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Useless emergency dentist after wisdom tooth extraction - anyone else had this?

5 replies

lanouvelleheloise · 25/07/2017 10:22

My friend and I just had the exact same experience with different emergency dentists, a few weeks apart in different areas of the country.

Both had wisdom teeth out on the Weds, with stitches. Both got dry socket, with pain worsening. Both became aware of this late Friday night, necessitating a trip to emergency dentist on Saturday. Both were seen for about 2 minutes, and just given antibiotics - no treatment for the dry socket. The antibiotics in both cases failed, because in both cases the problem was food stuck in the wound which hadn't been cleaned out. Both had to go back multiple times after this to the dental hospital where we'd had the work done for actual treatment of dry socket and cleaning. Both were only given a syringe to help with the cleaning late in the day, when this would have been helpful from the moment of dry socket diagnosis.

AIBU to think that this may not be a coincidence and that emergency dentists are routinely handing out antibiotics unnecessarily, when they should be cleaning the wound and treating the dry socket? It seems crazy, in the context of constrained NHS resources, that they are leaving patients in pain and necessitating further appointments because they're not really treating the problem. What is going on?

OP posts:

Fluffyears · 25/07/2017 10:51

I think they just do patch and repair work until you can actually get to your own dentist. I took my mother to one on an Sunday as she had been suffering since the Friday with an abscess and was climbing the walls with pain. The emergency dentist said 'I can extract that and you'll have relief, if you want to save the tooth see your dentist once they open!' She opted for extraction to ease the pain. I went and they just gave me antibiotics and said I'd need to see my own dentist who referred me to get both wisdom teeth out. They only do the minimum needed. Your own dentist deals with ongoing care.


Beadoren · 25/07/2017 10:59

All I can say is I completely sympathise, I had dry socket in one extraction site after having all four done at once and it was unimaginable pain, my oh had to take me down to minor injuries for codeine in the middle of the night when I had finished my post op pain killers and realised I was still
In agony. Unfortunately I think the advice after extraction is to eat soft food, I would say Only liquid is better advice i.e. No lumps at all. Mine was done privately so luckily i had the infection cleaned out pretty quickly after we realised there was one but I had to go on abs anyway, and then got secondary ent infections which went on for 3 months.

Unfortunately, given dental surgery takes place in the mouth, the chances of infection are pretty high.


Usernom1234567890 · 25/07/2017 11:06

There won't be any out of hours emergency NHS dental provision at all soon.

Already, most of the Mon->Fri evening provision across England has been axed. Won't be long before Sat/Sun/BHol provision follows suit.

OOH emergency NHS dentistry has mainly been contracted out from the former NHS trusts to "corporate" dental providers.

Most staff working in OOH dental set up will tell you that there are enormous numbers of patients to see, in a very unrealistic amount of time. The stress is crippling. Good experienced staff can't work like this & have left in droves.

Best advice I can give you, is to ring your own dentist at 9am as soon as you realise there's a problem & fingers-crossed that problems don't arise on Sat & Sun.


lanouvelleheloise · 25/07/2017 11:13

I suspected something along those lines usernom. It's SO counterproductive in terms of NHS resources, because all that is happening is that patients have to return for 2 appointments instead of 1. In terms of dry socket, it's relatively quick and easy to clean and fill the socket with the clove oil pad - I wouldn't say it took longer than about 5 minutes both times I had it done. It would be way better if this could be done at the emergency service, sparing people unnecessary pain (and potentially unnecessary further visits). I don't care how stretched resources are, simply flinging antibiotics at people in desperation is absolutely not on, given the problems with resistance that are developing. One dentist told me that they are rarely necessary for oral infections, because even if something sets in, the body does a decent job of clearing it up in the mouth.

OP posts:

lanouvelleheloise · 25/07/2017 11:14

(To be clear: the problem in my case was that there was a plug of rotting food stuck in the tooth that was impossible to clear with a toothbrush or gargling. Handing me antibiotics did nothing because the food was still there, unremoved. The same thing happened to my friend!)

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