Do I Still Need to See a Dentist If I am Taking Antibiotics?

Do I still need to see a dentist if I am taking antibiotics? I might have a tooth abscess, but I am not sure. I went to urgent care over the weekend. They gave me an antibiotic prescription for a possible infection. They looked at my tooth but said the gum seemed slightly irritated. They gave me discharge papers saying I needed to see a dentist, but I didn’t understand. If the infection goes away, I will be satisfied.

Why pay more to have a dentist look at my tooth and tell me everything looks good? Last year I had an infection, but it wasn’t a tooth infection. Still, the antibiotics knocked it completely out in 2-3 weeks. So I am thinking about giving the tooth the same amount of time, and I should be good. My girlfriend told me I shouldn’t take that kind of chance. I think the antibiotic will work. Is this emergency, and do I still need to see a dentist? I tried to avoid them whenever I could. Sorry. Thanks for your help. Henry

Henry – Your girlfriend is correct. A dentist needs to examine your tooth. Even though you may not have a regular dentist, you can find a dentist who accepts urgent appointments. A dentist will likely ask you to come to the office right away.

If your tooth is infected, it will need a root canal treatment to remove the infection. The dentist will replace the infected tooth pulp with dental filler material. You will most likely need a dental crown to protect the tooth from further decay or damage.

An untreated infection can spread to other teeth, your jawbone, and in the worst case, into your bloodstream. Find an emergency dentist and get the tooth examined and treated right away. Don’t wait two or three weeks to see if the infection clears. You can ask about nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation to relax you during treatment.

Dr. Miranda Lacy, a Plano, Texas dentist, sponsors this post.