I have a wisdom tooth which was hurting. I went in to have it looked at and they told me it was infected. They want to extract it but said it would be three weeks before they can. They gave me antibiotics to “hold me over”, but they’ve run out. I was fine at first, but now the tooth is hurting again. Does that mean the infection is back? What do I do?
The pain you’re experiencing again means the dental infection has reared its ugly head again. With how close your teeth and jaw are to your heart, lungs, and brain, you can see why tooth infections are typically considered a dental emergency.
Antibiotics don’t “cure” tooth infections, they merely keep it under control. Until one of two things happens, the infection will continue to grow and spread.
Have a Root Canal Treatment Done
In most cases, you want to do everything possible to save a tooth. A root canal treatment can do that by allowing the dentist to get in there and physically remove the infected pulp. One exception to the “save the tooth” rule is if you have a wisdom tooth. They aren’t as imperative to save.
Have the Tooth Extracted
Removing the tooth obviously removes the infection as well. This is what you’re tying to do. For teeth other than wisdom teeth, you will want to replace whatever is removed. If it is at all possible, I recommend getting dental implants as the best tooth replacements.
In your case, you’ll need to call your dentist back and tell them you are out of your antibiotics. You’ll need them to prescribe you enough to get you 5 days passed your procedure. They should do that for you without making you come in for an appointment. If they don’t, then schedule an emergency appointment with an endodontist and have the infected tooth taken out right away.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.