Dr. Nammy Patel, founder of Green Dentistry in San Francisco, and author of the bestselling book, Age With Style— A Guide to a Youthful Smile and Healthy Living, discusses emergency dental care.

John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Dr. Nammy Patel, founder of Green Dentistry in San Francisco, California, helping patients recognize the vital connection between dental health and whole body health, and author of the best selling book Age with Style: Guide to a Youthful Smile and Healthy Living. Today, our topic is emergency dental care. Welcome, Dr. Nammy.

Dr. Nammy: Hi, John. Thank you for having me.

Dental Emergencies

John: Sure. So Dr. Nammy, what types of conditions are considered dental emergencies?

Dr. Nammy: So John, a dental emergency is anything that causes you pain. For example, a toothache or an abscess would be something that would be considered a dental emergency, a chipped tooth, a fractured crown. Those would be all considered dental emergencies.

John: Okay. And how quickly can I get an appointment if I have a dental emergency like that?

Dr. Nammy: In our practice, we specialize in seeing patients on the same day. So we actually allot a few times for our patients, if they’re ever in pain, because we want to help them get comfortable.

John: So you leave slots open during your day, assuming that you’re going to get a few calls each day from somebody, saying “I need to come in right away and see you.”

Dr. Nammy: Yes. Because dental emergencies unfortunately are not planned.

John: Sure.

Dr. Nammy: And they happen at the most inopportune time. The majority of the time it’s because somebody is on vacation, and they had a tooth they’ve been meaning to get to, but didn’t get a chance to, or they’re heading out somewhere, or they’re going from one place to another. And they’ve been thinking about doing this, but they’re like, “Oh, I’ll do it when I get back from vacation,” and it happens right away. And sometimes it’s unknown, where you just didn’t know something was going to happen and it just started hurting. And anytime we’re in pain, we want to help you get comfortable. So we actually allot a few times to make sure that we do that for you.

John: Okay. And what are some of the most common procedures that you perform to correct a dental emergency?

Dr. Nammy: A lot of times, the easiest procedures, or the most common that I see, are crowns. A lot of times we use a lot of lasers to remove infection. Sometimes people need a root canal, so we work with a root canal specialist to help them get a root canal. A lot of times it’s also deep cleanings, because there’s so much infection in the tissue that it causes them pain and discomfort. So we remove the bacteria to make them feel more comfortable.

Following an Emergency Procedure

John: Okay. And do I generally need a follow-up after I have an emergency procedure done? Are you fixing the immediate issue, but then I’m probably going to need to come and see you again in a few weeks or a couple of months or something like that, in order to do a more final solution?

Dr. Nammy: What we usually like to do is to look at the final solution in the beginning, because it saves you a lot of time, money and tooth. So when we have you come in, even if it’s for an emergency, we look at the entire mouth and we look at what is going on and how can we best resolve the situation for you so that it’s long lasting, it’ll save you time and money, and you’ll be more comfortable. And so we do a thorough analysis to make sure that we’re giving you a long term solution.

John: All right. That’s great information, Dr. Nammy. Thanks again for speaking with me today.

Dr. Nammy: My pleasure.

John: And for more information about Green Dentistry, visit the website at sfgreendentist.com, or call (415)-433-0119.