It is not uncommon for patients to dread or even avoid a root canal procedure. In most cases, however, these patients are misinformed about what the treatment involves as well as how important it is to save their oral health. Contrary to popular belief, root canals are not painful. In fact, this endodontic procedure may be the only way to bring you out of pain while saving your natural tooth at the same time. Learning what a root canal is and the dangers of putting it off is important for patients who are reluctant to book the appointment.
If you have been told you need a root canal, it is because your tooth is infected and is at risk for dying. A root canal is designed to remove the infected pulp from the inner tooth portion (where your tooth nerves reside). The tooth is then cleaned out and sterilized so that no lingering bacteria is left inside the tissues of the tooth. Finally, the tooth is sealed with a special filling material, and a crown is sometimes needed to restore the integrity and strength of the tooth.
What Happens When You Delay Root Canal Therapy?
Here’s what you need to know if you are considering putting off your root canal therapy:
Your Pain Will Likely Worsen and the Infection Can Spread
Your infected tooth won’t get better on its own. Bacteria from the infected tooth pulp can travel through the roots of the tooth and into surrounding tissues of the gums and jaw. Not only can this be more painful, but there is an increased risk that an abscess can form, which needs urgent treatment. Your infected tooth can even spread to your entire body in extreme cases, which may lead to serious heart conditions or stroke.
Extraction is Not the Better Solution
Many people who are fearful of root canal therapy may be tempted to just have the painful tooth pulled, especially if it is a tooth in the back of the mouth. Patients should understand that once a tooth is extracted, they are vulnerable to a host of other dental problems. Missing teeth cause neighboring teeth to shift into the open space. This can mean an increased risk of cavities, gum disease, bite problems and more. To avoid these consequences, patients much replace the missing tooth with a dental implant – a procedure far more invasive and costly than a root canal!
At Green Dental of Alexandria, we want to keep you informed about your oral health. If a root canal is suggested and you are hesitant about the procedure, please let us know. If it is a fear of pain, we can walk you through the procedure and even provide sedation dentistry to help. If it is cost, we can work with you to select a financing plan. When a tooth is infected and at risk for dying, we want patients to understand the critical importance of receiving root canal therapy to save their smile.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Hye Park, Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St, Suite GR03
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 549-1725