Treating Your Dental Infection

Your Des Moines, IA, dentist is currently only offering emergency care for our patients on a case-by-case basis. However, an infected tooth, or one with severe decay, still needs attention, as this could lead to major issues of your smile’s health, beauty, and function. When should you contact our team about an infection, and how to we put a stop to them?

What Causes an Infection?

A tooth becomes infected when harmful bacteria is able to make contact with your inner pulp. Sitting at the center of your tooth and in the root canals, the pulp is a group of tissues that keeps the tooth healthy and functional. Typically, the pulp is surrounded by dentin and then protected by the outer enamel. But if a tooth is damaged, including chips and fractures, or if poor oral hygiene weakens and erodes enamel, then a cavity forms and spread until eventually, contact with the pulp occurs. Unless treated, this could grow more severe until the tooth itself may need to be extracted to prevent infection from reaching surrounding teeth!

When Should I Contact My Dentist?

You should let us now if you begin to experience persistent discomfort, such as tooth sensitivity, toothaches, pain when eating, a discharge from the tooth, or swelling near the tooth. If one or more of these symptoms occur, then please let us know. We will schedule an appointment to see you and identify the cause of your pain, treating this serious situation before you risk losing the tooth altogether.

How Do We Treat Them?

When a tooth is infected, we start by administering a local anesthetic and possibly sedation, to ensure you feel relaxed and comfortable. Next, we open the tooth to access and remove the tissues from within. We then clean the inside of the tooth and fill them with a restorative material. Finally, we cap the tooth with a custom-made crown, which looks natural and protects the tooth from further discomfort or injury. When you arrive, we will ensure you have the waiting room to yourself, and we thoroughly clean and disinfect surfaces throughout the office in between each patient visit. If you have any questions about how we identify and treat an infection, or if you would like to learn more about our health and safety protocols, then contact our team today. We want to make sure your smile stays healthy and whole!


Our team is ready to address serious concerns and protect your smile from major complications, such as adult tooth loss. To learn more about our restorative treatment options and identifying possible oral health issues, then schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in downtown Des Moines, IA, at (515) 244-9565.