Treating an Abscess Tooth

An abscess is a painful infection at the root or in the gum of a tooth. It occurs when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected and goes untreated. The infection can spread to the bone and the gum tissue around the tooth. An abscessed tooth must be treated by a dentist as soon as possible to relieve the pain and prevent further damage.

A toothache is the most common symptom of an abscess, but you may also experience pain when chewing, tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, swelling of the gums, or other symptoms.

There are two types of dental abscesses: periapical and periodontal. Periapical abscesses occur at the tip of the root and are often caused by untreated dental decay or a cracked tooth. Symptoms of periapical abscesses include severe pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness in the gum near the infected tooth. Periodontal abscesses occur between the gum and the tooth’s surface. These types of abscesses are typically caused by poor oral hygiene, gum disease, or tooth trauma. Symptoms include swollen or bleeding gums and pain when chewing or touching the infected area.

A dental abscess is usually treated with a root canal. Our highly trained dental team will remove the inflamed or infected area, clean, shape, fill the root canals, and seal the space. You will return to your dentist, who will place a crown or other restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.

If you think you may have an abscessed tooth, contact our office immediately to schedule an appointment. Our team will provide you with the treatment you need to relieve your pain and prevent further damage. Give us a call today at (251) 210-2773 to request an appointment.

What is an Apicoectomy?

Apicoectomy is also known as root-end surgery, retrograde root canal treatment, or root-end filling. Root end filling is an endodontic surgical procedure where a tooth’s root tip is removed, and a root end cavity is prepared and filled with a material.

This is usually necessitated when a conventional root canal therapy had failed, and a re-treatment was already unsuccessful or is not advised. State-of-the-art procedures make use of microsurgical techniques, such as a dental operating microscope, micro instruments, ultrasonic preparation tips, and calcium-silicate-based filling materials.

Removal of the root tip is indicated to remove the entire apical delta ensuring no uncleaned missed anatomy. After the root tip is removed, a root end cavity is prepared using ultrasonic preparation tips or heated and diamond burrs. The aim of this procedure is to remove all infected tissue from the tooth’s apex.

Once the root end cavity has been adequately cleaned, it may then be filled with a material such as calcium-silicate-based filling materials, which are known for their biocompatibility and bioresorbability. Allowing for great bonding between dentin and fillings as well as preventing residual infection from leaking into the surrounding bone and soft tissues.

While apicoectomies can be done on its own if necessary, they are often paired with conventional root canal therapy to ensure full removal of infected tissue. The success rate for this procedure is around 92 to 98%, depending on a number of factors such as the overall health of the patient, how well the root canal therapy was done previously, etc.

Overall, apicoectomies are an important and effective procedure in treating endodontic infections that have not been successfully treated through conventional root canal therapy. If you are experiencing any symptoms such as pain or swelling in your teeth, it’s best to seek out a dentist for an evaluation and possible apicoectomy treatment.​

As someone who has had an apicoectomy before, I can say that it is a relatively simple procedure with only mild discomfort afterward. However, it is extremely important to ensure that you choose a dentist who is highly skilled in this procedure to ensure your best chances of a successful outcome. So if you are experiencing any symptoms related to endodontic infections, be sure to visit your dentist for an evaluation and possible apicoectomy treatment.​

What Is Endodontics Used For?

Endodontics specializes in the diagnosis, cause, prevention, and treatment of diseases related to the dental pulp which is in the center of a tooth and is made up of connective tissue and cells. The word comes from Greek with “endo” meaning inside, and “odont” meaning tooth, therefore endodontics means “inside the tooth”. While all dentists are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of endodontic disease, particularly difficult cases are referred to a dentist who specializes in endodontics. An endodontic specialist normally completes a further two to three years of study in advanced education relating to treatments such as root canal procedures. Endodontics involves the further practice of treatments and techniques in much greater depth than normal dentistry. 

Endodontic treatment involves a range of procedures including root canal or endodontic treatment, repeat endodontic treatment, and endodontic re-treatment, as well as other complicated dental cases. Most people know what a dental filling is, but have little knowledge regarding root canal treatment or endodontic treatment. Root canal treatment becomes necessary when the blood supply and nerves inside the tooth, called the pulp of the tooth become infected. 

During the early stages of infection there may be no pain, however, sometimes the tooth may become darkened in color which could indicate that the blood supply to the tooth has been cut off indicating that the nerve has died. There may not be any symptoms during the early stages of infection. When the tooth pulp becomes infected it spreads to the root of the tooth and eventually leads to an abscess which is
extremely painful. 

At this point, antibiotics are usually prescribed which sometimes can alleviate the pain temporarily. The continual use of antibiotics can create resistant strains that make them less effective each time they are used, causing more problems in the future. Instead of relying on repeated antibiotic treatments to clear up the infection, it is preferable to treat the root cause. 

A dentist will be able to diagnose infection of the pulp and in difficult cases refer you for endodontic therapy. If the problem is left untreated the tooth may deteriorate to such an extent that it would necessitate extraction. Large abscesses are capable of destroying the bone surrounding the affected tooth to such an extent that it limits restorative options. 

The purpose of root canal treatment is to remove all infection from the canal of the tooth and to sterilize and fill the space completely with the inert material. After the infected pulp has been removed and the abscess has been drained the endodontist will disinfect the canal space and insert a temporary filling to allow the tooth to settle. When all infection has cleared up the canal will be filled with ‘Gutta-percha’, a rubbery substance, after which a permanent filling will be done. 

In some cases, it may be possible to do a root canal treatment in one session depending on the state of the tooth after the completion of the first stage. Teeth that have been subjected to root canal treatment often have missing tooth structure and it may be necessary to insert a crown to support and strengthen the tooth.
Some endodontic treatments may fail and require re-treatment, sometimes after several years. There are a variety of reasons for root canal failure and your dentist will be able to explain the reasons in your particular case.

Source: American Dental Association (ADA)