Can A Dentist Extract An Infected Tooth - (2023)

Which Treatment Is More Ideal

Tooth Infection

It’s always preferable for a patient to keep as much of his or her tooth structure as possible. Given this fact, root canal therapy is a better option for treatment in general. However, root canal therapy is not always a viable option for all patients.

Keep in mind that we will always strive to restore or maintain as much of a patient’s natural tooth and gum tissue as possible as part of our approach to dental care.

Why Wont My Dentist Extract My Tooth

While you are thinking my teeth, my rules and hearing blah blah blah instead of advice coming from your dentist, let me make it clear to you that according to law, its your dentists ethical right to explain the procedure as well as give reasoning to their patients.

Meaning that your dentist certainly has a lot of say in whether you get to keep the tooth or not.

An Argument For Extracting The Tooth

That sounds pretty good, doc. So why would you ever extract a tooth? you might ask. In my opinion, there are two scenarios where you would choose to extract a tooth rather than save it by doing a root canal with PIPS/SWEEPS.

Some teeth are just too far gone. Sometimes a tooth has been worked on too many times in the past, and it is just not viable anymore. This includes too many root canals being attempted when its clear that there is something structurally wrong with the tooth that a root canal cannot resolve. Here is an image of an old root canal tooth that has become reinfected. See that black area at the end of the root. This is bacteria draining from the tooth even after the root canal has been done. Wait a minute doc, I thought root canals were supposed to resolve tooth infections. Well, usually they do but not always. Additionally, the tooth can become re-infected.

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Restorative Treatments For Toothaches

In most cases, your toothache will be caused by dental decay, in which we will recommend one of the following restorative treatments:

Get a dental filling. If you have a cavity caused by exposed nerves in the tooth, it can lead to a great deal of pain, which can easily be treated with a dental filling. To protect the nerves, we will remove any of the decay by drilling around the cavity, then fill-in the area with a bonding material, which will restore the tooth and protect the nerves from causing pain.

Root canal therapy. Oftentimes, toothaches are caused by dental abscesses, which occur when the pulp of the tooth gets infected. For patients dealing with an abscessed tooth, we will recommend root canal therapy. During root canal therapy treatments, we will clean the inside of the tooth to remove the infection, drain the abscess, then fill the tooth and cover it with a dental crown to protect the tooths natural structure. Contrary to popular belief, root canal therapy treatments are no longer as painful as they once were, due to improvements in anesthetics and dental technology.

Dental extraction followed by a dental implant. In cases where a tooth is too decayed or infected to repair, our only option will be to extract the tooth to alleviate pain. After extraction, we will recommend a dental implant, bridge, or denture restoration to take the place of the lost tooth.

How Can You Prevent Dental Abscesses

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Dental abscesses can be quite painful and may lead to tooth loss, so it’s important to do all you can to prevent them. Some of the best strategies to prevent abscesses include:

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Make sure you thoroughly brush your teeth twice per day, and floss daily. This helps keep oral bacteria at bay, reducing your risk of cavities, gum disease, and abscesses.

Get Regular Dental Checkups

Most patients need to visit the dentist for a checkup every 6 months. If you have a history of serious gum disease or tooth decay, you may need to go more often. Regular checkups ensure that minor issues like cavities and cracks are diagnosed and treated before they can progress to causing an abscess.

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Wear Your Mouthguard When Playing Sports

If you play contact sports, wear a mouthguard during practice and games. This reduces your risk of cracked teeth and the abscesses that sometimes result.

Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks

Sugary foods and drinks feed oral bacteria, increasing your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth abscesses. Opt for healthy, low-sugar snacks like cheese, veggies, and nuts. Steer clear of fruit juice and soda, and opt instead for sugar-free choices like water, black coffee, and unsweetened tea.

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Will A Dentist Pull An Infected Tooth

Yes, dentists routinely do pull infected teeth. They do this all of the time.

Thats because they know that nothing will benefit you more than just going ahead and getting rid of the source of your problem, which is your tooth.

Note: The term infected tooth doesnt necessarily equate with the phrase swelling is present.

A severely decayed bicuspid that shows signs of associated infection.

With this case, the patient was relatively asymptomatic.

Some teeth display more active symptoms.

Sometimes an infected tooth will start to cause some minimal level of swelling or pain may begin to become an issue.

Section referencesIsik

How Do I Prepare For An Appointment With My Dentist For An Abscessed Tooth

To help you get ready for your appointment:

  • Make a list of your symptoms include any that may seem unrelated to your tooth or mouth pain. Remember, your dentist can only help you when they know everything going on.
  • Make a list of medications, vitamins, herbs or supplements you may be taking with the dosages of each.

You should prepare a list of questions to ask your dentist, including:

  • Whats likely causing my symptoms and condition?
  • Which tests do you recommend?
  • What is the best course of action?
  • Are there alternative to the primary

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Remember, your dentist wants to help keep you and your teeth healthy. Just like other medical professionals you may see, theyre an important part of the healthcare team. Be sure to see your dentist routinely and dont put off regular checkups prevention is key! These visits give your dentist a chance to spot problems early, when they may be easier to treat. If you are experiencing pain, its important to see your dentist to get the care you need.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/24/2020.


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Tooth Abscess Treatment And Pain Relief

Once a dental abscess is cleaned out, the pain subsides. If the infection is in the gums, a little soreness may remain while the gums heal. Your dentist can recommend one of the best pain relief treatments for your situation. Most of the time, ice packs or over-the-counter medication works well. With a severe infection, the dentist may prescribe stronger pain medication.

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Signs & Symptoms Of Tooth Abscess

Treatment of Abscessed Teeth

You should seek treatment for a tooth abscess as soon as possible to avoid the spread of this infection. Some of the warning signs that indicate youre dealing with tooth abscess include the following:

  • A severe toothache or tooth pain with dull pressure, aching, and throbbing or sharp pain
  • Fever
  • Pain with or without chewing
  • Redness and swelling of the gums
  • In advanced infections, swelling of the jaw
  • Sensitivity of the teeth to temperature change hot or cold
  • An open, draining sore in the gums that may also cause a bitter taste in the mouth
  • Bad breath

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Symptoms Of A Dental Abscess

Symptoms of an abscess in your tooth or gum may include:

  • an intense throbbing pain in the affected tooth or gum that may come on suddenly and gets gradually worse
  • pain that spreads to your ear, jaw and neck on the same side as the affected tooth or gum
  • pain that’s worse when lying down, which may disturb your sleep
  • redness and swelling in your face
  • a tender, discoloured or loose tooth
  • shiny, red and swollen gums
  • sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink
  • bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth

If the infection spreads, you may also develop a high temperature and feel generally unwell.

In severe cases, you may find it hard to fully open your mouth and have difficulty swallowing or breathing.

How Much Does A Tooth Extraction Cost

The cost for tooth extraction varies widely depending on whether the tooth is impacted. Simple extraction usually costs between $75 and $200 per tooth, and may be more depending on the type of anesthesia you need.

The cost to remove impacted teeth is significantly higher and can land anywhere between $800 and $4,000. Where you live can also impact how much you pay for the procedure, as many services are tailored to an areas cost of living.

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Can A Periodontist Extract A Tooth

A periodontist has one primary goal to save patients permanent teeth. If someone needs a tooth extracted, this dental professional has the advanced training to replace it. Mainly, they offer dental implants to patients who are good candidates. While it might sound odd that a periodontist pulls teeth, it is for the health of the patient.

How Is A Tooth Infection Treated

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Treatment options for a tooth infection include:

  • Drainage. A dentist will make a small incision in your gums to drain the abscess. However, this is typically used as a temporary measure, and further treatments are often needed.
  • Root canal. During a root canal, the infected pulp is removed from the tooth. The inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and filled. A crown is then placed to help restore the tooth.
  • Tooth extraction. In situations when an infected tooth cannot be saved through a root canal, it may be extracted instead.
  • Antibiotics.Antibiotics are drugs that can kill bacteria. Theyre sometimes used to treat tooth infections. Depending on the severity of your infection, you may receive oral antibiotics or intravenous antibiotics. Your tooth will also need a root canal or extraction along with the antibiotics.

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What To Do If You Have A Dental Abscess

You should see a dentist as soon as possible if you think you have a dental abscess.

Avoid visiting a GP, as there’s little they can do to help.

You can get help from:

  • your registered dentist if it’s out of hours, they should have an answerphone message with details of how to access out-of-hours dental treatment
  • NHS 111 who can give you details of dental services in your area
  • if you’re having difficulty breathing or swallowing, or there’s swelling around your eye or neck

You may have to pay for emergency NHS dental treatment, depending on your circumstances.

How To Prepare For A Tooth Extraction

Before scheduling the procedure, your dentist will take an X-ray of your tooth. Be sure to tell your dentist about any medications you take, as well as vitamins, supplements, and over-the-counter drugs.

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Tell your dentist if you will soon be treated for another medical condition with an intravenous drug called a bisphosphonate. If so, the extraction should be done before the drug treatment, or your jaw could be at risk for osteonecrosis .

Also, tell your dentist about any of the following conditions:

  • a congenital heart defect
  • an impaired immune system
  • a history of bacterial endocarditis

Your dentist may want to make sure all conditions are stable or treated before you undergo the tooth extraction. You might be prescribed antibiotics in the days leading up to the procedure if:

  • your surgery is expected to be long
  • you have an infection or a weakened immune system
  • you have a specific medical condition

Its helpful to keep the following in mind for the day of the tooth extraction in order to ensure quality treatment:

  • If you will be receiving intravenous anesthesia, wear a short-sleeved shirt or loose-fitted clothing, and dont eat or drink for six to eight hours before your appointment.
  • Dont smoke beforehand.
  • Tell your dentist if you have a cold, as you may need to reschedule.
  • Tell your dentist if you had nausea or vomiting the night before, which may require different anesthesia or rescheduling.
  • If youre receiving general anesthesia, have someone with you to drive you home.

Also Check: How Do Wisdom Teeth Get Infected

What Are Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth that erupt in human 20s and 30s, the wisdom teeth are also known as adult teeth. However most people have wisdom teeth, but theres a possibility of people who never faced eruption of wisdom teeth. Emergency Dental Care Near mehas disclosed that it is possible to have more than four wisdom teeth.

We have found from studies that wisdom teeth aren’t visual because of tooth infection that made them impacted under the gingival tissue.

Will A Tooth Infection Go Away On Its Own

How To Alleviate Infected Wisdom Tooth

A tooth infection will not go away on its own. Your toothache may stop if an infection causes the pulp inside your tooth to die. The pain stops because the nerve isnt functioning anymore, so you may not be able to feel it. However, the bacteria will continue to spread and destroy surrounding tissue. If you have tooth infection symptoms, see your dentist even if you no longer have pain.

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Ways To Tell If You Are Living With An Infected Tooth

Are you suffering from a debilitating toothache? Perhaps youve noticed a little gum or jaw swelling, or your tooth seems to be a different color? It could be a serious tooth infection.

Your teeth are packed with nerves. Thats why a toothache, though it may only affect one part of your mouth, is excruciating. Whats more, the pain may sometimes be related to a deeper oral health issue.

If your tooth feels sore, sensitive, or youre experiencing sharp pains in your mouth, you may have a tooth infection or a tooth abscess.

Why a tooth becomes infected

There are a number of causes of tooth infections. One of the most common causes is older root canals. When you have a root canal, your dental professional removes a nerve from the affected tooth. Unfortunately, bacteria can grow in that area, leading to an infection that your body struggles to fight off.

Its important to recognize the signs of an infection, so you can seek immediate treatment.

How to tell if your tooth is infected

  • If you experience pain when eating, you may have a tooth infection. The infection or abscess spreads out of the root tip, which causes the gum and bone to be affected. Sometimes the pulsating pain and throbbing may be so severe that pain medication does not relieve your aches. This could be because the infection has spread, and theres more pressure on the gums and bones.
  • Your tooth has turned a darker color compared to your other teeth.
  • How to cure a tooth infection

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    When Should I Visit The Dentist For Tooth Abscess

    If you notice any of the symptoms of tooth abscess listed above, you should come in to see us as soon as possible, and we will make every effort to set aside a same day appointment for you. Because of the dangers associated with tooth abscess, one of our dentists may even recommend coming into the office outside of regular hours. Dont wait for the pain or infection to spread. Get help right away.

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    B Concerns About Local Anesthetic Effectiveness

    Local anesthetics are the type of drugs dentists use to numb up teeth and oral tissues . And the chemistry of these compounds is such that they dont work as effectively in swollen/inflamed tissues. Heres why.

    A well-defined area of swelling .

    If the swelling is just localized.

    Isolated, well-defined areas of swelling may not pose much of an obstacle to numbing up your tooth and gums for your extraction. Your dentist just needs to come up with a way to numb up the applicable nerves at a point before they enter the affected tissues.

    The presence of diffuse and/or extensive swelling can complicate this process. And if so, it may be that the patients infection must be managed before achieving adequate anesthesia is possible and their extraction process can be performed.

    Proof that its usually possible to adequately numb up infected teeth.

    While doing research for this page, we ran across a study by Martis that evaluated 1,376 tooth extractions performed in the presence of acute infection. 327 of these teeth even had a coexisting fascial space abscess .

    The papers materials and methods section, as more or less a side note, mentioned that all patients were anesthetized with mandibular block for the mandibular teeth and local infiltration for the maxillary teeth.

    Section references

    Relieving Pain From A Dental Abscess

    Can A Dentist Extract An Infected Tooth - (3)

    While you’re waiting to see a dentist, painkillers can help control your pain.

    Ibuprofen is the preferred painkiller for dental abscesses, but if you’re unable to take it for medical reasons, you can take paracetamol instead.

    Aspirin should not be given to children under 16.

    If 1 painkiller does not relieve the pain, taking both paracetamol and ibuprofen at the doses shown in the medicine leaflet may help.

    This is safe for adults, but not for children under 16.

    It may also help to:

    • avoid hot or cold food and drink if it makes the pain worse
    • try eating cool, soft foods if possible, using the opposite side of your mouth
    • use a soft toothbrush and temporarily avoid flossing around the affected tooth

    These measures can help relieve your symptoms temporarily, but you should not use them to delay getting help from a dentist.

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    What Is A Dry Socket

    The typical scenario for dry socket is the occurrence of throbbing pain about two to four days after the tooth is extracted. Dry socket pain is often accompanied by bad breath and a foul taste in the mouth. With this onset of pain, it is obvious that proper healing has been interrupted.

    Dry socket is a condition of inflammation of the jawbone after a tooth extraction. It is also referred to as “alveolar osteitis” and is one of the many complications that can occur from a tooth extraction. The hallmark of dry socket is noticeable pain that occurs a few days after a tooth is extracted. Pain from dry socket is often described as a dull, throbbing pain that can range from moderate to unbearable.


    Can a dentist pull a tooth thats infected? ›

    The presence of an acute infection characterized by severe percussion pain is not a contraindication for tooth extraction. Infected teeth should be extracted as soon as possible and the procedure should not be postponed by giving antibiotics.

    What happens if you extract a tooth with an infection? ›

    In case the tooth has been infected beyond repair, there is no choice but to remove it. After the tooth is removed, some infection may still be present inside, which has to be drained or targetted with the help of antibiotics.

    Why you shouldn't pull an infected tooth? ›

    If the infection is allowed to spread to the gums around the tooth and the bone responsible for holding it, the bone may become too damaged. This may cause the tooth to shift and move around and, eventually, lead to tooth loss.

    Will pulling an infected tooth stop the infection? ›

    If the affected tooth can't be saved, your dentist will pull (extract) the tooth and drain the abscess to get rid of the infection. Prescribe antibiotics. If the infection is limited to the abscessed area, you may not need antibiotics.

    Can pulling an infected tooth cause sepsis? ›

    A bone infection after tooth extraction is a dangerous ailment. If not treated, a patient can go into sepsis. Sepsis is an infection caused by anything (virus, bacterial, fungal) that enters the bloodstream and can impair flow to the vital organs in your system.

    How do you know if a tooth infection is killing you? ›

    If a tooth infection goes untreated, it can spread to other areas of the body over a period of weeks or months. This can cause serious symptoms like fever, difficulty breathing, or trouble swallowing. Death can occur quickly without immediate care.

    How common is sepsis with dental infection? ›

    Sepsis following a bacterial infection from a dental condition or treatment is rare. This life-threatening condition can occur if patients are not managed appropriately.

    What does dental sepsis feel like? ›

    Infections in the mouth

    Bitter taste in the mouth. Fever. Pain. Sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold.

    How long can you go with infected tooth? ›

    In conclusion, the maximum period that an untreated tooth abscess can sustain is 12 months or more. But, such longevity is associated with dangerous complications such as sepsis or even death. Schedule your appointment with a dentist today and get the treatment on time!

    How long does it take for a severe tooth infection to go away? ›

    You'll likely take antibiotics for 7 to 10 days to get rid of your tooth infection. Dentists usually have a few different options of antibiotics that they prescribe, which we'll cover below.

    What is a severe tooth infection? ›

    A dental abscess is a collection of pus that can form inside the teeth, in the gums, or in the bone that holds the teeth in place. It's caused by a bacterial infection. An abscess at the end of a tooth is called a periapical abscess. An abscess in the gum is called a periodontal abscess.

    How do you prevent sepsis after tooth extraction? ›

    Patients should keep their teeth and gums clean and leave the blood clot to heal on its own. Gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water and let the water drain from your mouth instead of forcefully spitting. We may also recommend an antiseptic solution as part of your daily routine.

    How do you know if a tooth infection has spread to your blood? ›

    Signs of a tooth infection spreading to the body may include: fever. swelling. dehydration.

    How long does it take to get sepsis after tooth extraction? ›

    Infections often occur within 1-2 days after the extraction, but in some cases, it sets in much later. You may not experience signs of infection until 3-4 weeks after the procedure.

    What are the early warning signs of sepsis? ›

    The signs and symptoms of sepsis can include a combination of any of the following:
    • confusion or disorientation,
    • shortness of breath,
    • high heart rate,
    • fever, or shivering, or feeling very cold,
    • extreme pain or discomfort, and.
    • clammy or sweaty skin.
    31 Aug 2017


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