I went to see a dentist because of serious pain I was having along with swelling in my cheek that went all the way up to my eye. He said I have a massive infection and gave me some antibiotics. I have been taking them. The infection seemed to be getting better but then got worse again. Now I am out of antibiotics. Do I just call to get a refill or is something else going on?
Are you certain the dentist you went to didn’t tell you to make a follow-up appointment? Antibiotics alone do not cure a tooth infection the way they do with other types of bacterial infections. Instead, they just keep the infection from spreading. The reason tooth infections are different is because, at some point, the pulp inside the tooth dies. This means there is no longer any blood flow to get the antibiotic to the infected tissue.
This means while the infection will seem to improve for a bit, without completing the treatment the infection will return. When that happens, it is dangerous and considered a dental emergency. This is where you are now.
The Solution to a Tooth Infection
The only way to truly solve a tooth infection is to remove the infected pulp. A dentist can do this two ways. The first is a root canal treatment. This is what you want because it will save your tooth. If that doesn’t work or it is too late to save the tooth, your next option is a tooth extraction.
If you end up having to extract the tooth, you’ll also want to replace it. Because you lose the root of your tooth when you have an extraction, you will want to replace that root. The only tooth replacement that does this is a dental implant. Without replacing the root, the minerals in the jawbone where the tooth was will begin to resorb and the bone in that area begins to disappear.
Bottom line, this is serious. Get to a dentist right away and get this treated.
This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.
My husband had a tooth that was causing him a great deal of pain for over a year. Throughout that time, I would periodically remind him that it was likely going to result in a root canal if he did not have it checked out. As I had warned him, he ended up dealing with a terrible toothache and had to make a trip to an emergency dentist. However, the emergency dentist only treated him with a crown. Should he have had a root canal?
There are many causes of tooth pain. A cavity, cracked tooth, infection, and numerous other problems can cause pain. Typically, when the decay reaches the center of a tooth, or is near a nerve, it causes the nerve to send signals of distress in the form on pain or discomfort. They can also be necessary if a tooth becomes infected or dead. Needless to say, tooth pain doesn’t always equal a root canal, as different causes of pain need to be treated in different ways.
The emergency dentist should have explained the diagnosis to you, so you knew what was occurring and why. If he failed to do so, you could call the office and find out exactly what was wrong with the tooth.
Something else to learn from this experience is that you can’t waste any time when it comes to tooth problems. The quicker a problem is addressed, the less treatment is typically needed.