October 30th, 2009


Not a lot of fun going on

When I came back from Richmond, I was developing a sore back molar that got worse over the weekend (naturally).  So on Monday, I called the dentist office and on Tuesday I saw the dentist and he said the tooth had split and it ought to come out.  Do it now, or wait? Now, said I, and he did.  And he asked what painkilers I'd been taking and I said I had some leftover meds from knee pain, and so he didn't give me a prescription for more, or any prescription for anything else, just some gauze and a sheet of "what to do now."   I went to work and read the sheet and it said "do this" and "do that" and "keep taking the antibiotics" and I said, er, huh?  I called the dentist office and said "antibiotics?" and they said "let us check" and then they said "oh that sheet is for general dental surgery, just do the gauze and the rinsing and whatever else he told you."   The sheet says "Instructions Following Your Tooth Extraction."  Hmmm.   But I did the gauze and the rinsing and took more pain meds when I needed to sleep.   And the space kept hurting and it started to get worse, and frankly it didn't look so great either.  So today I called and said "it's nearly the weekend, can someone look at it before then?" and they gave me an appointment with another dentist.   He looked at the space.  He said, "well, yes, there is a little swelling..."  in the tone of voice that really says "uhoh" especially with only about 2 seconds of observation.  He went off to check on something, or talk to someone.  He came back.  He said, "I've called the pharmacy downstairs. Take two of the antibiotics right away and one at dinner and one at bedtime, then three times a day."   He also gave me prescriptions for large-dose ibuprofen for daytime and a different pain med for nighttime.  Also instructions for additional salt-water rinsing and for hot moist compresses.  Also instructions on how to contact the dentist-on-call if things got worse over the weekend, and "please do call if needed!" 

I support doctors who try not to use antibiotics as an automatic response to anything and everything.  Drug-resistance in disease-causing organisms is a big, big problem.   But in this case, 'twas not so good, and now we play catchup.