I'm Dr. Joe Neely. I practice with the Barton Oaks Dental Group. I want to talk about how to avoid surgery for an apical toot abscess. The apex of the tooth or the apical portion of the tooth is the tip of the root.
If you could imagine this ball point pen being a tooth. The crown or the coronal portion is the portion that you normally see in your mouth and the very tip of the root where the small aperture is that the blood vessels and nerves enter the tooth is called the apex of the tooth. So, surgery is avoided; surgery is done at the apex of the tooth for one of several reasons. One if the abscess is allowed to continued to mature to the point that the bodies immune system and even systemic antibiotics can't control the infection then there are times where you have to go in from the outside, reflect the gum back, bore a hole through the bone into the abscessed area in order to relieve enough of the fluid in order to begin to be able to overwhelm the infection. That type of abscess surgery is avoided by getting the abscess or the tooth infection treated rather than waiting. The early portion of an abscess tooth is quite uncomfortable there is a lot of pain from the intense pressure. But, typically if you wait long enough, if you're able to wait long enough the body will either vent the abscess tooth, the infection, up along the ligament that holds the tooth in to the outside or actually create a little tunnel, a channel, to the outside. The infection is still there, it just has a way of relieving pressure.
Now, the abscess is only painful if you bite hard on it or if your; if you become infirmed enough that your normal immune system doesn't attack it. At that point in time the infection can continue to become more and more virulent, or strong, potent, toxic. It will literally eat away, honey comb, the tooth surface. So, after the infection has been removed through antibiotics and a root canal is done, the infected portion of your tooth removed, if the infection has been there long enough and the surface of the tooth is enough like a honey comb, porous, it's necessary to go in and do surgery to cut that off. Simply said you avoid a tooth abscess by treating it in a timely fashion.
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