Abscesses are pockets of pus, caused by infection. In the case of abscessed teeth, there is usually decay present, which leaves the dental pulp (soft tissues) in the middle of the tooth vulnerable to bacteria. Infected dental pulp doesn’t recover; the only way to remove infection is by removing the pulp, or the entire tooth.

An abscessed tooth can be an excruciating experience that we hope you never have to endure. It can cause toothache, temperature sensitivity, difficulty chewing, and swelling. It usually begins in the root of your tooth. The infection can travel, sometimes leading to pain and swelling in other areas of your face, or even neck.

Antibiotics can reduce the infection, or the pocket may drain naturally with time. However, it will come back repeatedly until it is treated. The pocket may temporarily go away, but the source of infection inside the tooth is still present. The ironic thing about abscess teeth is that many people choose to live with the pain because they fear a root canal treatment, which is virtually painless.

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Modern techniques and anesthetics have made the procedure much more comfortable, and reliable. Additionally, Dr. Dean D. Dietrich at Pleasant Dental® generally takes the extra step of prescribing oral antibiotics prior to treatment. This temporarily reduces the infection, relieving the pain. That means the nerve is not sensitized, and it can be numbed completely.

You usually feel little more than vibrations as Dr. Dietrich cleans all damaged and infected tissue from the chambers inside your tooth. The damaged nerve (the cause of your pain) is also removed, meaning there should be no more toothaches. After the chamber is sterilized, it is filled and sealed to prevent re-infection. When the anesthetic wears off there should be little, if any, residual soreness.

You may have heard that root canal procedures have a high rate of failure. With today’s stronger filling materials and more effective sealants, this is no longer true. The tooth will become somewhat brittle, and the large filling makes it vulnerable to fracturing. A full crown is placed over most treated teeth, to protect and strengthen them. When performed by a skilled and experienced dentist such as Dr. Dietrich, root canal treatment has a success rate of over 90 percent. With good oral hygiene and regular dental care, you can expect your restored tooth to last for many years – maybe even the rest of your life.

Don’t suffer another day with the misery of recurrent toothaches and abscessed teeth. Call Pleasant Dental® today at (708) 576-1900 and schedule an appointment.

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