I had a tooth infection and went to see the dentist, he gave me some antibiotics. At first, I got better, but a few days afterward the infection came back. Do I just get a refill or do I need another antibiotic?
I am glad you wrote. When you went to see your dentist for your tooth infection, giving you antibiotics was just supposed to be a temporary measure until you could receive the real treatment. Antibiotics will not heal a dental infection. It will just hold it off.
In order to treat a dental infection, your dentist will have to go in and physically remove the infected pulp. There are two ways to do that. The first is to get a root canal treatment. This is the ideal solution because it saves your tooth. If that isn’t possible, the other solution is to extract the tooth. My hope is it won’t come to that for you if you get treatment in a timely manner. Not only is an extraction a more difficult treatment, but it will also require you to replace the missing tooth.
A tooth infection is considered a dental emergency. This is even more so for you because the infection started to ease up, but once your antibiotic was finished, it flared back up. This means it is likely spreading as well. If you think about how close your jaw is to your heart, lungs, and brain, you can understand how some dental infections turn life-threatening.
If your dentist didn’t understand that further treatment was required, then I highly suggest you find another dentist. Hopefully, it was just a miscommunication where you slipped through the cracks.
If Your Tooth Cannot Be Saved
It’s possible, if your tooth was left untreated for too long, that it will have to be extracted. If that is the case, you’ll want to look at your tooth replacement options. Ideally, you would want to replace your tooth with a dental implant. These are the closest to having a healthy, natural tooth in your jaw again.
Another good replacement is a dental bridge. This is a false tooth suspended between two dental crowns. It makes much more sense to use this replacement if the adjacent teeth need a crown, but if you can’t afford a dental implant, this is the next best solution.
This blog is brought to you by Des Moines Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Phelan Thomas.