Why Won’t my surgery help?

Woman (UK) - - Ask The Expert -

QI have toothache and went to see my GP, but they wouldn’t give me an­tibi­otics. I know they work, so why not?

Philippa says:

APut sim­ply, GPS are doc­tors not den­tists and we don’t know very much at all about teeth! Doc­tors have to work within the lim­its of their ex­per­tise – af­ter all, you don’t want a gy­nae­col­o­gist op­er­at­ing on your shoul­der! They’re also not in­sured to treat den­tal con­di­tions, but they can pre­scribe painkillers to keep you pain free un­til you see ei­ther an emer­gency spe­cial­ist or your own den­tist. Toothache that causes a den­tal ab­scess may need an­tibi­otic treat­ment, but your den­tist is able to pre­scribe an­tibi­otics and will then treat the un­der­ly­ing cause, which is gen­er­ally tooth de­cay.

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