Basically, tooth is made of three layers, outer strong and hard enamel, intermediate tough dentin and inner soft pulp that contains the nerve ending, blood vessels and others cells which maintain the vitality of the tooth. When dental decay is allowed to progress, it results in a deep cavity that may reach the pulp thereby exposing the pulp to the exterior. Exposure of the pulp may also occur due to erosion or trauma like fracture of the tooth. Whenever the pulp is exposed to the exterior, it develops inflammation and infection. A tooth that has its pulp exposed by decay, trauma, etc has two treatment options - extraction of the tooth or retains the tooth by undertaking a root canal treatment.
Once the pulp gets infected and adequate treatment is not carried out there is a chance that the infection may spread to the underlying bone. In such cases the infection forms an abscess in the bone that is nothing but collection of pus. Such an abscessed tooth can be saved by antibiotic therapy followed by root canal treatment. However, these patients required to follow up regularly by X rays and clinical check up until complete healing takes place.
Depending on the involved tooth and infection status it may take multiple visits or can be completed in a single sitting.
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