If you have a toothache, see our dentist immediately. Don’t delay—even a minor toothache may be a sign of a more serious tooth infection. In fact, some tooth infections can be life-threatening if not treated immediately by an endodontic dentist.
However, not all tooth infections are the same. At Blevins Dentistry, we offer multiple dental treatments for patients suffering from tooth infections. The sooner you schedule an appointment, the more likely we can use a less intense form of dental treatment to save your smile.
Before we dive into your treatment options, it’s important that you know what a tooth infection is.
A tooth infection, also known as an abscessed tooth, occurs when bacteria enters the pulp of your tooth and becomes infected. Your dental pulp resides within your tooth and is made of things like blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. That’s why when your dental pulp is infected, you may feel pain—the nerves in your tooth are responding to the bacteria and warning you that something’s wrong.
If left untreated, a pocket of pus can build up on your tooth roots. We call this pocket of pus an abscess. Dental abscesses are dangerous because they can spread your tooth infection to your jawbone, other teeth, or surrounding tissue. In some cases, the infection can spread to other parts of your body, creating a life-threatening emergency.
That’s why it’s so important to seek treatment for a toothache right away. Only a trained endodontic dentist like Dr. Blevins will know whether your tooth is infected and which treatment option is best to cure your toothache and protect your smile.
Let’s take a look at the three procedures we offer to stop tooth infections: pulpotomy, root canal therapy, and tooth extraction.
If you see our dentist soon after your symptoms start, Dr. Blevins may recommend a pulpotomy. A pulpotomy works best for minor tooth infections before the development of a dental abscess.
With a pulpotomy, the goal is to treat the infection and keep your dental pulp healthy and alive. Dr. Blevins will apply a local anesthetic to prevent any pain while he removes any infected pulp and replaces it with a medicated filling. This is the simplest treatment option we offer, which is why it is so important to schedule an appointment as soon as possible if you start feeling pain in your tooth.
If the infection is too severe for a pulpotomy, then the next best option is to remove the dental pulp altogether and save the natural tooth. This is known as root canal therapy.
During root canal treatment, Dr. Blevins will use a local anesthetic before removing not just your infected tissue, but also your tooth’s pulp and nerve tissue. Root canal therapy is useful because your natural tooth can technically survive without your dental pulp. Even without your dental pulp, you should be able to chew and speak normally.
However, in some cases, root canal therapy can weaken your tooth. Dr. Blevins may recommend additional restorative dental treatment, such as a dental crown, to strengthen your tooth after a root canal and ensure it functions properly.
Some tooth infections are too severe for a pulpotomy or for root canal therapy. In these cases, tooth extraction is the only option available to save your smile and protect your health.
At Blevins Dentistry, we strive to do everything we can to prevent an unnecessary tooth extraction. However, if you wait too long to seek treatment, we may have no other choice. That’s why it’s so important to schedule an appointment immediately if you’re suffering from a toothache. It’ll give you the best chance of saving your smile.
The good news is that even if we have to remove your tooth, we offer other dental procedures to restore both the appearance and the function of your smile. Dental implants can restore missing teeth and protect your oral health by stimulating your jawbone. Dental bridges can fill gaps without involving oral surgery. Once we’ve removed your infected tooth, we’ll discuss any restorative or cosmetic options available to help you regain your smile.
Our Mullins, SC, endodontic dentist can use a pulpotomy, root canal therapy, or tooth extraction to save your smile from tooth infection. Call Blevins Dentistry today at (843) 561-4039, or contact us online to schedule an appointment.