An abscess on your gumline by your teeth is an excruciatingly painful experience to endure. Anyone who’s seen Tom Hanks’s self-extraction in the movie “Castaway” can understand how the pain pushes you to do crazy things. But can a dentist pull an abscessed tooth? Or should they resolve the dental abscess first? The answer depends on the patient and their unique situation.
Can a Dentist Pull an Abscessed Tooth?
Reasons Not to Pull an Abscessed Tooth
There are times when a dentist might not want to pull an abscessed tooth. However, just because you have an abscess doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the tooth. The dentist will try to resolve the dental infection before they extract the tooth.
However, in some cases, things may be so far gone that the only choices are an extraction or a root canal. There’s no guarantee that a root canal will stop the abscess from returning in some cases of severe abscesses.
So, in these cases, an extraction makes sense. However, if the abscess is higher up the gum line and there is no apparent sign of tooth decay under the gums in an x-ray, the dentist may opt not to extract. They’ll treat you and send you on your way to see what happens.
You’ll monitor our treatment for a few days to see how things progress. If it works, great; no need for extraction. If it doesn’t, the dentist must make alternative treatment arrangements.
The dentist will look at factors like the tooth affected and the results of their prior treatments to determine the best path forward. If they feel there is no chance of saving the tooth, they’ll recommend extraction.
Alternatives to Extractions
The dentist’s go-to playbook for dealing with an infection and abscess is to give you antibiotics. Abscess infections are caused by bacterial infections in the gums due to infection in the teeth.
The dentist’s go-to playbook for dealing with a tooth infection and abscess is to give you antibiotics. Abscess infections are caused by bacterial infections in the gums due to infection in the teeth.
The dentist may drain the abscess in the chair to remove as much puss from the area as possible. They clean it up and prescribe antibiotic treatment, usually lasting three to five days.
Abscesses are painful, so the doctor will prescribe anti-inflammatories and painkillers to subdue the symptoms.
After three to five days, the patient must return to the dentist to have them reassess the tooth and the abscess. This may require further X-rays.
In some cases, the antibiotics are effective, and the infection subsides. However, in other cases, the tooth may be so far game that the patient can choose to undergo a root canal procedure or tooth removal.
Root canals guarantee that the infection won’t return. They’re also very painful situations that can cause complications and are expensive.
When Can’t the Dentist Pull an Infected Tooth
The dentist can’t extract the infected tooth if your face is swollen. In cases of severe infections, the patient’s facial tissues around the affected area may be so swollen the dentist can’t inject the anesthetic for the procedure.
The swelling also makes it difficult to grip the affected tooth properly for a clean extraction. As a result, the tooth might break off and require the roots to be dug out by a specialist.
What to Do If You Undergo an Extraction
If the dentist decides to pull the tooth, they’ll do it in the chair in most cases. After completing the extraction, the dentist makes you bite on gauze to stop the bleeding and let a clot form in the old tooth pocket. It’s critical not to let the socket dry out, or the clot falls out, leading to a highly painful condition called dry socket. Remember to follow the aftercare instructions properly after any extraction.
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