How Root Canals Save Abscess Teeth Westerville

When a tooth needs a root canal it’s because the dental pulp inside has become infected. If left untreated, the infection can permanently damage the tooth or even cause the tooth to die. If you have a severe toothache and suspect you have an abscess tooth, the Westerville dentists at Westerville Dental Associates recommend you contact an experienced root canal dentist as soon as possible. Keep reading to learn how root canal therapy can save your abscess tooth.

What is an abscess tooth?
You’ll know your tooth is abscessed when you feel an ache in the bone around the tooth. Other tooth infection symptoms include swelling or redness of the gums, painful gums, fever, and having a bad taste in your mouth.

An abscess tooth happens when a cavity is deep enough to penetrate the inner chamber of your tooth (dental pulp). Once the dental pulp is infected, it can create an abscess in the gums around the tooth. A dental abscess is a swollen area in your gums that contains pus. If left untreated, an abscess can cause the tooth and jawbone to deteriorate, creating further pain and damage to your smile. The abscess can also push the tooth upwards, making it looser and more vulnerable to falling out.

What damages dental pulp?

Dental pulp is the live tissue inside your teeth. Most of us can go for years without even thinking about dental pulp until you experience dental discomfort or pain. Dental pulp can become infected or inflamed when the tooth undergoes repeated dental treatments. Tooth injuries (such as cracks and chips) and severe tooth decay can also damage the dental pulp in your teeth.

What happens during root canal therapy?

The treatment for a tooth infection depends on its severity. If you catch an abscess tooth in its early stages, your dentist can treat it with antibiotics or by draining the pus. However, if the tooth becomes infected, your emergency dentist will need to start root canal treatment to prevent the tooth from dying.

The root canal procedure is broken up into two visits to the dental office. The first thing your dentist will do is locally anesthetize the area around the tooth so you don’t experience any pain during root canal surgery. Next, your dentist will use a small drill or other dental tool to create a small hole near the top of the infected tooth. Through this hole, your dentist will be able to access the inside of your tooth to clear away the damaged and diseased dental pulp.

For good measure, your dentist may flush the inside of the tooth with water and an antimicrobial solution to make sure any remaining pulp is removed. A temporary filling is used to seal the hole until your root canal crown is ready to be placed. The permanent crown will be placed when you come back for your second appointment.


The dentists at Westerville Dental Associates are dedicated to helping you maintain a beautiful healthy smile. If you are interested in learning more about what happens during a tooth root canal, please schedule an appointment with our Westerville root canal dentists at (614) 882-1135.