Emergency Dentistry- How an Emergency Dentist can Help you Relief an Infected Tooth

A periapical tooth abscess (or simply an abscessed tooth) is a common type of dental infection that requires immediate attention from a dentist. This type of infection which causes pus to collect in or around the tooth, requires immediate treatment in order to not only relieve pain but prevent more serious complications.

So, if you suspect that you might have an abscessed (infected) tooth, you need to contact an emergency dentist immediately. Below is a quick glance at how a reliable emergency dental practice like Sherwood Park Dental can help you relieve an infected tooth.

Dental Examination and Diagnosis

An emergency dentist may be able to diagnose your abscessed tooth either through physical examination (physical symptoms) or dental X-rays (for an infection inside the tooth). Some of the common symptoms of an abscessed tooth include;

  • A visible pocket of swelling (pimple-shaped and containing pus) around the teeth.
  • Intense pain in the tooth which may radiate to the neck, jaw, ear or face.
  • Redness in the mouth.
  • High temperature.
  • A foul taste and bad odour in the mouth (from a ruptured abscess).
  • Sensitivity to cold or hot foods and drinks.
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, breathing, opening and closing of the mouth.

How an Emergency Dentist Treats an Infected Tooth

Depending on the nature and severity of your tooth infection, there are different types of treatments an emergency dentist may recommend. In some cases, you may even receive more than one treatment. Some of the common treatments available include;


This is usually carried out for an abscess that is visible. The dentist starts by numbing the area with a local anesthetic before proceeding to make a small incision in the gum tissue and allowing the pus to drain from the wound. The wound is then washed with saline solution to get rid of any remaining bacteria. This drainage should bring much relief to the pain from the infection.

In cases where the infection may have destroyed some oral tissues, the dentist may perform a procedure known as debridement to remove the dead tissues.


Since a tooth abscess typically occurs as a result of a bacterial infection, the emergency dentist will likely recommend a course of antibiotics to resolve the infection. Bear in mind that in order for these antibiotics to work, you will need to carefully follow your dentist’s instructions for dosage and timing. Not finishing the treatment or missing a dose may result in harmful bacteria surviving and causing symptoms to reappear in the future.

Root Canal

A root canal is a treatment option for when the infection is inside the tooth. The procedure is carried out to drain the abscess from the tooth while also removing all infected tissues, including the veins, nerves, and arteries. After all the infected tissues have been removed, the tooth will be sealed and given a crown if necessary.

This treatment serves as a way of preserving the tooth. Although a root canal procedure can be quite painful, there are several modern dentistry methods that can be used to help patients feel as comfortable as possible.


Extraction is only considered when all other treatment options are not viable. Once an infected tooth is extracted, you will need to consider different options for teeth replacement as soon as possible. This is to prevent any of the complications associated with missing teeth.

Some of the teeth replacement options your dentist may recommend include; a dental implant, a bridge, or a partial denture. The option you choose will be influenced by factors like; your aesthetic preferences, the condition of your surrounding teeth and the amount of dental work you will be comfortable with.


Having an infected or abscessed tooth can be a very painful experience and it can also lead to other serious complications if not addressed immediately. Seeing an emergency dentist as soon as you suspect that you might have a tooth infection is the best way to relieve pain and prevent your condition from worsening.

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