Dental Abscess

Signs, Symptoms & Treatment Options and Fee Estimates

WHAT IS A DENTAL ABSCESS?

A dental abscess is an infection that occurs in the oral cavity, typically within the teeth, gums, or jawbone. It emerges as a result of bacteria infiltrating the delicate tissues, causing localized inflammation and a buildup of pus. If left untreated, a dental abscess can lead to severe pain, complications, and potential damage to oral health.

WHAT CAN CAUSE A DENTAL ABSCESS?

The primary cause of a dental abscess is a bacterial infection. The most common culprits are oral bacteria, which can gain access through various means, such as:

  1. Tooth Decay: Cavities or dental caries create openings in the protective enamel, allowing bacteria to penetrate the tooth and reach the pulp, where the nerves and blood vessels reside.

  2. Gum Disease: Advanced stages of gum disease, such as periodontitis, can cause gum pockets to form, providing an ideal environment for bacteria to flourish.

  3. Dental Trauma: Cracked or broken teeth, resulting from accidents or injuries, offer pathways for bacteria to enter the inner layers of the tooth.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF A TOOTH ABSCESS

Symptoms of a Dental Abscess: Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a dental abscess is crucial in seeking prompt treatment. Common indicators include:

  • Severe toothache that may radiate to the jaw, ear, or neck.

  • Persistent throbbing pain, worsened by biting or chewing.

  • Swelling, redness, and tenderness in the affected area.

  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.

  • Pus formation, accompanied by a foul taste or odor in the mouth.

  • Fever, swollen lymph nodes, and general malaise in severe cases.

RISK FACTORS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF DENTAL ABSCESS

  • Dry Mouth – Having a dry mouth can often increase the risk of tooth decay. This extensive Decay can reach the pulp of the tooth can cause infection.

  • Dental Hygiene – Poor dental hygiene practices can increase the risk of bacteria building up in the mouth.

  • High Sugar Diet – High sugar diets can contribute towards to formation of cavities.


Information provided here is for education and research information only and subject to the Disclaimer

Tooth Abscess can occur in numerous areas of the tooth and are not always visible to the naked eye…

WHEN TO SEE A DENTIST?

If you have a fever and swelling in your face contact us immediately. If you can’t reach us, go to an emergency room. Also go to the emergency room if you have trouble breathing or swallowing. These symptoms may indicate that the infection has spread deeper into your jaw and surrounding tissue or even to other areas of your body.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR APPOINTMENT WHEN YOU HAVE A SUSPECTED DENTAL ABSCESS?

  1. PATIENT HISTORY AND EXAMINATION:

    When you visit Victorian Dental Group for a dental abscess, the dentist or dental professional will begin by gathering information about your dental and medical history. They will then conduct a thorough examination of the affected area, including the tooth, gums, and surrounding tissues, to assess the extent of the abscess and determine the appropriate course of action.

    Fee associated can include either a Limited ($65) or Comprehensive ($95) Dental Examination.

  2. DIAGNOSTIC TESTS:

    In addition to the examination, the dentist may perform diagnostic tests to confirm the presence of a dental abscess and identify its severity. This may include taking dental X-rays to assess the affected tooth and surrounding structures, as well as possibly using other imaging techniques or tests to evaluate the extent of the infection.

    CODE 022 – Intraoral periapical or bitewing radiograph – per exposure $55

    OR/AND

    CODE 037 – Panoramic radiograph – per exposure $165

  3. PAIN ASSESSMENT AND RELIEF:

    The dentist will assess the level of pain and discomfort you are experiencing and provide immediate relief. This may involve administering local anesthesia to numb the area or prescribing pain medication to alleviate the pain associated with the abscess.

  4. DRAINAGE AND TREATMENT:

    To address the dental abscess, the dentist will focus on removing the infection and draining the pus buildup. Whilst your practitioner will make every effort to restore your tooth at the time of your appointment, this may not be possible as the treatment option may require additional time.

    This may be done through one or more of the following approaches:

    • Incision and Drainage: If the abscess is localized and accessible, the dentist may make a small incision in the gum or tooth to allow for the drainage of pus. This helps to relieve pressure, reduce pain, and facilitate the healing process.

    • Root Canal Therapy: In cases where the dental abscess is caused by an infection within the tooth’s pulp, the dentist may recommend root canal therapy. This involves removing the infected pulp, cleaning and disinfecting the root canal, and sealing it to prevent further infection. This is often carried out over several appointments.

    • Fees typically associated with a Root Canal Therapy range depending on the tooth and the number of infected canals, with an approximate range between $1800-$2500

    • Tooth Extraction: If the abscess is extensive or the tooth is severely damaged and cannot be saved, the dentist may recommend tooth extraction. This removes the source of infection and allows for the initiation of healing. In some cases, the dentist may postpone extraction until the infection is under control.

      Fees typically associated with a Tooth Extraction depend on the complexity of the surgical involvement, with an approximate range between $400-$650

    • Prescription Medications: Depending on the severity of the abscess and associated infection, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help eliminate the infection and prevent its spread.

Remember, this description is a general overview, and the actual procedures, steps, and fees may vary depending on your specific circumstances. Remember, every dental emergency is unique, and outcomes can vary. It is important to consult with a dental professional promptly for an accurate assessment and personalized treatment plan.

This article is designed to be for information purposes only and does not substitute or replace the advice of a registered health practitioner. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment. Please view the site Disclaimer for more information.