When you have an abscessed tooth, your dentist will take several steps to address the issue and alleviate your pain. Below is information about what you can expect from your dentist as they address your abscessed tooth.
- Examination and evaluation: Your dentist will examine your affected tooth and surrounding tissues to assess the extent of the infection. They may also take dental X-rays to get a clearer view of the tooth's roots and the surrounding bone.
- Drainage of the abscess: If there is a visible abscess, your dentist may need to drain the pus to relieve pressure and pain. They will make a small incision in the gum tissue to allow the pus to drain out. The draining of an abscess may be done using local anesthesia.
- Antibiotics prescription: In many cases, your dentist will prescribe antibiotics to help control the infection and prevent it from spreading further. Antibiotics are typically used as a supplemental treatment along with the necessary dental procedures. As always, take all your antibiotic medication even if you begin feeling better before the medication runs out.
- Root canal treatment: If the abscess is caused by an infection within the tooth's pulp, your dentist may recommend a root canal treatment. A root canal means your dentist will remove the pulp of the tooth and clean out the canal of the tooth. Then, the dentist will fill the tooth with a biocompatible material. A crown may be placed on the tooth afterward to protect and strengthen it.
- Tooth extraction: In some cases where the tooth is severely damaged or if a root canal is not possible, your dentist may recommend extracting the abscessed tooth. This step is typically considered if the tooth cannot be saved or poses a risk of further complications. Speak to your dentist about options for filling in the missing tooth, such as dental implants, bridges, and partial dentures.
- Follow-up care: After draining the abscess, prescribing antibiotics, performing a root canal, or extracting the tooth, your dentist will provide instructions for post-treatment care. This may include taking prescribed medications, maintaining good oral hygiene, and scheduling a follow-up visit to monitor your healing progress.
It's essential to contact your dentist as soon as possible if you suspect you have an abscessed tooth. A dental abscess can be considered a dental emergency. Prompt treatment can help prevent the infection from spreading and causing more severe complications. Contact a family dentist for more information.