I had a toothache and finally broke down and went to the dentist. He said the tooth was infected. He provided me with an antibiotic and told me to reschedule for an appointment in a week for the follow-up root canal treatment. I really don’t like going to the dentist and I felt better after the antibiotic. I canceled my appointment. The dentist called me later that night and said that I needed to schedule that follow-up treatment or I could get into real trouble. He told me the infection could spread to my brain. Is he just trying to scare me to get me back there?
I do not think your dentist is trying to scare you. Maybe he is trying to give you a picture of the gravity of the situation. The reason you felt better while taking the antibiotics is it held back the infection and helped your body fight it. However, it did not heal it. The only way to truly get rid of a tooth infection is for the dentist to physically remove the infected pulp. That can be done in one of two ways. Either by a root canal treatment or a tooth extraction. When that doesn’t happen the infection returns after you run out of your antibiotic and will continue to spread. Your brain, heart, and lungs are close to your jaw. I believe your dentist is concerned that without treatment you will end up with a life-threatening infection. I would not put this off. You can easily have a dental infection blow up on you.
I have often found that patients who avoid getting dental care usually have an underlying dental anxiety from bad experiences. If that is you, I have great news for you. There is a way to anxiety-free/pain-free dental care. You will just need to see a dentist who offers dental sedation options. If you need a lot of work done, seeing someone who offers oral conscious sedation will allow you to sleep through your appointment while getting all your work done.
This blog is brought to you by Grosse Pointe Woods Dentist Dr. Patel.