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What We Do to Diagnose a Dental Abscess
Posted on 5/29/2020 by Emerson Todd Rowley, DMD
What We Do to Diagnose a Dental Abscess
If you believe you have a dental abscess, we first need to make a diagnosis. We simply cannot treat the problem adequately until a diagnosis is made. Otherwise, some mistakes can be made – errors that can impact how you feel and negatively affect the treatment outcome. The following information will give you full details on how we assess this type of dental condition.

What is a Dental Abscess?


A dental abscess is usually quite painful. It usually happens when bacteria enter the pulp of a tooth. This is the part of the tooth that contains tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. While the pulp is necessary when the tooth is developing, it loses its usefulness when a person becomes an adult. You can get an abscess if you do not get treated for an exposed root, deep decay, or a cracked tooth. If you do not visit our office regularly, you are more likely to experience an abscess, as any untreated decay will continue to weaken the teeth.

What Happens During a Diagnosis?


During a diagnosis, we ask that you give us your medical history and previous dental history, if it is your first visit. We use imaging equipment to check the abscess and see how it has progressed. We also ask what symptoms you are experiencing. An abscess may be represented by a gnawing and sharp pain in the tooth or by a bitter taste. People with abscesses may also have foul-smelling breath or red and swollen gums that contain pus. Pain and sensitivity are experienced when biting down or consuming hot or cold food and beverages.
After diagnosing the abscess, we will remove the pulp and clean and disinfect the tooth before filling the root canal. To seal the tooth, we usually use a crown to ensure a natural-looking and functional restoration. If you believe you need a root canal or you have a dental abscess, contact us today for an appointment.
Tualatin Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

(503) 878-7474
8555 SW Tualatin Rd, Tualatin, OR