(Dentists please read!) Antibiotics haven't worked yet... Do I take more?

Answered on May 29, 2012
Created May 29, 2012 at 4:04 PM

All my fillings from six months ago fell out almost all at once over the last two months (I'm finding a new dentist); I was very foolish and waited to schedule a dentist appt thinking that it might be possible for the hulled molars to recalcify. The nerve in one of them (#32) became exposed and the dentist that had filled them initially refilled that one first (all my other back molars are still hollow making it impossible to chew on the left side and painful to chew and dig food out of the right every time I eat). Three days later I go back due to excruciating pain from any trace of pressure (it hurt to drink water); he glances at it (no xray) and taps it twice, says I need a root canal and prescribes me penicillin (vk 500mg) -- once every six hours for a week (28 pills), 3 of which I managed to drop down the sink. It seemed to go away altogether after the first night but last night I could feel it was definitely worse. It seems a little better now but I'm sure it's still infected.

My questions:

  1. Do I go back and ask for another round of the same stuff or do I need a stronger pscrip?
  2. Is there a 'lesser evil' antibiotic I could ask for?
  3. Do I do something else, i.e. immediate root canal?

I only went to this guy because he takes walk-ins (and is pretty inexpensive...); I don't know how soon I can get an appt at another doctor's office -- but I really don't want this dude to come anywhere near my teeth again. I could see going back just to renew my pscrip but if I need a root canal I don't know how immediate it can be.

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2 Answers



on May 29, 2012
at 04:57 PM

Go to a reliable, trustworthy dentist as soon as possible! Ask for recommendation from people you know - it really is worth it to have a knowledgeable dentist, if you can afford it.

I had a root canal about a year ago. An old filling got infected(from a dentist I no longer see!) and searing pain literally came overnight. I went to the dentist, and had a root canal done within the hour. Then I was prescribed antibiotics. I'm not sure why they would prescribe antibiotics - it's treating the symptoms, not treating the actual ailment. I'm not a dentist, but if I were you, I would seek advice from a reputable dentist - NOT the dentist whose filling fell out in less than 6 months. Some dentists will have emergency appts reserved for patients like you, who need immediate attention. When I initially called my dentist about the root canal, they scheduled me for the next day. An hour later, I called back about how painfully excruciating it was, and they worked their magic and saw me within the hour. A root canal is probably inevitable, so why push it any longer than you have to, and endure pain?


on May 29, 2012
at 04:53 PM

  1. Antibiotics treat the SYMPTOMS, not the problem. They mask the problem. No amount of antibiotics are going to cure you. They buy you time to make a decision. If you don't take them as directed you will not get the relief that you seek.

  2. Penicillin is the most benign of the antibiotics used in dentistry. Like I said above, they will not cure you.

  3. You have an infection, it may be cured by having an extraction or a root canal. Your choice.

Avoiding carbohydrates will insure that you do not get new decay but it sounds like you need to take care of the problems that you currently have. Good luck.

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