Pain is your body's signal that something is wrong. When you experience tooth pain, that's your cue to visit your dentist. Teeth cannot heal or repair themselves. The only way to relieve a toothache is to have a dentist treat the source. Minor pain suggests you may have a cavity, but more severe pain often means there is an infection in your tooth or the surrounding tissue. If you have an infection, you will probably need the services of an oral surgeon. Here are four things that will happen when you have an abscessed tooth:
1. Your dentist will prescribe you medication.
When you have an abscessed tooth, your dentist's first priority is healing the infection and reducing your pain levels. Your dentist will examine your tooth and take X-rays. If they notice an infected pocket in or around your tooth, they will write you a prescription for antibiotics. Make sure you finish all your antibiotics or your infection could grow even worse. Your dentist may also prescribe painkillers to keep you comfortable until the antibiotics kill the infection.
2. You will be referred to an oral surgeon.
Some dentists choose to perform minor oral surgery on their own, but more often they choose to refer patients to specialists. After your infection has healed, you will need a root canal to clean out the damaged tissue. A dental surgeon will be able to carefully clean the root canals within your tooth. They will fill the empty canals with a rubber-like substance, then place a temporary crown over the tooth to protect it.
3. You shouldn't feel pain during the procedure.
Many people are frightened of surgery on principle. However, dental surgery is minimally invasive. You will be awake the whole time, and your oral surgeon will carefully numb your teeth so you don't experience any pain. If you have anxiety about the sights, smells, and sounds that may occur during your procedure, you may elect to have anxiolytic drugs administered. Nitrous oxide or oral sedatives can allow you to have a comfortable, stress-free root canal treatment.
4. Your dentist will attach a permanent crown.
Your dental surgeon will have a permanent crown made that is perfectly molded to fit your tooth. Once the crown is ready, you will return to your primary dentist so they can finish the procedure. They will remove your temporary crown, clean the area underneath, then affix the permanent crown to your tooth. Once this step is done, your treatment is complete.
To learn more about this procedure and others, get in touch with businesses like the Center For Oral & Facial Surgery of Memphis PLLC.