I can tell you all of this is my own fault. If I’d taken care of my teeth to begin with or at least had a dentist of my own, I’d have never needed this emergency dental visit to begin with. That being said, this dentist really did a number on me and I don’t know what to do from here. I had some pretty bad tooth pain and needed to see a dentist. I did a search for an emergency dentist and went to one who was willing to see me right away. He said there were two teeth which couldn’t be saved and offered to extract them right then. I agreed. Truthfully, I’d have agreed to anything at that point because of the pain. I may have either been willing to take it out myself. I felt better at the time, but then the next day the whole area felt weird and my nose was making weird sounds and noises. I called the office, they suggested I take a decongestant. That should have concerned me, but for some reason I trusted them. Then I developed a fever and started having badly colored and foul-smelling drainage. I insisted on him seeing me and he offered to write me a prescription for an antibiotic and a heavy narcotic painkiller. I told him I want to be seen. They reluctantly agreed. When he examined me he said it appears that my sinuses were perforated during the extraction. He pulled out pieces of bone, prescribed what he said he would. I filled the prescriptions and left confused as to how he didn’t realize how he’d perforated my sinus. I’m in too much pain and too confused from the pain meds to think clearly at this point. Plus, the antibiotics don’t seem to be working. It’s been over a week and I seem to be getting worse. What do I do?
The first thing you need to do is call your family doctor. You now have a serious infection and the dentist you visited obviously has no clue what he’s doing. He’s got you on the wrong antibiotics. Let your doc know what’s going on and what you’ve been taking so he can get you on the right ones.
Next, you’ll need another emergency appointment but this time with an ENT. It’s not uncommon for a sinus cavity to get perforated during a tooth extraction. However, the dentist should have noticed it. I’m not sure why he didn’t. That sounds like incompetence. There are specific protocols to take when that happens in order to aide with healing. In general, following those, the situation recovers fine on its own.
Yours, however, has gone so far that you may need surgery. Because the neglect of your dentist caused this you have good cause to either get a refund for his treatment or he cover the cost of repairs. In the meantime, be sure you don’t put any undo pressure on the site by blowing your nose or anything similar.
How to Avoid an Emergency Dentist
You said you don’t have your own dentist. In my experience, that is ususally from one of two reasons—financial or fear.
If finances are an issue, many dentists are willing to work with you. Most dentists enter the field because they want to help people. Even if you have no dental insurance, they will likely have a system for payment plans or work through Care Credit to help you get the care you need.
If fear is more what keeps you out of the chair, often just a touch of nitrous oxide or another form of sedation is enough to relax you and give you a stress-free dental appointment. Hoenstly preventative dentistry is the best way to keep from needing emergency dental care.
Even if it can’t prevent every cavity, it can almost always catch them early enough where you’d only need a simple filling, which is a lot less money than a root canal treatment or tooth extraction, like you’re facing now.
Best of luck to you. Please see that ENT right away.
This blog is brought to you by Des Moines Dentist Dr. Phelan Thomas.