I need some advice. My back molar (in front of the wisdom tooth) broke in half. I’ve been in a lot of pain ever since. Now my cheek is swelling. and my eye is starting to hurt. My wife insists this is dangerous and I need to go to a dentist, but I just got back to work after a long time furloughed. I don’t want to have to take off work and spend money unnecessarily. Is this really dangerous or is she overreacting? I am sure I can get my doctor to write me a prescription.
Yes, this is serious. You do need to see a dentist. Tooth infections are not like other bacteria we deal with under normal circumstances, where you can just take an antibiotic and get better. Instead, a dentist has to physically remove the infected pulp. This is typically done either by a root canal treatment or extracting the tooth. All an antibiotic will do is temporarily forestall the infection while you get to a dentist.
This is one of the reasons tooth infections are considered dental emergencies. This infection will continue to spread. If you think about how close your jaw is to your heart, lungs, or brain you can understand why people still die from tooth infections. Yours has already spread almost to your eye.
You need to see a dentist as soon as possible. If money is an issue, talk to your dentist and just be honest. The lockdowns hurt everyone financially and most dentists are compassionate. I am positive you will be able to find a dentist willing to work with you on payments.
Ideally, you will want a root canal treatment, which will save your tooth. If that isn’t possible, and it does sound like your tooth is pretty far gone, you will need to have it extracted. Because of the location of your tooth it will be important to replace it. For now, you can get an inexpensive dental flipper. Ideally, you will want to save up for a dental implant, which is the closest thing to having a natural tooth.
This blog is brought to you by Sugar Land Dentist Dr. Siny Thomas.