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Using Antibiotics for a Tooth Infection

Posted by writeradmin

Almost two weeks ago I went to the dentist for an infected tooth. It was pretty bad and even my cheek was swelling. He gave me some antibiotics, which I took in full. The swelling was almost gone. A few days later it started back up again. Do I go back to the dentist or do I just need a refill on my antibiotics?


Dear Peter,

Man holding his jaw in need of an emergency dentist

I think there was a miscommunication with your dentist. The antibiotic should have been just to get your tooth infection under control and tide you over until the infection can be properly dealt with. It is not meant to, nor can it, heal your infected tooth. The only way to cure a tooth infection is for a dentist to physically remove the infected tooth pulp. There are two ways to properly do this. The first is by extracting the tooth completely. This should be a last resort because natural tooth structure is always best; plus tooth replacements, especially the good ones, are expensive. The second option is a root canal treatment.

Hopefully, it was just a matter of you not hearing your dentist say that you would need a follow up appointment to do the real treatment, though the front desk should have mentioned it when you were checking out. If your dentist did not plan on any follow up treatment, then you need a new dentist because this one does not understand tooth infections.

It is particularly concerning that this started to get better and has now blown up again. I would consider this a dental emergency. Call your dentist as soon as the office is open and tell them what is going on. If they don’t get you in that day, then call around to some other dentists and see who will given the situation.

This blog is brought to you by Moline Dentist Dr. Thomas Goebel.