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Does a Tooth Abscess Require an Extraction and Dental Implant?

Posted by AllSmiles

I am concerned about the treatment options a dentist gave me for a tooth abscess. She said the tooth was so infected and had curvy roots that she could only remove it and place a dental implant. I understand that my delay in seeing a dentist has caused more problems with the tooth. My anxiety about dental appointments is high, and I had other anxieties from family concerns with my son. Anyway, I delayed the appointment and finally saw a dentist who took x-rays. I don’t want to waste time switching dentists if it’s true that I require an extraction. Could I have other options? Thank you. Tiffany from Littleton, CO


Thank you for contacting Walden Beavers Dental Group in Chandler, Arizona. Dr. Walden or Dr. Beavers would need to examine your tooth and your x-rays, but we will explain the options for an abscessed tooth.

What Is the Treatment for a Tooth Abscess?

The treatment for an abscessed tooth is root canal treatment, root canal surgery, or tooth removal if a tooth is unsavable. In most cases, draining the abscess and performing root canal treatment is enough to save it. The American Dental Association recommends prescribing antibiotics after treatment if you have signs or symptoms that the infection is spreading.

Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment removes the infection from a tooth. Your dentist will numb your gums and inject local anesthesia for painless treatment. You can expect a dentist to complete these steps during root canal treatment:

  1. Drain the abscess – Your dentist will drain the pus-filled sac and sanitize the area.
  2. Remove the infection – Accessing the infection inside a tooth requires a dentist to make an opening in the crown of your tooth. Your dentist must clean all tooth canals thoroughly.
  3. Disinfect the tooth – After removing the diseased tooth (living tissue and nerves inside a tooth), a dentist will disinfect the tooth.
  4. Fill the tooth – A dental filling material will replace the tooth pulp.
  5. Prescribe antibiotics – The medication will stop the infection if it has spread to nearby teeth or your jawbone.
  6. Crown the tooth – A dental crown will protect the tooth from bacteria and infection. Your dentist must ensure that the tooth is stable and free of disease before placing a crown over it.

Root Canal Surgery

When the canals in a tooth are challenging to reach, an endodontist (root canal specialist) may perform an apicoectomy or root canal surgery.

  1. Apply a local anesthetic to your gums – Your procedure will be painless.
  2. Open the gum tissue – Your endodontist will remove the underlying bone, infected tissue, and the root tip.
  3. Seal the root tip – The specialist may use a small filling to seal the root.
  4. Stitch the tissue – A few stitches promote healing and help the bone heal around the tip of the tooth root.
  5. Prescribe antibiotics – Your specialist may recommend antibiotics.

Tooth Removal

A single dental implant with gums around the dental crown, as the last alternative for an abscessed tooth
A dentist may recommend tooth removal and an implant if an abscessed tooth is unsavable.

If the condition of your tooth prevents a dentist from saving it, you can expect the following steps:

  1. Drain the abscess – Your dentist will remove the pus from the tooth.
  2. Remove the tooth – A dentist skilled in tooth extractions will numb and remove the tooth.
  3. Prescribe antibiotics – You may need antibiotics to stop the infection from spreading.
  4. Place a dental implant – Depending on the quality and condition of your bone, your dentist may recommend immediate implant placement or bone grafting and a dental implant. Still, placing a dental implant requires a 3-D CT scan in advance to measure your bone quality. Also, the CT scan identifies the optimal location for your dental implant.


We recommend getting a second opinion from an experienced dentist to determine your treatment options. You may talk to the dentist about your anxiety and ask about sedation options.

Chandler, Arizona, dentists Dr. William Walden and Dr. Tyrel Beavers sponsor this post.

2425 S Stearman Dr.
Suite 111
Chandler, AZ 85286
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