A dental abscess is a dental emergency that requires professional dental intervention as soon as possible. If you have an abscess, contact the team at Healdsburg Dental Spa in Healdsburg, CA, so you can be seen by Dr. Tam immediately.
What Is a Dental Abscess?
A dental abscess is a tooth infection that forms inside a tooth and spreads to the root, often beginning in the pulp where nerves and blood vessels are plentiful. As the bacteria multiples, it spreads and eventually forms an abscess.
The cause of this bacterial infection can vary. Old and deteriorating dental work or a mouth injury are possible reasons for an abscess, but the most common cause is untreated tooth decay.
Signs of a Dental Abscess
An abscess is not difficult to diagnose. It has very clear symptoms, which is good so you can get treatment right away. The most common signs of a dental abscess include:
- Shininess or smooth swelling of the gum
- Visible area of built-up up pus under the gum
- Pain and tenderness
- Warmth and redness
- Sensitive teeth
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath
A Dental Abscess Requires Dental Care
A dental abscess does not go away on its own without treatment. Even if the abscess ruptures and the pain you are experiencing diminishes significantly, do not be deceived that all is well – you still have an oral health problem that requires advanced dental care.
It’s critical to confirm that the abscess has drained properly so the infection does not spread to the jaw, other areas of the head or neck, or even the rest of the body. Left untreated, the infection behind the abscess can lead to serious, life-threatening effects.
An oral infection like an abscess also cannot be cured by a simple course of antibiotics. You may be prescribed antibiotics to help clear up the bacterial infection, but that will be in addition to dental treatment.
Emergency Dentistry for a Dental Abscess
There are several steps to treating an abscess, and you may or may not need all of them. Your dentist will be thorough in remedying this problem, so that you are out of pain and left with a healthy mouth, free of infection.
- Incision and drainage: The abscess must be drained before any repairs can be made. This wound can take a few weeks to heal completely, depending on the size of the abscess and how well the body responds to the procedure and antibiotics.
- Root canal therapy: One of the most common treatments, root canal therapy clears out all the roots of the infected tooth and fills them so they cannot be infected again. Treated teeth are typically covered by a porcelain crown for ongoing protection from future problems.
- Tooth-colored filling: If the abscess is not extremely large or severe and tooth decay can be cleared away with some drilling, a tooth-colored filling may be all that is needed to correct the tooth in question.
- Extraction: Sometimes, a tooth is so damaged by the bacterial infection that no dental restorations can save it. Pulling the tooth is necessary to protect the rest of your health from negative consequences.
Cost Factors of Repairing an Abscess
A dental abscess is a dental emergency so there is that initial cost factor that comes into play, but several other matters will affect the total cost, including:
- Location of the abscess
- Size of the abscess
- Depth of the infection
- Procedures needed to stop the infection
- Dental restorations needed
- Sedation dentistry needed
- Location of the dental office