Tag Archives: Tooth Extraction

Is My Sinus Infection Healing

I had a tooth extracted. Apparently, when that happened he perforated my sinus. We didn’t discover that until a few days after the extraction when I developed a nasty discharge, as well as some nasty swelling and pain. My dentist put me on augmentin for a week. That did help with the swelling. When that was done, my dentist did a CT scan to check everything and it showed that I have a horrible infection in my sinus cavity. So, he put me on azithromycin. That seemed to improve things, but it is finished now and I am worried that I need to see an ENT or something. Is this being handled okay?

Tina

Dear Tina,

Man holding his jaw in pain

You have been very helpful in describing this. You have had two infections which is why they had to treat you twice. You did not mention if they closed up the sinus perforation. If it is a small perforation it will not take much to close it up. However, the infection will need to be completely gone and it sounds like you still have some of your infection left.

I’m going to suggest two things. This is not a dental emergency, but it does need to be dealt with. First, You would probably do well to get some Flonase as well, if you still have any inflammation. This is a cortical steroid that will help reduce the inflammation. Secondly, you need to call your dentist back and tell him the infection is still there. You need a second round of your antibiotic. You’ll want the infection completely gone. If you leave it untreated, it will become an emergency situation.

Your dentist hasn’t done anything wrong, but he still needs to be aware of the situation.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Twelve Shots to Get Numb?

I recently had a lower second molar extracted. The appointment was a nightmare. First, it took twelve shots for him to get me numb. How he could miss the area that many times is beyond me. Then, I had a bone spur in the area that took the dentist over thirty minutes to get. Now, I seem to have a sharp edge on the extraction site. I’ve sort of lost confidence in this dentist. Can you tell me if this is normal or if I need to have another procedure done to deal with this?

Cassidy

Dear Cassidy,

Woman holding her jaw in pain

I would find it hard to think any dentist would actually miss the spot that many times. The more likely scenario is that you had some dental anxiety going in and, as a result, your body was fighting the local anesthetic.

Unfortunately, not enough dentists currently understand the connection between dental anxiety and the inability to get numb. I am going to recommend for your next appointment where you need any work done you see a sedation dentist. Even just some nitrous oxide will help relax you, which in turn enables the anesthetic to do its work.

For those with a more severe level of anxiety, I recommend oral conscious sedation. While it is administered by a pill, it is so strong that you will need someone to drive you to and from your dental appointment as well as stay with you for a few hours afterward until you are lucid and steady on your feet again. Most people who use oral conscious sedation sleep through their appointment.

As for the bony ridge. sharp edges do show up during the healing process. You don’t notice them at first because your gums are swollen. As the swelling goes down the ridges appear. If it stays a problem, your dentist can clip it.

One thing I want to make sure your dentist addressed is the need to replace that second molar. If you leave the space open, your other teeth can drift or tip into the space, which will throw off your bite. That can lead to painful TMJ Disorder.

If you want the best tooth replacement, I’d look into a dental implant. However, you do have other options.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Can’t Afford My Wisdom Tooth Extraction

I have an infected wisdom tooth. It has been bad for a while and the teeth around it are starting to get holes in them. Tonight I noticed I have pressure and a yellow streak leading up to my eye on the same side as the tooth. Now there is pressure behind my eye. I really can’t afford a dentist right now. Can I just visit the ER to get an antibiotic to treat this and then get to the dentist later when I can afford it? I’m starting to get concerned.

Brad L.

Man in pain holding his jaw

Dear Brad,

I want you to understand how serious this is. Your infection has already reached your eye. Your brain is not that far away and this can turn life threatening quickly. Believe it or not, people still die from tooth infections.

An antiobiotic will not solve your problem. What it can do is slow down the infection, but once you are out of the medication (and this is assuming they prescribe the right antibiotic for this particular infection to begin with) it will flare right back up and continue to spread.

The only way to deal with this is to have the tooth extracted…and soon. I would consider this a dental emergency.

Most dentists went into their field because they wanted to help people and make a difference. I would call around and see if there is a dentist who is willing to work with you on payments.

Whatever you do, take it seriously. The good news is a wisdom tooth does not have to be replaced. However, if you delay and the other teeth get so far decayed that they can’t be saved, you’ll also need a tooth replacement for them or your teeth will shift, throwing off your bite. This can lead to painful TMJ disorder.

Call around. There is bound to be a dentist in your area willing to help.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

She Shouldn’t Trust This Dentist

I am going to be honest and up front with you that I am not the best dental patient. Being in the dental chair makes me nervous in the best of circumstances so I tend to avoid dental work as much as possible. This is likely why this happened to me. I was in a lot of pain for about a week and finally caved to see a dentist. He did some x-rays and found a problem with a tooth that already had a filling. He told me there is very little chance that he can save the tooth and I should expect him to have to extract the tooth. From there, he wants to provide a dental implant. I’ll be honest that this whole thing sort of terrifies me. Is there another option?

Kelly

Dear Kelly,

A woman grabbing her jaw in pain, in need of emergency dental care

Please bear in mind that I haven’t examined your tooth so I can only go on what you’ve described. However, based on what you’ve said, I have my doubts about this dentist’s diagnosis.

If a tooth was truly that far gone, I don’t think your dentist would have even needed to take an x-ray. The decay would have been evident to the naked eye.

Even if it was under the filling, that extensive amount of an infection means the filling would have caved in or fallen out at that point.

Another issue is that type of dental infection takes a LONG time to develop. You would have been in a significant amount of pain for substantially longer than a week.

Before moving forward, I would like you to get a second opinion from another dentist. It could save you some unnecessary dental work. I do realize the idea of seeing another dentist probably doesn’t sound much better to you, but I believe I have a solution to that as well.

Your fears of the dentist are not at all uncommon. There are many people who struggle with fear of the dentist. Those who visit a dentist who offers some type of sedation tend to have an easier go of things.

When you get your second opinion, I’d like you to not tell the dentist what your first diagnosis was. Just allow him to look at your tooth and form his own opinion.

If Your Tooth Cannot Be Saved

Hopefully, your tooth is saveable. However, if it isn’t, the one thing I agree with the dentist you saw was his choice of tooth replacement. If you do have to replace a tooth, dental implants are the absolute best replacement. This surgically implants a prosthetic tooth root then attaches a crown to it. It is the closest thing to having a healthy natural tooth again.

Another option is a dental bridge. This suspends a false tooth between two dental crowns. It doesn’t require surgery. However, it does mean you have to crown the two adjacent teeth. Unless those teeth already need a crown then I don’t recommend grinding down healthy tooth structure.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Thimmesch and Foreman.

Antibiotics for Tooth Infection

I had a severe toothache and went to see a new dentist. My regular one closed permanently shortly after the quarantine started. He was close to retirement anyway. This dentist gave me an antibiotic that I was taking three times a day. My tooth started to get better, but now has gotten worse. What do I do now? I have never had this happen before.

Alice

Dear Alice,

Woman grabbing her jaw in pain needing an emergency dentist

I hope your new dentist didn’t think giving you an antibiotic was enough. He should have scheduled a follow-up appointment with you to have a root canal treatment. If he didn’t, that is a real problem.

An antibiotic is useful to hold off an infection until you are able to have the treatment you need. However, it does not heal the tooth. The only way to do that is for the dentist to get in there and physically remove the infected pulp.

If the tooth can be saved, you would do that with a root canal treatment and many times a dental crown will need to be placed as well. If the tooth can’t be saved, then you’d need a tooth extraction.

It is a bad sign that the infection started to get better and then progressed again. This is a dental emergency and needs to be seen right away.

If You Lose the Tooth

My guess is you will still be able to save the tooth. If, however, you get back in and it isn’t possible, then the tooth will have to be extracted to keep the infection from spreading. Dental infections can turn life-threatening.

When a tooth is extracted, it is important to replace it. If you don’t, the other teeth will shift and tip into the open space, which will throw off your bite. In some cases, it can lead to TMJ Disorder and daily jaw pain and migraines.

Hopefully, this dentist didn’t cost you a tooth.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

dental filling disaster

I had never had a cavity until I switched dentists. My insurance changed so we needed to go to a different practice. On my very first appointment, he said I had a cavity, which surprised me. I went ahead and had it filled. The filling caused continual pain even after he adjusted it. It got to the point where he said I’d adjust to it. I waited out the full year with my insurance than switched to one that allowed me to go back to my old dentist.

When I did, he said I likely didn’t even need the filling at all. He said there’d been a spot on my x-ray for years that hadn’t changed. He said he’d replace the filling to make it better. The pain was instantly better, but the filling was uneven I guess and food would get trapped in it.

He decided to adjust that because he said it would become an issue. Since he’s adjusted it I’ve had problems with a serious sensitivity to hot and cold. Now my dentist is talking about extracting the tooth. I don’t want that so I’m afraid to go back. Is there anything I can do?

Betty

Dear Betty,

A blonde woman hodling her left cheek and jaw in pain

It’s unusual for a dentist to fake diagnose a single filling. It’s not a financial gain for him or her. In all honesty, it is more of a hassle. So, I don’t think you were taken for a ride by the new dentist. I’m actually more concerned that your original dentist saw a spot on your x-ray for years and never even mentioned it.

The trouble I’m seeing here is you have two incompetent dentists working on your teeth. The dentist who did your filling couldn’t do it correctly and rather than repair it he said, “You’ll adjust”. That’s dental speak for, “I don’t know what to do.”

When a dental filling is done right, you don’t even notice it.

Then, when you went back to your original dentist, he couldn’t get the filling right either. Now he’s talking about extracting the tooth?! I don’t think so.

My guess is your insurance has a preferred provider list. They do that to keep the fees cheap. But, the better dentists won’t sign on to plans like that. So often (not always) preferred provider means less than adequate dentist.

I’m going to suggest you go to an out of network dentist who has good reviews. You need this fixed. Don’t let your dentist extract your tooth.

The last thing you need after all of this is another expensive procedure and, believe me, tooth replacements cost a pretty penny.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone

Should I Call an Emergency Dentist for a Lost Filling?

Is it a dental emergency if I lost a filling? It’s the New Years Weekend and I don’t really fancy spending it in the dentist’s office.

Mark C.

Dear Mark,

A man holding his jaw in pain in need of a dentist

What??? You don’t want to ring in 2018 from a dental chair? I can’t imagine why not. What could be more invigorating?

In the case of a lost dental filling, you have a couple of good options. Before I give you those, let me tell you what not to do…ignore it. If you don’t do anything bacteria will get into the newly created space and blow up into a tooth infection. Depending on how fast-moving everything is, you could spend the beginning of the New Year in the hospital.

Besides, having a hole in your tooth will not allow you to enjoy all the New Year’s Eve goodies the way you could if it were filled.

You do have a couple of good options:

Ask Your Dentist for an Emergency Visit

I know. I know. You said you didn’t want to go in. But, seriously, a filling takes hardly any time and you’d be back to normal without this weight on your back of having to go to the dentist’s office at some very near date. Who wants to spend New Years dreading the New Year?

Replacing a filling is normally quick and painless. However, the dentist will want to investigate to find out why the filling came out in the first place. You’ll especially want to make sure there’s no new decay developing which could sabotage your weekend plans.

Get Temporary Filling Material

Some pharmacies stock a temporary dental filling material. This will NOT actually replace your filling and is designed to be temporary— a few days at most. But, it could hold you over through your parties, etc. Then, first thing January 2nd, you’ll really need to get in to see your dentist. No excuses.

If you put it off, you won’t be looking at a filling, but rather a dental crown or tooth extraction. That is definitely not how you want to start the year.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

Is there a way to floss between a bridge and the gum?

Is it necessary to floss under a bridge? I have read that these are tight-fitting against the gum to prevent food from getting trapped between the bridge and gum. I had gum disease over a year ago, had teeth extracted, and a bridge placed after everything was cleaned up. Now I am having problems with a swollen gum under the front bottom of the bridge. It’s swollen to the point of bleeding around the bridge even when the bottom lip is simply pulled back.

Thanks, Gary

Dear Gary,

Yes, it is necessary to floss under a dental bridge daily, even more so if you were previously treated for gum disease. Flossing daily will help in the prevention of further bone loss around the teeth. There could be two reasons why your gums are swollen and bleeding around your bridge. Due to the fact that you have not been flossing under it, there is a big possibility that your teeth anchoring your bridge are reinfected with gum disease and may need to be retreated. Another problem could be that your dental bridge was placed right after the teeth were extracted therefore the extraction site may have not had the proper time to heal which can cause a similar affect on the tissue under the bridge.

There are different types of bridge floss threaders available in the toothpaste isle at your local store to help you clean under your bridge. Ask your dental hygienist at your next cleaning appointment to show you how to floss properly around your bridge. We recommend you discuss this matter with your dentist to find the root of the problem with your bleeding gums.

Post courtesy of Dr. Malone, Lafayette Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist