What are antibiotics?
Medication designed to help the body fight an infection by attacking bacteria.
What will NHS Dentist do?
You have either come to see us within one of our urgent appointment slots provided for those who fulfil the following definition: If in the opinion of the dentist prompt treatment is necessary because the patient’s oral health is likely to deteriorate significantly or they are in severe pain by reason of that oral condition, the dentist may provide treatment that is necessary to prevent the deterioration of the condition or to address the severe pain.
You may have been prescribed antibiotics by your dentist within a course of treatment.
The dentist who is on duty for the urgent appointments has diagnosed that you have an infection and that the appropriate course of treatment for the immediate problem is a course of antibiotics, taken orally and dispensed from a chemist. You have been given a prescription, please check before you leave that it is signed and stamped.
You should take these pills regularly (with regular spaces in between them), in accordance with the prescription and you MUST COMPLETE THE COURSE OF PILLS. Just because you feel better does not mean you should stop taking the remainder of the pills that have been prescribed.
What are the advantages?
Antibiotics will normally reduce the swelling and the pain you are experiencing. We still need to treat the cause of the infection.
What are the disadvantages?
Some antibiotics do not work on some people. Unless you have reported that you have previously had this experience with a particular antibiotic we cannot be sure of the efficacy of the antibiotic we prescribe for you. If you do not feel an improvement within 48 hours, you should contact us on 0207 610 1110 and explain to the receptionist what has happened. Usually, we will ask you to come back in to get another prescription for a different antibiotic – we understand that this is very annoying for you but dentists are not permitted to prescribe drugs without having examined the patient. Antibiotics can cause diarrhoea, sickness and lethargy in some people. If the symptoms are severe, stop taking the pills and contact your dentist.
If you suspect or know that you are allergic to any type of medicine (or anything else) you MUST inform the dentist. If you have never taken antibiotics or a particular type of antibiotic before, you should take the first ones in the presence of another person. If any allergic reaction occurs, stop the medication and contact your dentist immediately. If in the unlikely event that the reaction is very severe, such as difficulty in breathing, call 999 for an ambulance.
Most patients over 18 years of age can take a paracetamol and an ibuprofen painkiller together (taken at different times). Do not exceed the dose as described on the packets and never take pills that are not accompanied by a detailed explanatory leaflet from the manufacturers. You should always check the contraindications (problems with taking this medicine) on the instructions before taking any tablet. Painkillers can be purchased from the chemist or pharmacy and will not be prescribed.