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Dental Abscess: Treatment, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Jun 20, 2024

What is the treatment ?

A dental abscess is a bacterial infection of the mouth which lead to the build-up of pus in the tooth or the gums surrounding the tooth. The infection is considered to be the result of the accumulated plaque which is germination place for the bacteria. It can also be caused by the deep cavity, diseases of gum and another injury to the tooth and jaw. A dental abscess is of three kinds. These are: periapical (affects pulp), periodontal (affects the tissues around the tooth) and gingival (affects the gums). The symptoms of a dental abscess include bad breath, pain, pus, sensitive tooth, difficulty in swallowing and a feverish feeling. In rare cases, a dental abscess can lead to the death of the patient. This usually happens when a person experiences unease while breathing and swallowing. The doctor should be immediately contacted if these symptoms are felt by the patient. The treatment of a dental abscess varies according to the severity of the condition. If the disease is in its preliminary stages, it can be treated by the removal of the pus which has been accumulated in the affected area. After the removal of the fluid from the affected area, oral anti-bacterial medications are prescribed. Healthy dental habits are to be practiced. Use of the soft brush is recommended. Palliative medication is also prescribed if the patient reports experiencing excruciating pain. To relieve the pain from sensitization, hot and cold drinks are prohibited to the patient. However, if the condition of the affected area is adverse following methods of treatment may be adopted: incision and drainage of the abscess, root canal surgery, and tooth extraction.

How is the treatment done?

The various treatment included are as follows:

  1. Incision and drainage – Incision and drainage involve the incision of a small part of the tissues in the affected area of the mouth. The abscess is drained from this incision. Anesthesia may be used to numb the area before the treatment is performed so as to reduce the sensitivity of pain by the patient. The treatment provides temporary relief from the pain and other symptoms of the disease, however, the results may or may not be permanent. It is advised to undergo root canal surgery to permanently cure a dental abscess.
  2. Root canal treatment – The treatment of root canal involves the treatment of the root of the tooth or the pulp inside the tooth. The treatment involves the removal of the bacteria from the root canal of the affected tooth. After the removal of the bacteria from the tooth, the root is filled and sealed carefully as to restrict the bacteria from entering the root of the tooth. The swollen tissues surrounding the treated area usually heal on their own. Local anesthesia is given before the treatment is performed in the patient. The treatment is known to give successful results in most of the cases.
  3. Tooth extraction – Tooth extraction is the process of the removal of the affected tooth. It is performed when it is not possible to perform the root canal surgery on the affected tooth or when the root canal surgery is not successful. The treatment is performed as a last resort. Local anesthesia is given to numb the pain while the tooth is being extracted.

    Incision and drainage are performed after the identification of the disease if the condition is not aggravated. In few cases, incision and drainage can lead to full recovery. However, a root canal treatment usually follows the treatment of incision and drainage. This is so because the treatment of incision and drainage does not remove the bacteria from the tooth. Thus, the chances of recurrence of a dental abscess are high. The treatment of the root canal is performed by the endodontist when the tooth is severely infected by the bacteria. It is usually accompanied by difficulties in breathing and swelling. Immense pain is reported when chewed by the infected area. If left untreated, the infection can flare up the whole of the oral cavity of the patient. In rare cases, death can occur due to the difficulties experienced in breathing by the patient. The extraction of the tooth is performed when there is a recurrence of a dental abscess after the performance of root canal treatment or if the root canal treatment is not possible.

Who is eligible for the treatment?(When is the treatment done ?)

People who are facing problems related to the dental problems like bacterial infection, pus in the mouth etc. The eligibility for the treatment for the disease can be best diagnosed by the specialist doctor. It is therefore advised that the patient consults the doctor before undergoing any specific treatment. Doctors on examining the conditions shall decide the eligibility for the treatment. In some cases the dentist can give primary treatment and the problem may be cured, but if the infection is more then the dentist shall decide to carry out various treatments mentioned above.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Patients who are not having any symptoms related to the diseases or the conditions needed for the treatment are therefore not eligible for the disease. But the best advice can be given by the specialist doctor and therefore it is advised that the patient consults the doctor before the treatment.


Are there any Side Effects?

Difficulties and discomfort have been reported in the few initial days after the treatment. However, a mild fever and fatigue are experienced by some people. The taste of the mouth may be different after the treatment in some cases for a few initial days. A dull pain in the treated tooth may be present for a week. It is essential to undergo the treatment with absolute care. The development of cracks in the root of the tooth is a possible side effect of the procedure. The crack in the root of the tooth then becomes susceptible to infection by the bacteria. The loosening of the crown also increases the chances of infection by the bacteria as the bacteria can easily penetrate into the root canal from the loosely fitted crown.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Proper care is essential for recovery from the treatment. Maintenance of oral hygiene reduces the probability of bacterial infection to a great degree. Soft brush should be used. Mouthwash can also be used if the treated area is extremely painful. Chewing of foods which are hard is prohibited. It is also recommended to avoid drinking hot and cold liquids as it may cause pain. Palliative mediation can be used to relieve pain in the initial days. It is advised to stop flossing the area which is treated until it has been recovered completely.

How long does it take to recover?

The time is taken by the tooth and the surrounding tissues after the root canal treatment differ from patient to patient. Usually, the recovery of the tooth and the surrounding tissues takes about one week after treatment. The pain caused after the treatment usually lasts for a week. The swollen tissues take about two weeks at the most for a full recovery. However, all the above-mentioned post-treatment care measures should be taken care of for a swifter recovery.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The root canal treatment is a cheap treatment. The cost of the root canal treatment lies in the range of Rs. 3000 to Rs. 7000. However, this price does not include the price of the crown. The price of the crown may cost the patient anywhere from Rs. 4000 to Rs. 8000. The cost of tooth extraction lies between Rs. 3000 to Rs 8000. The variance in the price of the treatments depends on various factors. The price of the treatment varies according to the experience of the doctor, the severity of the infection and the accessibility to the infected tooth. This refers to the location of the tooth to be treated. The inner teeth are in comparison complex to treat than the front ones due to the absence of easy access to them.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Typically, it has been noted that the root canal treatment lasts for about 10 years. This means that there is a high probability that the bacteria will not infect the treated tooth for about 10 years. However, to achieve the optimum results, it is essential to maintain oral hygiene. Regular dental check-ups at every six months are recommended for the early detection of any abnormality.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

The alternative to the root canal treatment is the extraction of the tooth. However, the root canal treatment is generally preferred for tooth extraction as it causes an inability to chew food. The doctor only opts tooth extraction when the root canal treatment is impossible or unsuccessful.


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Written ByDr. Gaurav AroraCASMHomeopathy
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