I had a killer toothache and finally decided to make an appointment. They gave me an antibiotic. Do you know how long it will take to help it feel better?
– Troy in Missouri
Good job going in to see an emergency dentist. Far too many people put off going to the dentist even when they are in pain. Often times, the sooner you go into the dentist when you have a toothache, the more economically and conservatively your need can be addressed.
To answer your specific question, Keflex is the generic name for Cephalexin which is a common broad spectrum antibiotic that kills both negative and positive bacteria. Your dentist prescribed either a 7 or 10 day supply of this medication for your tooth infection and recommended you to finish all the medication. After a few days your swelling and symptoms may become greatly reduced and you may think you are all better. However, it is vital to take all the medication recommended. Even though you may start to feel better taking the full supply of medication is necessary to kill the bacteria that has attacked your tooth and the bone around it. Leaving a bacterial infection present by not taking the complete dose that was prescribed can cause a more serious problem.
Antibiotics like Keflex will help fight the infection, however in order to prevent the infection from returning your dentist will most likely recommend a root canal and dental crown if the tooth is savable, otherwise your only other option would be to extract the tooth. If you want to save it a root canal would be necessary, which entails opening the canals of the tooth to drain the source of the abscess.
Dental implants are the best option to replace a missing tooth if you get into that situation. They look, feel, and function just like you are used to and are quickly becoming the standard of care for missing teeth.
This post is sponsored by Mesa dentist Desert Family Dental.