I went in for a toothache and my dentist said I have an infected tooth. He prescribed me an antibiotic, which I took diligently. While the infection started to get better, it has now flared back up. Do I need to have him call in a second round of antibiotics or do I ask for a stronger antibiotic?
I think there was some miscommunication here. While antibiotics are sometimes prescribed for tooth infections to either get them under control before treatment or hold it at bay until treatment, it is not enough on its own. What will happen, as you have experienced, is the infection will improve a bit but then flare back up once you are no longer taking the medication.
There are two viable treatments for a tooth infection. The first is a root canal treatment. This is the preferred treatment because it will enable you to keep your tooth. You never want to lose a tooth if it can be helped. The second option is to have the tooth extracted. While it will get rid of the infection, it does mean you will need to replace the tooth. If you leave the open space there, the other teeth will drift or tip into the spot. This will throw off your bite which will lead to jaw pain, headaches, and possibly even TMJ Disorder.
I’m not sure you are being well looked after by this dentist. I would have thought there would be some follow-up on this so that they would schedule you for the necessary procedure to deal with your infection. Call their office and tell them you need to schedule an emergency dental appointment. Let them know you’ve already used the antibiotics they gave you and the infection has flared back up and is beginning to spread. If they say they want you to take more antibiotics first, that is fine, just make sure they schedule a date for your treatment at the same time.
One other note. Hopefully, it is not too late to save your tooth. If it is and you need to replace it, I would get a dental implant. It is by far the best tooth replacement option. If you don’t have the money for that right now, It would be worth it in the long run if you got a cheap-o temporary replacement, such as a dental flipper, as you saved up for the better permanent replacement.
This blog is brought to you by Sugar Land Dentist Dr. Siny Thomas.