How Family Dentistry and Pediatric Dentistry Deals With Infections

Family DentistryWhen practicing family dentistry with an emphasis on pediatric dentistry, it is very important to realize that the patients we serve are extremely unique. Like with a pediatrician, our young patients have special needs, and this has given us a unique perspective on family dentistry. Perhaps the most important thing for us to remember is that children and dental discomfort is not a good mix. As such, we are always looking for ways to reduce your child's discomfort quickly, which often means finding the fastest way to cure whatever is ailing them. Sometimes, this can include antibiotics, and at other times, this can mean using a holistic approach to dental medicine that puts a number of different options on the table. Being a practitioner of family dentistry, we tend to be less inclined to jump toward a hard solution like antibiotics for a number of reasons. To be sure, antibiotics are one of the greatest finds in medical history. When Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928. he gave medical science a powerful tool against infections.

Given that most infections that influence pediatric dentistry are of the bacterial variety, the introduction of antibiotics did a great deal to advance the kinds of things we can treat and how quickly we can treat them. The challenge arose, and still remains, of the over-prescription of antibiotics by many in the medical profession, however. This gave rise to an unsafe number of antibiotic-resistant strains of organisms that were no longer controlled by the medication. The American Association of Pediatric Dentists has expressed a concern about the number of these kinds of infections, urging a more holistic approach to treating an oral health issue. There are always ways to treat an infection, and indeed any condition, that does not overuse any particular remedy. When we do prescribe antibiotics as your family dentist, they tend to be extremely targeted and very effective, which is exactly what we want to be.

If there is any form of medical practice that understands the attraction of using antibiotics, it is pediatric dentistry. We understand how important it is to find a quick solution and that most patient's parents see these as a wonder drug, with good reason. When you have an infection, there are very obvious symptoms that are extremely uncomfortable. There is often pain or discomfort. There can be a fever that will not go away, or that keeps coming back. There may even be swelling at the site of the infection. All this causes a child to be miserable. When you start the antibiotics prescribed by your pediatric dentistry specialist, the improvement is typically immediate. The fever subsides, the pain goes away, and the swelling is reduced. All this because the antibiotics are controlling the infection so your body can reestablish balance. It is important to note that infections are not cured but merely controlled by antibiotics. It is your body that uses its own disease-fighting mechanisms that ultimately will defeat anything that invades it – and in the process, learns everything it needs to know about this particular infection in case it runs into it again in the future.

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