I have a wisdom tooth that is rotten and decayed. Now the tooth next to it has decay and holes as well. My jaw is also starting to swell. I don’t have dental insurance at the moment and would rather not pay out of pocket. Is it possible to just take antibiotics until I have insurance again or can I just go to the ER for this?
I am worried that you are playing with fire here. If the jaw has started to swell, that is a particularly bad sign. Your decay has turned to an infection and that infection is spreading. Think about how close your jaw and cheek are to your eyes and brain. Or, if the infection goes lower, how close it is to your heart. I would consider this a dental emergency. If you don’t get it looked at, it will quickly become a life-threatening emergency.
Hospital Emergency Rooms will not treat dental issues, so that won’t be an option for you. As for an antibiotic. It can be briefly useful for holding the infection at bay, but that is the best it will do. I cannot heal the infection. Nothing short of a dentist physically removing the infected pulp can do that. This is done either by a root canal treatment or a tooth extraction if the tooth is too far gone to save.
I’m going to suggest you get this treated, even if it means out of pocket. There are dentists who will be willing to work with you on payments if you explain the circumstances. Waiting, at this point, is too risky for your health.
Hopefully, the teeth can be saved. If they cannot they you will need tooth replacements. If you are worried about finances, I would just get a temporary tooth replacement, such as a dental flipper and save up for a permanent one, like a dental implant.
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