Will antibiotics help?

My tooth hurts. I looked online and it looks like I have an abscess.  I have some antibiotics at home, can I take those or do I need to go in and see a dentist?  I don’t really have a dentist, so i’d have to find one.

Drew H.- Arlington, TX

Drew,

Antibiotics will help, but they will  not get rid of the infection.  A tooth infection is a little different from other types of infections in your body.  Your body starts to swell in order to allow your white blood cells to do their job.  However, with tissue in your tooth there isn’t any room for swelling. As a result the tissue dies. The bacteria, however, doesn’t and keeps growing and will begin to spill out elsewhere in your body.

Because their is no blood flow where you have dead tissue, there is no way for the infection to be dealt with.  Your dentist will need to get in there and clean out the infection.

I know you don’t currently have a dentist. Because you are in pain, I suggest you look for an emergency dentist.  At the least, they can get you out of pain, then you can schedule a follow up treatment for whatever procedure you need.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. John Theriot.

Sedation Dentistry

If they idea of sitting in a dental chair makes you nervous, you might consider sedation dentistry.  Each sedation dentist varies a little in what procedures they perform.

The most mild for a sedation is nitrous oxide. This is more commonly known as laughing gas.  It will relax you. Patients who have trouble getting their local anesthetic to work find that using nitrous oxide relax’s them enough to make it effective.  Most people don’t realize that anxiety can “burn off” your local.

Another option is to use oral conscious sedation.  This is a pill you take shortly before you appointment.  You’ll still have all your defensive reflexes, but most patient’s find they don’t even remember the appointment.  The medicine is strong enough that you’ll need to have someone drive you to and from your appointment.

There is an even deeper level of sedation available with IV Sedation.  Your dentist will need to have post-graduate training in this method.

Bear in mind that not all dentists use sedation methods. Even those who do vary in which procedures they’ll use.  Your best option is to call around and see which dentists have the method you’re looking for. It will be worth it to finally get your dental work done without fear.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA dentist Dr. John Theriot.