Q. What is an abscessed tooth and what is involved in treating it?
A. An “abscessed tooth” is a term used to refer to a tooth that is infected. When a person has an abscess there is usually an infection which has originated in the pulp (center) of the tooth and it drains out through the bone and gingiva to the mouth. Treatment for this can have a wide range of options and can vary greatly in price and time. Most teeth with an “abscess” will be treated by either extracting the tooth or with endodontic therapy (root canal). The root canal can save the tooth allowing the person to use the tooth normally for years. Saving the tooth is what is usually recommended and done. Today, root canals are both painless and very successful. In most cases, a dentist or endodontist (root canal specialist) can do this procedure in under an hour with almost no post operative sensitivity.
Mark McOmie, D.M.D.
McOmie Family Dentistry
5999 Shallowford Road
Chattanooga, TN 37421