My gums are sore and I have an abscess (at the discomfort stage) on my jaw. I brush, floss, and water pik daily. I stepped up my routine and have been rinsing with salt water but there has been no improvement. My dentist charges $55 for an emergency appointment, otherwise I can be seen in about two weeks. What do you advise and what will mostly likely be the treatment plan? Do I need an antibiotic?
Gender: FemaleAge: 52
If you're suffering from an acute abscess, then I encourage you to be seen ASAP by your dentist for an evaluation. If there is any debris stuck between the gums, the situation can continue to worsen and you may end up suffering unnecessary pain and possibly causing slight damage to the gums and underlying bone.Is that $55 fee "in addition" to the regular exam/treatment fee that would be charged? If so, then I'm sorry to hear this. I would expect most of my peers would be willing to see patient-of-records (during normal business hours) without tacking on additional fees. It could be the standard "office visit", or "problem-focused exam", and that's expected. But if it's "in addition" to other fees that would be assessed, then if possible, I would later find someone who won't nickel and dime their patients.If this is a perio abscess, where you had food or some particle stuck between two teeth, then the treatment plan is to go in with an explorer or a perio scaler and remove the debris. If there is significant swelling, indicative of a bacterial infection, then antibiotics will also be prescribed. However, if it is determined that the abscess is due to a necrotic tooth, then root canal treatment might be necessary. And if the tooth has a previous RCT, then either re-treatment of the RCT, or possibly extraction may be recommended.Without the opportunity to examine you clinically and/or review X-rays, I am unable to provide you with an official diagnosis.Regards,JulXXXXX XXXXX, DDS
Practicing General Dentist since 2002