I have a toothache. I’ll be honest and tell you that I am not fond of the dentist even in the best of circumstances. I was kind of relieved when the government shut down dental clinics. It stopped hurting for a bit, but now it’s starting to hurt worse. Which antibiotic is best for this? My doctor will write me a prescription.
You are definitely going to need to see a dentist. Antibiotics will not work for this. They are only a temporary stop measure for dental infections. In your situation, it sounds like the tooth has already died, so it will be even more temporary for you. The tooth feeling better is probably when the infected pulp died, but that doesn’t remove the infection itself, just the pain. Now it has spread past the tooth.
This is considered urgent dental care and therefore, your dentist will be able to treat you. This has been a consistent exception to the COVID-19 quarantine because it is medically necessary. Dental infections have to be physically removed. That is typically done in one of two ways. If the tooth can be saved, a dentist will do a root canal treatment. If the tooth can’t be saved, then an extraction becomes necessary. If that happens, you will want to replace your tooth.
Dealing with Dental Anxiety
I know you are not the most comfortable going to the dentist and hearing the procedure doesn’t have to be postponed because of the quarantine probably increased your anxiety. The good news is, there is a fantastic solution, which could change the way you view dentistry in the future.
I’d like you to see a dentist who offers dental sedation options. Most dentists offer two levels of sedation. Nitrous oxide, which is a gas administered to people with mild anxiety, and oral conscious sedation. This is administered by a pill and is strong enough where you’ll need someone to drive you to and from your appointment.
Dr. Cha offers a third level — I.V. Sedation. This is for patients with such high anxiety that they want to be out. Very few dentists offer this option and it requires special training.
This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Dentist Dr. Jerome Cha.