How Much Does It Cost to Treat a Dental Abscess?

by Andrea Burton
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Ouch! You've been up all night with a throbbing pain in your tooth, and you're waiting to hear back from your dentist.

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Right now, you just want the pain to stop, but in the back of your mind, you're thinking about how much it’s going to cost to fix.

What Is a Dental Abscess?

A dental abscess is a bacterial infection in or around your tooth or gums. The infection creates an excess of pus (a mixture of dead white blood cells and bacteria), which can cause pain, redness and swelling. Often, the pus collects at the root of the tooth, but with periodontal disease, it may build up in gum pockets.

Abscesses can be triggered by a variety of circumstances, from a decayed tooth to gum disease or injury, but the signs are similar.

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Sensitivity to touch and temperature variation
  • Fever
  • Redness
  • Bad taste or smell

If you think you have a dental abscess, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. Tooth infections can spread to the sinuses or jaw, and abscesses won't go away without treatment.

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What Are the Different Treatment Options?

Depending on the severity of the abscess and its location, your dentist may choose between or use a combination of dental abscess treatment options. In addition, you may receive a prescription for antibiotics to help fight the infection.

  • Incision and drainage: The dentist makes a nick in the abscess to allow the pus to drain out. This will help with the pain, but your tooth will need further care.
  • Root canal and restoration: The dentist can save your tooth by cleaning out the infected pulp inside the tooth and sealing it. Then, depending on your situation, they'll restore your tooth with a filling or a crown.
  • Extraction: If your tooth is beyond saving, you may need to have it removed. After the area has healed, you can consider replacement options, such as a bridge or implant and crown.

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How Much Do Different Tooth Abscess Treatments Cost?

Many variables are involved in the cost to drain tooth abscesses and restorations, such as whether you have insurance, where you live and which procedure you decide upon.

If you have dental insurance, your dental abscess drainage cost and tooth repair depend on your benefits and plan specifications, including deductibles, copays and out-of-pocket amounts. Medical insurance typically doesn't pay for dental restoration unless the problem was caused by an accident or injury. Also, even if you visit an emergency room to have an abscess drained, you still need to see a dentist for abscess care.

If you're paying cash and concerned about abscess tooth cost without insurance, review the following information to get an idea of possible expenses. In addition, ask your dentist about payment plan options or discounts.

Tooth abscess treatment costs depend on the method and type of restoration, and components may link together. For example, an extraction may lead to an implant and crown, or a root canal may be finished with either a filling or a crown.

  • Abscess with tooth extraction: The cost for tooth extraction depends on the condition and type of tooth and may range from $75 to $250 (CAD 100 to CAD 334), according to data from Forbes.
  • Abscess with root canal: The average cost for root canal treatment is $600 to $1,500 (CAD 801 to CAD 2,003).
  • Crowns: Depending on their material, Dentaly says crowns can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 (CAD 668 to CAD 2,671).

Remember, if applicable, you may have additional costs for the incision and drainage.

Dental Abscess Prevention

Preventive dental care is one of the best ways to avoid the extra costs of treating an abscessed tooth. Follow the habits below to keep your teeth healthy and pain-free.

  • Brush your teeth twice daily.
  • Floss at least once daily.
  • Limit sugary and sticky foods.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
  • See a dentist immediately if you notice a crack in a tooth or have experienced an injury to one or more teeth.
  • Stop smoking.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.

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