If you have an infected tooth, you may be in severe pain, but whether the tooth hurts or not, you need to seek treatment soon. While there are actually only a few ways to treat an infected tooth, your dentist may recommend other treatments in conjunction with removing the infection. Check out these four treatments you may experience when you have an infected tooth.

Antibiotics and Pain Medication

Depending on the severity of the infection, the level of pain, and the dentist's preference, you may need to take antibiotics to help fight the infection and reduce the pain. By shrinking the abscess in the tooth, it should relieve some pressure from the tooth's pulp, which causes pan. In some cases, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics before or after treatment, and in some cases, antibiotics are placed directly in the tooth. Pain medication may also be prescribed to help dull some of the discomfort. However, antibiotics alone do not actually remove the infection once and for all.  

Extraction of the Infected Tooth

One way to remove the infection is to remove the entire tooth by extracting it. This is the easiest way to treat the tooth, and you probably won't need antibiotics, making it a fast and simple way to remove the infection and pain. This is also popular for people on limited income. Insurance usually pays for tooth extraction, and even if they don't, tooth extraction is cheap.

Root Canal Treatment

The other option is to treat the tooth with root canal therapy. During the procedure, the dentist removes the pulp and root of the tooth. It is replaced with a dental compound like when you get a filling. In most cases, one root canal treatment is enough to stop the infection, but treated teeth can get re-infected. In some cases, the last treatment may not have completely removed the tooth pulp or infection, and in other cases, there may be damage to the root, which allows bacteria to enter. This choice, however, typically saves the tooth. The dentist can usually retreat the tooth if necessary.

Dental Crowns and Tooth-Replacement Options

Depending on whether you choose extraction or root canal therapy, you may have other treatments to consider. Root canal therapy can greatly weaken a tooth, so your dentist will recommend having a crown placed over the tooth. This strengthens the tooth, reducing the risk of it shattering. If you had the tooth extracted, you may want to have it replaced with dentures, a dental bridge or a dental implant.

Tooth infections are common, but unlike other infections, antibiotics alone don't usually work. In most cases, you need to have the tooth extracted or have root canal treatment. If you would like to know more about infected tooth treatments, contact a dentist in your area today.