An abscessed tooth has an infection that can only be removed by extracting the tooth or performing root canal treatment. Root canal treatment is a dental procedure designed to remove infection from the soft center of a tooth and save the rest of the tooth.
- Before anything else is done, we will make sure that you are completely comfortable with local anesthetics that numb the area around the affected tooth. If local anesthetics are not enough to make you comfortable, or of you have trouble getting numb, ask us about sedation dentistry.
- Dr. Kruse or Dr. Harness will create an opening in the hard surface of the tooth, and use special tools to clean out the soft tissue, the nerves and any bacteria or infection.
- Once all the soft tissue has been removed, all the empty spaces, including the root canals, will be filled with special filling material to keep out any future infection. Dr. Kruse or Dr. Harness may wait a week to be certain the infection has been eliminated before permanently filling the tooth. If this is the case, temporary filling will close the tooth until the next appointment, the following week, when the tooth is permanently filled and closed.
- After root canal treatment, the tooth will be more brittle than a “live” tooth, so we will fit the tooth with a dental crown. Once the crown has been fitted, there may be some initial tenderness, but the new tooth will soon function and feel just like the original healthy tooth.
If you have an abscessed tooth, the infection must be removed to stop it from spreading. The only alternative to a root canal is extraction of the tooth.
While extraction may seem initially like the least expensive option, Dr. Kruse or Dr. Harness will probably recommend replacing the extracted tooth. An extracted tooth that is not replaced can leave a gap that causes problems for the surrounding teeth and potentially affect your bite. If root canal is an option, it may end up being less expensive than extracting and replacing that same tooth with a partial denture, bridge or a dental implant. Ask Clay Center Family Dental Care to explain all the options, and why root canal is recommended.