Theriot Family Dental

Infected Tooth and No Money

Posted by writeradmin

I have a tooth that is so infected even my cheek is swollen. I would say golf ball sized swollen. I do have several rotting teeth and it is probably from that. I do not have medical or dental insurance and am currently out of work, so I just don’t have the money to deal with this. Is there anything I can do to help this infection?


Dear Drew,

Man in pain and in need of an emergency dentist


You have a dental emergency on your hands. While you are in a tough spot, if you don’t deal with this infected tooth a dental emergency could turn into a life-threatening one. Your infection has spread out of your tooth and will continue to do so. To give you the reality of how serious this can get, your infection is spreading upward. Think of how close it is to your brain already. If it reaches there, it can become life-threatening. So, what do you do if you have no money?

I am going to suggest you first call the dental society in your area and see if they know of a clinic that does pro-bono work for people in your situation. If that doesn’t work, call around to different dentists and let them know what is going on. Start with those dentists who list themselves on their website as affordable dentists. They will be the most likely to work with you financially.

Ideally, to save a tooth you would do a root canal treatment. If that is not possible, then you’ll have to get the tooth extracted. I don’t know where the tooth is or the condition, but a depending on those factors, a dentist may recommend you take an antibiotic first in order to get the infection under control before the procedure is done. That being said, don’t just take the antibiotics and skip the appointment. If you do, you’ll end up in a worse situation than you were in before. The antibiotics do not cure the infected tooth. They just prevent the infection from spreading until the dentist can remove the infected pulp. Once you are done with the antibiotics, if the pulp is not gone, the infection will return and those same antibiotics will be less effective.

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