Treatment Options For A Painful Dental Abscess

An abscessed tooth refers to a severe infection of the pulp, which is located in the middle of your tooth. The pulp contains blood vessels and nerves and when it becomes infected or exposed as a result of enamel erosion or a broken tooth, severe throbbing pain can develop. Here are some treatment options an emergency dentist may recommend to help relieve the pain of a dental abscess. 

Removal Of Infectious Material And Local Anesthetic 

The infectious material that is inside your pulp will need to be removed and after it has been removed, your dentist will thoroughly clean the area. After the inside of your tooth has been cleaned, a local anesthetic gel may be applied to the affected area for toothache relief.

If warranted, your dentist will prescribe pain medications that you can use on a short-term basis. Once your abscess has been effectively treated, your toothache should substantially subside. To further reduce the discomfort of your toothache, you can apply an ice pack on the affected side a few times a day to help relieve both pain and soft tissue swelling. When the swelling goes down, you can switch over to a warm compress or a heating pad for soothing toothache relief.

Root Canal Or Extraction

For extensive infections of the pulp, a root canal might be recommended. During this procedure, after the infectious material has been removed, the dentist will fill the canal in your tooth with a special plastic material called gutta-percha. The final step of a root canal is the placement of a dental crown over the tooth. A root canal will help save your tooth, however, if the abscess has caused significant tooth or root damage, an extraction may be recommended.

A general dentist is trained in root canal procedures, however, they may refer you to a dental specialist known as an endodontist if your condition warrants. Once your tooth has been extracted, your pain will subside, however, the area may be sore for a couple of days. Following your extraction, a dental implant can be inserted into the space to help restore your oral health and to prevent your other teeth from drifting out of their normal positions. 

If you develop a severe toothache, see your dentist for an exam. If an abscess is not identified and treated right away, the infection may spread to other parts of your body, however, quick treatment typically results in a very favorable outcome.