An infected tooth certainly isn’t pleasant. It can be very painful, although it won’t always hurt a lot or even at all. It can also be uncomfortable, or you might find that you can’t feel the tooth at all.
If you see your dentist and it turns out you have an infected too, you are likely to be presented with a few options. The main choices are a root canal and an extraction, with a few possibilities after you have had a tooth extracted. If you’re not sure what to do, take a look at what your choices are and their benefits.
Get a Root Canal
One option if you have an infected tooth is to have a root canal procedure. This involves cleaning out the canals in the root of the tooth. By removing the infected pulp, the soft tissue in the center of the tooth, you can get rid of the infection. The tooth is cleaned out and then filled in before a crown is fitted. The advantage of this is that you get to keep your natural tooth. The procedure can be done in one or two visits and could take around 90 minutes to do in one sitting
Have an Extraction
Another option available is to have the infected tooth extracted. The advantages to this are that it’s inexpensive compared to a root canal, and it’s usually quick to get done. If you want to consider an extraction, there are some different options for what you can do afterward.
One option is to leave the gum to heal without replacing the tooth. This can be especially beneficial if you have crowded teeth, and your teeth can move to fill in the gaps. However, there are options to replace the missing tooth too.
Replacing a Missing Tooth
One possibility to replace a missing tooth is a bridge. This is a false tooth to replace the missing tooth, which is held in place by crowns attached to your healthy teeth. This can be a good choice for a single missing tooth. Another option is to choose a denture.
Dentures can be full dentures, but you can also choose partials for missing teeth. Partial dentures can be good for multiple missing teeth and are supported by the remaining teeth. They could be useful if you have an infected tooth and the infection spreads to other teeth, leading to multiple teeth being removed.
There is also a more permanent but also a more expensive option. Dental implants are inserted into the jaw bone so that they can hold prosthetic teeth. Although they are a more costly option, they are also designed to last many years and can even last a lifetime. They can be treated like real teeth, and repaired, restored or replaced if necessary. However, some people might not be candidates for dental implants, so it’s important to begin with a consultation with a dentist.
When you have an infected tooth, it’s important to get it looked at right away. The problem will only get worse if left.