My tooth was infected. I went to see my dentist and he did an x-ray where he found an infected tooth. He provided me with an antibiotic. I took it faithfully. The swelling started to go down and I was even feeling better. Then, it started to get worse again. I guess what I need to know is if I need to get more of the same antibiotic or if I need to get a different one. I want to know what to ask for when I call the dentist again.
I hope there has been a miscommunication between you and your dentist and not that he does not understand how dental infections work. While an antibiotic is useful for holding back a dental infection, it does not cure it. The only way to get rid of a dental infection is for the dentist to physically get in there and remove the infected pulp. There are two ways to do that.
The first is with a root canal treatment. This is the ideal solution because it will save your tooth. If the tooth is no longer salvageable, the next option is to have your tooth extracted. That is the last resort option because it is always better to keep your natural tooth structure.
The fact that your infection started to get better and then got worse again is a particularly bad sign. I think you need to schedule an emergency dental appointment. He may write you another antibiotic but this time make absolutely certain that a follow up appointment is scheduled for before the antibiotics will run out.
If the worst case scenario happens and the tooth cannot be saved you will want to replace it. If you don’t, the other teeth will either shift or tip into the open space. This not only will make your bite look off, but it can also lead to painful TMJ Disorder. There are a variety of tooth replacement options, some removable, like a partial denture, others permanent, like a dental implant.
This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Dentist Dr. Ryan Noah.