My old dentist just retired and there is a new guy that bought out his practice. They seem to have very different approaches to things. My old dentist told me that tooth infections were nothing to mess around with because they can spread outside the teeth. The things closest to our jaw are our heart, lungs, and brain. He said people who don’t treat their tooth infections risk it becoming life-threatening and you can even die from them. The new dentist seems very apathetic toward infections though, and it has me worried that he won’t treat it in time. At my last checkup, he told me there is a small infection in my upper molar. He prescribed me antibiotics and told me the soonest he could see me for it was two months from now. He asked me not to start the antibiotics until a week before the procedure. I am very worried this will spread to my brain. Should I try to get an emergency appointment with another dentist?
In a way, both your dentists are right. People still die from untreated tooth infections. They can spread to organs such as your heart, lungs, and brain. At the same time, sometimes the infection is so small that it is not considered an urgent dental situation. In this case, it is safe to wait. Prescribing you the antibiotic means that you will have some infection fighting materials inside you while the procedure is going on and is mostly a precaution and to make sure the infection isn’t flailing out of control.
If the nature of the infection changes, you will want to be seen sooner. By that, I mean if you start developing pain. It means the infection is active and growing. In that case, call your dentist back and let him know what is going on. He should keep some space in his appointment schedule for dental emergencies. I hope this puts your mind at ease.
This blog is brought to you by Enfield Dentist Dr. William Cummiskey