Tag Archives: no dental insurance

Can’t Afford Tooth Care

I have had a decaying wisdom tooth for some time. I just don’t have money for the dentist. Lately, though the pain is going up my cheekbone toward my eye. Because it is not just in my tooth, do you think I could get antibiotics for a doctor for the infection? I have medical insurance, but not dental insurance.


Dear Eric,

Man in pain, grabbing his cheek in need of emergency dental care.

I don’t want you to mess around with this. Believe it or not, people still die from tooth infections. While you could go to your doctor and he might give you an antibiotic, all that will do is hold the infection back for a short time. As soon as the antibiotic finishes, the infection will flare back up.

Dental infections are different than other types because once the pulp of the tooth is infected and dies there is no blood flow in the tooth. The antibiotic cannot reach the root of the infection. The only way to “heal” a tooth infection is to physically remove the infected pulp.

Normally, if the tooth can be saved, the best treatment option will be a root canal treatment. However, with a wisdom tooth you would just extract it.

Affording Dental Care

I know that does not mean you have any more money. However, I want you to think about what will happen when this infection spreads. It is already moving up your cheek. It is not too far from there to your brain. An infection like that will be life-threatening.

One thing I would do is look for a dentist who advertises as an affordable dentist. This almost always means they are willing to work out payment options for patients. That will especially be likely in a situation such as yours where there is an urgent care situation.

Another option, if you can’t find a dentist willing to work with you is to work through Care Credit. This is a medical credit card that will pay for your care and allow you to pay it off. You have to have reasonable credit, but if you qualify their terms are remarkably good.

Please don’t put this off.
This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.

How dangerous is an infected tooth?

So here’s the deal… I think I have a broken molar. It’s way in the back right next to the spot where my wisdom tooth used to be. I have very painful sensations in my cheek and jaw and up into my sinuses. Now the pain has radiated to my head, ear, and even into my neck. The best way to describe it is that the pain starts in my ear and moves all the way around into my neck.

Do you think this is a dental emergency? I don’t have dental insurance and don’t have the money for a tooth extraction? It may not be the tooth at all and maybe is more related to my sinuses. Can you tell me if I’m in any danger or give me an idea of what is going on?

– Cindy in Georgia


What you have described sounds very dangerous. It sounds like you have a tooth infection from the broken tooth. And now it is spreading which will continue if you don’t get it taken care of as soon as possible.

You may check with a local hospital or dental agency to see if they will help you out. Many areas will treat residents that need serious procedures done. Keep calling around and if you can’t find someone to help, just go to the emergency room. They will be able to help you temporarily.

Antibiotics is important to treat the infection. But most importantly you need to have the tooth taken out or repaired so the you don’t build up resistance to the antibiotic. If you only take the antibiotic and don’t take care of the tooth, you risk a more serious problem than you already have. The reason for this is that the medication will not get inside the infected tooth. What needs to be done is a tooth extraction or root canal treatment.

Act soon before it gets worse!

This post is sponsored by Gilbert dentist Vista Dorada Dental.

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