I had a toothache and went to see the dentist. He told me the tooth was infected and I’d need to get a root canal treatment. Then, he prescribed me some antibiotics and told me he’d see me in a couple of weeks. I am worried about that. I was always told by my mother that tooth infections are serious and that they can spread to your brain if you don’t get a root canal. Two weeks seems like a long time. Am I in danger of having an infection in my brain?
I am glad that your mother did her best to prepare you. She was right that tooth infections are serious and that they are considered dental emergencies. She is also right that if the infections are left untreated it can spread to your brain. The good news is your dentist is not leaving you in danger.
The infection will not spread while you are taking antibiotics. The danger comes when people think the antibiotics alone will cure their infection and do not get any follow-up treatment. Once the antibiotics are done, the infection will flare back up and continue to spread.
It sounds to me like you are in good hands with both your mother and your dentist, which is something to be grateful for. You did not say which tooth had the infection. One thing to be aware of is that dentists will often want to put a dental crown on a tooth that has a root canal treatment. This is to protect a tooth that has become more fragile from biting forces. Be aware that while a crown is a good choice on a back tooth. On a front tooth, there is a different type of force. A crown in this case can actually weaken the tooth. For front teeth, I think a porcelain veneer is a better idea.
This blog is brought to you by Midtown Manhattan Dentist Dr. Marianna Farber.