just doesn’t feel right. Redwood Dental will always let you know post-care instructions. Feel free to call us at 800-462-2222!


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What to do if Your Filling Falls Out

What to do if Your Filling Falls Out

Also known as dental restorations, fillings help to replace tooth structure that has been lost due to decay. They are long-lasting, but they don’t last forever. Many of you adults out there approaching your 40s may see the need for replacing your fillings from childhood because they are starting to chip or fall out in pieces. That’s perfectly normal. This can be brought on by biting into something too hard, clenching or grinding the teeth, or simply due to old age (the filling, not you!).

You may notice your filling is starting to fail on your own, or your dentist may notice this at a regular cleaning. You will likely be told to schedule an appointment right away to replace the damaged filling. That’s because chipped or cracked fillings can leave gaps where bacteria can get in and cause decay. The longer you let this issue go, the higher your chances of getting an infection, which is a whole other type of emergency service. When the decay affects the pulp of the tooth, this usually leads to the need for a root canal.

Early Detection and Treatment

Every time you have a cleaning, the dentist will check your fillings with a tool called an explorer, looking for any signs of failure or weakness. If it is worn and your dentist deems that it should be replaced, you will be asked to come back for another appointment quite soon to get the problem addressed. If there is a question of decay, an x-ray will be taken to give the dentist more information.

Early detection and treatment are the two main ways to combat decay and disease. That’s why it’s important to keep up with regular cleanings so your dentist can keep an eye on your fillings. Don’t wait until you have a tooth ache or you see a crack in the surface of your tooth. Delaying can only add stress to the tooth and introduce the possibility of bacteria. By getting the filling replaced as soon as possible, you can lessen the likelihood of undergoing extensive and costly procedures.

What to Expect

Most patients opt for composite, or tooth-colored fillings, these days over the silver ones. All it takes is just one visit for about 45 minutes total. Your dentist will remove the decayed part of the tooth, followed by a thorough cleaning. Novocaine is applied to keep discomfort at bay. The dentist will then add the composite filling material, setting it with a special light. Once the composite resin dries, you’re free to leave and resume regular activity.

If you suspect a filling has chipped, cracked or fallen out completely, call your dentist for an emergency appointment. Redwood Dental is a reputable emergency dentist with several locations to choose from. Call us now at 800-462-2222.



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Toothache: The Causes

Toothache: The Causes

Tooth decay is the most common cause of a toothache, which is why you need to maintain healthy oral care and visit the dentist every six months. If you already have a toothache, get to the dentist as soon as possible for a complete oral examination to find out the cause.

Many other things can lead to a toothache, as well, such as:

  • Infection
  • Gum disease
  • Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism
  • Tooth trauma
  • Abnormal bite
  • Tooth eruption in infants and school-age children

Keep in mind that TMJ/TMD, sinus or ear infections, and tension in the facial muscles can all present symptoms that are similar to a toothache but are entirely different things. All of those health problems come with a headache. It’s important to get those symptoms checked out by a dentist.

Also, if you are experiencing pain around the teeth and jaws, this could signal heart disease such as angina. Your dentist may suspect this is the case and will refer you to your primary care physician or a specialist for further treatment.

Toothaches can also indicate that you have a cavity or advanced gum disease. If you wince when eating something sweet, cold or hot, a cavity could be to blame. This is because the pulp of your tooth is irritated and causing pain.  


Toothache symptoms often mimic other medical conditions or dental issues, making it hard for your dentist to diagnose the root of the problem. While general discomfort is OK to wait until morning to call the dentist, if you see pus oozing near the source of the pain, this constitutes an emergency call. This means your tooth could be abscessed, resulting in an infection to the surrounding bone. If this is accompanied by fever, all the more reason to call right away.

Pus could also signal gum disease, which presents as inflammation or bleeding of the soft tissue. Here are some good reasons to call your dentist immediately:

  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Swelling
  • Pain when biting down
  • Foul-tasting discharge
  • Long-lasting pain

In the Meantime…

Before you can get to the dentist, there are some things you can do to alleviate the pain:

  • Rinse mouth out with salt water.
  • Floss teeth gently to get any food particles out.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever as directed.
  • Use an over-the-counter antiseptic containing benzocaine on the irritated tooth and gum.
  • Put a cold compress on the cheek to relieve pain and swelling in the case of trauma.

Once you are able to secure an appointment, your dentist will give you a full exam and take x-rays if warranted. He or she may also prescribe pain medication or antibiotics to relieve your discomfort. If you let the toothache go so long that it becomes infected and decayed, you may require tooth removal or a root canal.

To prevent toothaches from happening in the future, be sure to brush after meals and floss once a day. Keep up with your six-month visits, too.

Call Redwood Dental at 800-462-2222 if you have a dental emergency such as a severe toothache.

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How Dental Veneers Work

How Dental Veneers Work

What are dental veneers? Are they a good fit for my smile? In order to determine if dental veneers are right for you, it helps to understand how they are installed and what they are designed for. Let’s take a closer look at how dental veneers work and why they’re so sought after.

Dental Veneer Consultation

The first step in any cosmetic dentistry process is a consultation. This is when you talk to the dentist about your goals to figure out the best plan for your smile. Instead of veneers, you may be better off with invisible braces and teeth whitening. If you want veneers to fill a gap in your smile, cosmetic tooth bonding might do the trick. There are tons of options out there, and your dentist will give you insight into which one is best for you.

The cosmetic dentist may create a model of your new teeth for you to look at. This will not be an exact depiction of the permanent veneers, but it will give you an idea of how your new teeth will appear. If you do not receive a physical model of your teeth (usually made of wax), you may see a digital illustration on the computer.

Preparing The Teeth

The dental veneers will be adhered directly to the surface of your teeth. In order to make room for that, a tiny layer of your enamel may need to be shaved off – only the thickness of the veneer. The cosmetic dentistry staff will take a mold of your teeth to send off to the lab. Then they will create your permanent veneers. In the meantime, you will get a set of temporary veneers to wear so you can chew and smile like normal.

Attaching The Dental Veneers To Your Teeth

Once your dental veneers arrive, your cosmetic dentist will carefully adhere each one to the corresponding tooth. A special cement is used to make sure the veneers stay in place. Each tooth is lined up so that it fits properly in your mouth. The dentist will check the alignment throughout the appointment to make sure the procedure is going smoothly.

Caring For The Veneers

Caring for dental veneers is much like caring for your natural teeth. Brush and floss gently to remove day-to-day plaque, and visit your dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning. The team here at Redwood Dental will provide any specialized aftercare tips you need based on your oral health history.


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Benefits Of Porcelain Veneers

Benefits Of Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers have become a staple in the cosmetic dentistry industry because of their versatility, durability and shine. Whether you want to transform your smile or repair a single tooth, veneers could be the perfect solution for you. In this guide, we will explore the benefits of porcelain veneers to give you better insight into this smile makeover solution.

Permanently Change The Color Of Your Teeth

Teeth naturally become discolored over time, even with consistent brushing and flossing. With porcelain veneers, you can stop the staining process altogether. Porcelain cannot stain like teeth enamel, so it will not turn yellow based on the foods you eat and liquids you drink. Your porcelain smile will look brilliantly white for the entire lifespan of the veneers.
Note that if you are only getting veneers in part of your smile, the stain-defense of porcelain may be a disadvantage. If the rest of your teeth get discolored, your porcelain veneers will be noticeable. You could either get your teeth whitened every so often to accommodate for that, or you could explore other veneer materials.

Fix Gaps And Alignment Issues

Porcelain veneers can be used to fill in small gaps and correct minor misalignments in your smile. They cannot fix major misalignments. Those need to be adjusted with metal or invisible braces before the veneers go on. If you just have one tooth slightly out of place though, you can straighten your smile when you get porcelain veneers. The cosmetic dentist will make the appropriate adjustments to make your new smile look exactly how you want it.

Adjust Tooth Sizes And Shapes

If you aren’t happy with the size and shape of your teeth, you can correct that with porcelain veneers. For instance, if you want longer teeth to complement your face better, you could get veneers that are longer than your natural teeth. If your teeth are thin with gaps in between, the porcelain veneers would fill in the spaces. Everything would be designed in proportion to your features so your new smile looks natural and realistic.
If you would like to learn more about porcelain veneers, contact Redwood Dental. We have eight locations in the Metro Detroit, MI area. All of our offices provide cosmetic dentistry services using the most advanced equipment on the market. We will examine your smile and come up with a personalized care plan to suit your needs.

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Redwood Dental: Making Metro Detroit Smile Since 1962

Redwood Dental: Making Metro Detroit Smile Since 1962

When it comes to a dentist, it’s important to choose a reliable, capable and well-respected provider. After all, your smile is your billboard!

Did you know that Redwood Dental has been servicing metro Detroit for over 50 years? Providing healthy smiles to families is our livelihood and we are proud to employ a top-notch dental staff who are experts in their field.

Read on to learn more about why Redwood Dental is a metro Detroit staple.

Love going to the dentist

Though for many folks, going to the dentist isn’t exactly their favorite pastime, we are here to help you love going to the dentist. Our goal is to be sure that each and every patient feels comfortable from the moment they walk in and throughout every dental treatment. And, above all, we strive to ensure that your expectations are exceeded.

With a focus on patient safety and education, each of our dentists provide both unmatched skill along with a listening ear…after all, your dental concerns are our concerns, as well. Throughout your visit at Redwood Dental, our staff takes care to listen to your needs while also providing valuable feedback and tips that you can put into place at home to keep your smile its best. Our hope is that your mouth remains so healthy that you only need to visit us twice a year for checkups!

Your one-stop dental shop

When you choose Redwood Dental, you have chosen a team who can address any and all of your family’s dental needs. And with eight locations across metro Detroit, we make going to the dentist convenient. Further, we offer extended hours and we accept most insurances.

We truly believe that everyone deserves quality dental care. That’s why we offer affordable family dentistry, top-notch cosmetic dentistry and caring pediatric dentistry, as well as emergency dental services in southeast Michigan, and much more.  

Whether you are experiencing a dental issue or are due for your six-month checkup, Redwood Dental is your first step to a healthier mouth.

Respected metro Detroit dentist

Redwood Dental’s caring dental staff can help you achieve the smile you’ve been dreaming of. As a full-service dentist office in southeast Michigan, Redwood Dental is proud to be a dentist of choice in southeast Michigan. And no matter the dental need, rest assured that Redwood Dental is here to serve you.

As a longstanding southeast Michigan dentist, we take our patients’ satisfaction and comfort seriously. That’s why we offer painless dentistry in metro Detroit with flexible financing to ensure all patients receive the dental care they need at a price they can afford.

Are you interested in learning more about your dental options? Please contact us today.

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How Does the Dentist Repair a Chipped or Cracked Tooth?

How Does the Dentist Repair a Chipped or Cracked Tooth?

Chipping and cracking of the teeth is a fairly common occurrence. They can arise from a sudden trauma to the face or a fall. They can even happen when biting into something very hard.

Getting seen immediately is important so as to prevent loss of the tooth and to ensure the highest chances of repair success.

There are many solutions to fixing cracked or chipped teeth. The procedure your dentist goes with will depend on the type and severity of your case.

Dental Bonding

Also known as composite bonding, this procedure can repair chipped and cracked teeth and can last up to 10 years. You don’t generally need anesthesia so this is an easy in-office treatment. First, the dentist will roughen your tooth and apply a conditioning liquid. Then, he will apply a special putty, mold it and smooth it down. To set it, an ultraviolet light is used. Once dried, your dentist can further shape and polish it so it perfectly matches the rest of the tooth.


Essentially coverings for your damaged tooth, porcelain veneers give you realistic results and can last up to 30 years. Your dentist will first prepare your tooth for the veneer, shaving off some of the structure before taking an impression. Once the veneer is created in a lab, the dentist will call you back in for a visit to bond the veneer to your tooth.


For badly chipped teeth, crowns can be a great solution. These are essentially caps that cover your teeth and provide protection. Crafted from tooth-colored porcelain, crowns offer a more uniform appearance in line with your existing teeth. Similar to a veneer, the dentist will prepare the tooth, take impressions, send them off to the lab and then apply the final crown to your tooth.

Root Canal

Sometimes a crack is so bad that is extends into the pulp of the tooth. In this case, you will need a root canal to remove the nerve of the tooth. Some time after that procedure, you will need a crown to ensure the crack does not worsen. First, you will get an x-ray to find out if infection is present. Then, you may be sedated for the procedure depending on your preferences. The dentist drills into the tooth, takes out the pulp and nerve, then seals it. Later, a crown will be applied.

Dental Implant

For cracks that go underneath the gum line, a dental implant is necessary because the existing tooth is no longer viable. After tooth extraction, you will need an implant which will take the place of your lost tooth. The implant is made up of a biocompatible titanium screw surgically placed into the jawbone. After the bone has fused with the screws (about a few months), impressions of the teeth are taken and a customized abutment and dental crown will be created. At a later appointment, the permanent crown will be applied.

It’s important to see your emergency dentist right away after experiencing a bad chip or crack. Call Redwood Dental at 800-462-2222.

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How to Handle Root Canal Complications

How to Handle Root Canal Complications

If you’ve had a root canal in the recent past, your dentist probably went over the possible risks and side effects of this procedure. You may have been half listening at the time, thinking nothing bad would happen. And for the vast majority of patients, nothing bad does happen. However, with any procedure of this kind, there is always a risk of infection and other complications after the fact.

Know what to do in case you experience these complications

  • Pain: A root canal is a fairly invasive procedure when you think about it. The dentist has to clean out the root and repair it, replacing the natural tooth with an implant. While you may not feel the procedure itself because of the Novocain, you may start to feel pain and discomfort in the days afterwards. You may feel a dull ache or sharp pains for a few days; whatever the case, this is normal and can be alleviated most times by over the counter pain medication. Sometimes, though, the pain is so bad that you can’t think of anything else or carry on regular activities. This is not normal. This could be due to the presence of bacteria. Also, be on the lookout for pain that comes and goes.
  • Undetected cracks: Bacteria can grow if a crack in the root of your tooth goes undetected. You may need further treatment in this case. You don’t want that crack to expose the root of your tooth to more bacteria.
  • Defective materials: Sometimes, the materials used in the initial root canal were defective. Sometimes the inner seal that the dentist uses for your root canal erodes, again leading to bacteria transfer.


Before having a root canal, listen carefully to the risks and what to do in the event you experience any of the above symptoms. Following after-care directions is also critical in ensuring quick healing. If you feel like something is off, or you have too much pain, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist to get in for an emergency appointment. Attend all follow-up appointments so as to detect possible problems and treat them before they worsen.

Redwood Dental is your trusted emergency dentist with eight convenient locations. Call us now at 800-462-2222 if you are experiencing symptoms associated with a recent root canal.


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Filling the Gaps: How to Fix Your Smile

Filling the Gaps: How to Fix Your Smile

If you’ve fallen, been in an accident or taken a baseball to the mouth, you may have encountered a dental emergency that necessitated a trip to the ER or after-hours at your dentist. Saving a missing tooth is possible if the tooth is saved correctly and immediate treatment is sought, but sometimes a tooth just can’t be saved. And it doesn’t just occur through accident. Sometimes disease can cause the need for tooth extraction.

You don’t want to go through life with a gap in your teeth, especially when it involves the front top or bottom ones, so how can you fill in those missing spaces professionally? The answer is with a dental implant. These implants not only save your smile, they can save your health as well.

Missing teeth replacement is crucial to maintaining good oral health as well as your general physical health. In fact, there are many benefits of dental implants that contribute to your quality of life. They can:

  • Improve your appearance and speech
  • Keep osteoporosis and bone loss at bay
  • Ensure the rest of your teeth don’t become susceptible to further tooth loss
  • Allow you to eat healthier foods rather than soft, processed foods that are easier to chew when you have missing teeth
  • Keep your jaws strong and healthy
  • Prevent general health problems such as inflammatory diseases from dental bacteria

Emergency Dental Services to the Rescue

When you experience sudden trauma to the tooth, time is of the essence. That’s why Redwood Dental offers emergency dental services and hours – so that you can get examined and treated right away. Even waiting overnight post tooth loss can hurt your chances of recovering the viability of your tooth. The sooner a natural tooth can be replaced within the gums, the better chance of keeping it.

According to the American Association of Endondontists, more than five million teeth are knocked out each year in this country, but with proper emergency action, the tooth can be saved and replanted successfully. You have to act quickly, though. Within 30 minutes, get to the emergency dentist or the ER.

 How Implants Help

To close up those gaps and insert a natural-looking tooth, a dental implant is inserted into the gum and attached to the jaw bone. This will be just as strong as the original one once fused and fully healed. You’ll then need a custom crown to be placed on top, which will mimic the look and feel of your natural tooth.

Dental implants can be the natural solution to a temporary problem. If you have lost a tooth, get help right away. Call Redwood Dental at 800-462-2222 to see how we can fill the gaps in your smile.

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Types of Cracked Teeth

Types of Cracked Teeth

Cracked teeth constitute a dental emergency. If you wait to be seen, infection could set in. Seeing your dentist right away can increase the chances of avoiding further damage and saving your tooth. There are a variety of types of cracked teeth. The type and severity of the crack will dictate which procedure the dentist will use, from bonding to crowns to dental implants.

  • Craze lines: These tiny cracks in the outer enamel are not usually serious. They happen to many people. In fact, they’re pretty common in adults. These shallow lines are not painful and don’t pose cause for concern beyond their appearance.
  • Fractured cusp: This is when a piece of your tooth’s surface breaks off. This typically occurs around a filling and generally doesn’t damage the pulp or cause much pain. However, your dentist can apply a new filling or crown over the damaged tooth for protection.
  • Cracked tooth: This is when the crack extends from the chewing surface down toward the root. It’s important to be seen right away in this instance in order to save the tooth. If you leave it be, the crack will spread and you can introduce the possibility of bacteria. You will need a root canal if the crack has affected the pulp. If the crack goes beyond the gum line, extraction is necessary, as the tooth is no longer viable.
  • Split tooth: This is the result of a cracked tooth that was never fixed in the first place. You’ll notice a crack with clearly defined segments that can be separated in half. This type of crack cannot be repaired. Tooth extraction and dental implants are required.
  • Vertical root fracture: This is indicative of cracks that start in the root of the tooth and extend toward the surface. Many people don’t even know they have this type of crack until they suffer from bone and gum infection. Extraction may be necessary; sometimes, though, endodontic surgery can be an option if the fractured portion can be safely removed.

Tips to Prevent Cracking

Sometimes, cracks are unavoidable, such as in the case of sudden trauma or accident. Other times, cracks result from preventable actions. Heed these tips to reduce your chances of cracking a tooth:

  • Avoid chewing on hard candies, ice, unpopped popcorn kernels or pens.
  • Don’t clench or grind your teeth.
  • If you feel you are clenching or grinding during sleep, ask your dentist about being fitted for a mouthguard or retainer for protection.
  • Always wear a mouthguard or mask when playing sports.

If you do experience a cracked tooth, get to your emergency dentist right away. Redwood Dental conveniently offers emergency dental services, so call us at 800-462-2222.

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