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Old 07-01-2014, 14:41   #1
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Dental advice afloat sought

When I was last ashore, at home I broke a tooth (Damn popcorn anyway!) I went to my local dentist who put a sedative filling on it and told me to see him when I got back. Well don't you know the tooth has started to abcess offshore. Now I have been treating it with Cephalexin 500 mgs the last couple of days and the pain has subsided some. I have enough for a complete course. I would rather not see a dentist in Nigeria if possible. Any thoughts from the fleet? Besides pulling the tooth myself.
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Old 07-01-2014, 14:54   #2
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My dog had an abscess and we ran a full course of antibiotics. The tooth fell out on its own after that with no following infection.

Dunno if that helps you though.
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Old 07-01-2014, 15:16   #3
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Re: Dental advice afloat sought

Hiya Captain! This is a "jury-rig/emergency" solution while you're far away from a dentist, on how to deal with a tooth's abscess. Get a pin and put it on fire until it is red hot. Do not touch the pricking point of the pin with your fingers to maintain its sterility. Dip the pin in isopropyl alcohol or rum, if no alcohol is available. Prick the abscess and apply low pressure a few times, to drain it; a cotton swab or a cotton puff should be around the tooth to absorb the pus. Once drainage is somewhat completed, dab the affected tooth and its surrounding gum with iodine solution or anything with high alcohol content.

After pricking the abscess, pressure on the tooth will be released. Bloody yellow pus should fill the cotton puff. Replace cotton as necessary. If too much bleeding is seen, put pressure on a cotton puff for about 20 min; this should do it. If no cotton is available, use a woman's tampon; makes a good absorbent.

To minimize infections, avoid eating fish, onions and garlic while your tooth has not been treated yet by a dentist. If the abscess returns, repeat the above procedure, until you visit a dentist. Nothing you do, as mentioned above will kill you or maim you. Let me know how you're doing. Good luck!

Mauritz
Disclaimer...I am not a dentist, but I'm experienced in treating dental emergencies.
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Old 07-01-2014, 15:56   #4
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Re: Dental advice afloat sought

Thanks for the advice, both of you, I am going to stick with the antibiotics as long as they hold out and I don't start running a fever. I have had this experience before and I had to use a toothpick to rupture the spot. So using a sterile needle and betadine will be a step up for me.
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Old 07-01-2014, 16:43   #5
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Re: Dental advice afloat sought

Captain...
My wife has just had the same thing happen, the dentist ( I really rate) put her on amoxicillin for a week but this didn't sort it, she had no sign of abscess rupture point(to lance) after a X-ray, it showed a track in the jaw and root of the infected tooth
He has now put her on metronidazole 200mg, his advise was that if she tasted a sweet sickly taste in her mouth that the abscess was draining around the tooth but if it tasted bitter to call him ASAP as this would show a deeper more serious infection
Sympathise with you ... Nothing worse than tooth ache

Hope this helps
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Old 07-01-2014, 19:20   #6
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Re: Dental advice afloat sought

What your calling an abscess is actually a draining fistula. A fistula is when the infection becomes open by itself and begins draining on it's own. An abscess is actually deep inside the bone and can only be treated by root canal if your lucky or removal or the root tip or the procedure I'm fixing to undergo which is debridement and couretage (sp?)
which essentially means cutting a flap in my gingiva and removal of the the dead bone. I had a root canal last April and the infection has reocccured.
Best thing you can do is continue the antibiotics ( thank God you have them) and get to a dentist ASAP. Mucking with it has the possibility of making it worse and could possibly lead to it becoming septic. If you go to a questionable Dentist and they want to pull it, you can always leave and find a better one
I am NOT a Dentist, but grew up around it, so take my advice with a grain of salt
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Old 08-01-2014, 01:06   #7
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Re: Dental advice afloat sought

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknav View Post
Hiya Captain! This is a "jury-rig/emergency" solution while you're far away from a dentist, ...
That advice is thirty years out of date.
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:11   #8
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Re: Dental advice afloat sought

Where are you going in Nigeria? I have a good friend there and could get some recomendations
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:55   #9
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Re: Dental advice afloat sought

Thanks, I work out of Onne Port. I am in and out on a weekly basis. Right now the pain has abated somewhat, so I believe that it is coming around. I have serious reservations about seeing a dentist here, I have before and it was one of the scariest (dirtiest) places I have been, I am very reluctant to have my skin broken in one of these places. It is not draining right now, and it is hyper sensitive to heat or cold. I really appreciate all the helpful suggestions. I am monitoring it closely and will be in, in 3 or 4 days, by then either the antibiotics will have worked or I will need an extraction. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the pills are going to get on top of it.
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:58   #10
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Re: Dental advice afloat sought

I am probably using the wrong terms to describe what is going on. It hurts under a tooth that I recently had a sedative filling put in, that was close to the root. I was advised at the time that there was a 50/50 chance that I would have to come back for a root canal. Time off ran out and I had to come back to work, before I could go back in, but the sedative filling seemed to solve the problem and I felt I could get by until getting back to my home town.
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:59   #11
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Re: Dental advice afloat sought

The antibiotics will alleviate the symptoms. But until you remove the cause of the infection in this case almost certainly the dead pulp of the broken tooth the infection will come back. There are no absolutes of course, but I would not put off treatment because you start feeling better as I'm pretty sure it's temporary
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:08   #12
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Re: Dental advice afloat sought

You are right, I am just living in denial, because I don't want to go to a dentist here.
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:22   #13
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Re: Dental advice afloat sought

Quick update, thanks to the antibiotics, it looks like I can hold out until I get back to port. The pain has subsided somewhat, still pretty temperature sensitive. I do appreciate all who posted here with information and advice. Thanks everyone!
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Old 10-01-2014, 13:31   #14
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Re: Dental advice afloat sought

Good luck with it,

What you're doing is somewhat risky, because it is easy to suppress slightly but not completely the bacteria which are causing the infection; next is dealing with the drug resistant bacteria you have cultured in your jaw. Possibly, you will have to up the ante medication wise if you wish to continue to suppress the infection.

I hope you can get loose on your off week to get somewhere you can trust for an emergency dental procedure. I can understand your terror. I wonder if the wealthy Nigerians go to Europe for dentistry?

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Old 10-01-2014, 14:37   #15
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Re: Dental advice afloat sought

How long before you can get to a Dentist? If only a couple of weeks you should be OK, as long as the antibiotics hold out. Beware though that a couple of days after you run out life might not be so good.
Ann has a valid point on resistance though.
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