Treatment of an abscessed tooth
An abscessed tooth is a pocket of pus, usually caused by some kind of infection and the spread of bacteria from the root of the tooth to the tissue just below or near the tooth. In general, a tooth that has become abscessed is one whose underlying pulp (the tooth's soft core) has become infected or swollen. The pulp contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue, and lies within the tooth. It extends from the crown of the tooth, to the tip of the root, in the bone of the jaws. An abscessed tooth can be an extremely painful condition. In some cases, antibiotics are administered in an attempt to kill an infection. If antibiotics are ineffective and an abscess is shown to be damaging the pulp or lower bony structures, a root canal procedure may be needed to remove the dead pulp and restore the tooth to a healthy state.
The procedure for a root canal is somewhat similar to that for filling a cavity. During a root canal, the affected pulp is removed. The tooth interior is thoroughly cleaned, then filled and sealed. A filling or crown is added to the tooth to protect against further deterioration. Following a successful root canal, patients will experience a normally functioning tooth again.
Extracting a Tooth and Installing a Dental Implant
When the decision is made to extract a tooth, it is often desirable to replace it rather than leave an empty gap in the patient's mouth. In the past, a bridge or dentures were the only option for replacing missing teeth. Today, dental implants are a popular choice because they are permanently affixed and cannot be removed like dentures and bridges so there is no risk of them slipping out of place.
Before a dental implant can be installed, the damaged tooth must be pulled out. To install the implant, your Charlotte dentist will attach it directly to your jaw. It is left in place to fuse with your jawbone for several months. Once the implant has fused with bone, a replacement tooth can be attached to it. The implant will act as an anchor for the new tooth, which will look and feel like an original tooth.
Root canals and dental implants are both good options for correcting tooth decay and restoring normal functioning. Your dentist, Dr. Ahuja in Charlotte, NC, can discuss the specifics of each method so that you can choose which one is right for you.