I went to my dentist after saving up for a while because I don’t have dental insurance. During the appointment, he told me I had a tooth infection. I knew my tooth had been hurting which is why I started saving to begin with, but the tooth stopped hurting. He wanted to schedule a follow-up appointment right away, but I don’t have money for two appointments. I told him I’d have to get back with him. That’s when he told me if I put it off, that the infection could kill me by getting to my heart, brain, or lungs. Is this true or is he just trying to scare me to get me to come back?
Let’s start with why your tooth stopped hurting. When your infection first set in, there was pain. As the infection progressed, however, the pulp of your tooth died so it stopped hurting. Unfortunately, that didn’t end the infection. It is continuing to spread.
As to your dentist trying to scare you, I can’t tell you exactly how urgent your particular infection is because I haven’t examined you. What your dentist said is true. Tooth infections can spread to your heart, lungs, and brain. Believe it or not, people still die from dental infections. This is why tooth infections are considered dental emergencies.
As I said earlier, I didn’t examine you so I can’t tell you how advanced your infection is. It may be that he felt you weren’t taking the situation seriously enough so he wanted to impress upon you not to just ignore this.
I understand that money is a challenge. COVID has made it nearly impossible for many people to keep up with their dental care. One thing I know about dentists is that many of them are compassionate and went into their field with a desire to help people.
The first thing I would do is explain to your dentist your financial situation and how long it took you to save up for your appointment. Make sure he understands that you are taking it seriously but that you are in a difficult financial situation. He may offer to give you the treatment you need and then allow you to pay off the cost of treatment over time. If he doesn’t, there are dentists that will. Just call around. You will find someone.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.