I have a tooth that is hurting me. It’s possible it is infected. I had a root canal treatment but the whole appointment was so distressing that I didn’t have the stomach to go back for the crown part. That is the tooth that is hurting. Is there an antibiotic I can take this time, instead of having to do the whole root canal thing again?
I am sorry for the experience you had. Those type of traumatic dental procedures are what lead to patients developing a dental anxiety. It sounds like that is where you are right now. The bad news is that taking an antibiotic does not heal a tooth infection. What it can do is keep it from spreading further while you take it. However, once the antibiotic finishes, the infection will begin to spread again.
The only way to properly deal with a tooth infection is to physically remove the infected pulp. This can be done through a root canal treatment or a tooth extraction. There is good news, though!
Your next appointment can be done in a way that is both relaxing and pain-free. What you will need though is a sedation dentist. Specifically, look for someone who offers oral conscious sedation (OCR). This is sometimes called sleep dentistry because patients are often so relaxed that they will sleep through the entire appointment. Be aware, it is strong enough that you will need someone to drive you to and from your dental appointment. You will be way too relaxed to drive.
When a root canal treatment fails, the chances of a successful re-treatment go down with each attempt. Because of that, you may be better off seeing a root canal specialist. They are called endodontists. The exception to that would be if you are talking about a front tooth. Very few endodontists care about the aesthetics and even fewer have invested in any significant cosmetic training. If it is a front tooth, you’ll want to see an AACD accredited dentist. These are the best cosmetic dentists in the country. You want someone who can create a beautiful porcelain crown that will blend in perfectly with your adjacent teeth. That is tricky on a front tooth.
Regardless of what type of dentist you choose, make sure they offer oral conscious sedation so you do not have a repeat of your last appointment.
This blog is brought to you by Grosse Pointe Woods Dentist Dr. Theodore Hadgis.