I was in for my checkup and my dentist said I have the start of a tooth infection. She wanted to schedule for me to come back in a few days to get it dealt with. I told her it wouldn’t be necessary because I am on an antibiotic for an ear infection and the antibiotic will cover it. She insists it won’t take care of it and that I need to come in. Is she taking me for a ride?
Believe it or not, your dentist isn’t just trying to line her pockets. She’s trying to keep you from needing an emergency dentist. An antibiotic can stave off a dental infection for a bit, but it won’t remove it completely. Then, when the pulp dies, it will spread and antibiotics won’t do any good because there’s no blood flow inside a tooth with dead pulp.
When you’re talking about a dental infection the dentist has to get in there and physically dig it out with a root canal treatment and likely a dental crown as well.
Don’t Put Off Treatment for Tooth Infections
First, you need to be aware that people still die from tooth infections. They do spread. Your jaw is very close to your brain and heart. Things get serious quickly if they reach one of those areas. Often, it’s too late.
If you catch it early enough, a root canal treatment should be enough. If you don’t, then you’re talking about a tooth extraction. I will tell you that the infection can interfere with the numbing medicine making it a painful experience. Antibiotics are often used in that case to slow the infection down and get it under control enough to do an extraction.
You’ll next be facing a tooth replacement. Those can be quite expensive. So, if your dentist was trying to make money off of you, she’d make more waiting until you’re in so much pain that you’ll need much more invasive procedures.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Murphree.