I have had a toothache for a few days now. The big problem I’ve faced is my job has been furloughed during the COVID-19 quarantine. I’m completely broke. Then, this morning, my cheek is swollen. Should I call my doctor and see if he’ll write me a prescription for antibiotics? I have Medicaid but no dental insurance.
I’m sorry your job was furloughed. This has been a difficult time for many countries, including our own. Having a toothache on top of that is probably making things even more stressful. The first thing I’m going to do is make sure you know that antibiotics will not be the solution. These are only meant as a temporary stop gap while you get to the dentist. It will not remove the infection.
I do understand you are in a tough spot. I’m going to give you ways to afford your care. However, before I do that, I want you to understand this is considered a dental emergency. You need to see a dentist. This infection will spread. Based on the swelling you described, it has already started. If the infection gets to your heart, lungs, or brain— all of which are close to your jaw —it will become life-threatening quickly. You don’t want to put this off.
One thing I’ve seen during this entire COVID-19 crisis, is the country pulling together. You will find a dentist who is sympathetic to the financial difficulty you find yourself in at the moment. They will likely be willing to provide the urgent dental care you need and then allow you to pay out the fee.
I’d start by looking for dentists who advertise as being affordable dentists on their websites. This usually means they are willing to take payments. If they were willing to do that before the quarantine, they will certainly be willing to now.
If for some reason you can’t find a dentist willing, another option is to apply for Care Credit. It is a medical loan service that has low and no interest payment plans, depending on your credit. I don’t think you will have an issue, though.
This blog is brought to you by Decatur, AL Dentists Drs. Drake and Wallace.