Will my tooth kill me?


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I'm kind of freaking out here. A few weeks ago, I had strep throat, with pain in my jaw, face, and ear. I also had a swollen lymph node on one side of my neck. I took amoxicillin for 10 days and the strep throat went away but the ear and jaw pain didn't go away. So I saw my dentist and it turns out that a tooth that had a root canal a long time ago had recently developed an infection at one of the root tips. I made an appointment with an endodontist to retreat the tooth, but the soonest available appointment was 18 days away. That was 8 days ago (May 30). I'm not in a lot of pain because the tooth has no nerve, but I'm worried that the infection will spread. The dentist prescribed some more amoxicillin for me, which i just started taking yesterday. Everything I read online says that this type of thing is an emergency and should be treated right away or the infection could spread and cause sepsis.

Am I being a hypochondriac? Should I wait until the 18 to get the tooth treated or just find someone to pull it out right away? I wasn't able to find any other endodontists to treat the tooth before the 18th. I'm really tempted to grab a pair of pliers and pull it out myself.
 
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If you are on antibiotics you should be ok. A dental infection doesn't tend to spread very fast in normal circumstances. If you develop swelling, a high or low temperature, a rash or palpitations then call a medical professional. But it's highly unlikely. If you go to an oral surgeon you'd likely have to wait too.
 
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Thank you so much for your reply. I'll stop freaking out about it now :)
 

MattKW

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If the infection worsens to the point of increasing swelling or fever, then find a hospital with emergency dental facilities, such as an oral surgeon. An alternative is to add another antibiotic such as metronidazole, but it doesn't always work and may cause loss of time. I saw a patient earlier this year whose facial swelling increased dramatically even after an extraction and antibiotics; I called an ambulance to pick him up from home because I was in fear of him fainting when driving. You can't always pick them.
It can be difficult for dentists and endodontists to remove old root fillings in an emergency, so if things worsen, your overall health is paramount and an extraction would be indicated followed by IV antibiotics in a hospital.
 
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Just an update.. I had my tooth retreated on the 18th and was put on Amoxicillin again. That was my third course of Amoxicillin in a month. It didn't seem to have any affect because 3 days later, I was in extreme pain. I ended up going to an emergency dentist on a Sunday to have the tooth extracted. Even though the dentist used plenty of Novocaine, I was in too much pain for him to be able to remove the entire tooth. Eventually, I had the rest of the tooth removed under general anesthesia and was put on Clindamycin. In a few months, I'll get an implant. It's been 3 days and the pain is almost completely gone. After this experience, I don't think I'll ever get another root canal. Instead I'll just opt for an implant.
 
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I seem to recall an endodontist telling me that the first time you have a tooth root treated it's about 90% likely to be successful, then% going right down on subsequent attempts. But having the tooth taken out and an implant fitted is just as fraught with risk. So it is worth it to try to root canal it as that usually lasts a long time unless it's done badly or the tooth structure is poor.
 
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For what I have noticed, keeping your tooth it's always the first option, that's why an endodontic treatment is needed. But sometimes it's not possible. In some cases, the Endodontic Dentist says the tooth is not in the condition to be treated and the extraction is the option. I'm really learning with the comment's that are posted here too.
 

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