Dr. Sameet Koppikar has answers! An infected tooth is usually an acute oral condition requiring immediate dental treatment. Dr. Koppikar and his team at Biltmore Dental Center in Phoenix hope that you never experience this situation. Just in case you do, he shares this information to ease your concerns.
What is the difference between an abscessed tooth and an infected tooth?
Technically speaking, a tooth infection occurs as soon as bacteria begin to infiltrate, multiplying and producing toxins that irritate soft tissues, jaw bone, and eventually the tooth. It becomes an abscess when infection forms a pocket of pus, possibly destroying the nerve at the center of the tooth. In general discussion, though, the terms are used interchangeably to describe symptoms like sharp toothache, mouth pain, swelling inside the mouth or outside on the face, bad taste in the mouth, and fever.
Do medications help?
Yes, to a degree. In this situation, Dr. Koppikar’s top priority is to get you out of pain. That is accomplished with a prescription for pain control medication. He will probably also prescribe a course of antibiotics to get the infection under control and kill bacteria, heading off more a serious situation like cellulitis. Normally root canal therapy is the next step to eliminate harmful bacteria from inside the tooth and prevent infection of the jaw bone. Without root canal treatment, the infection will likely return.
What is root canal therapy?
Root canal therapy treats an infected tooth, relieving pressure and pain, and saving as much of the natural structure as possible. After you are settled comfortably in the chair and thoroughly numbed, Dr. Koppikar opens the tooth to drain the abscess. Using a very precise method and delicate instruments, he removes infected pulp and the nerve. The inner chamber is sterilized to purge all traces of bacteria, and the tooth is sealed.
Relief is immediate, and healing occurs rather quickly. Dr. Koppikar may suggest a temporary restoration in some cases. Or he may simply create your beautiful new porcelain crown with in-house CEREC technology, to complete your procedure in one visit.
What is the alternative to root canal treatment? Because of acute discomfort and possibility that infection will spread, ignoring the problem is not an option. The only realistic alternative to root canal therapy for an infected tooth is extraction. Root canal therapy allows you to save the natural tooth and avoid the need for a fixed bridge or dental implant.
Do you have additional questions about infected tooth treatment? Call dentist who keeps Phoenix smiling – Dr. Koppikar at Biltmore Dental Center. The number is (602) 954-8200.