If your dentist recommends a root canal, you may need to take some time to explore your other options. You will need to make your decision quickly, however, because a delay in your dental treatment may lead to complications. Root canals are usually well-tolerated by the patient and are considered very safe. Here are some important reasons why you should never delay a root canal, especially if your dentist recommends it as your best treatment option for an abscessed tooth or extensive dental decay:
When the pulp, or the inside of your tooth, becomes infected, you may experience throbbing pain. The inside of your tooth is soft and not hard like the outer part of your tooth, which is protected by strong enamel. An infected pulp causes severe pain because it affects the nearby nerve endings; however, once the tooth is treated with a root canal, the pain will stop.
If you fail to undergo root canal treatment in a timely manner, the pain may spread to other parts of your body, causing the pain to radiate to your facial area and head. Pain from a pulp infection can be so severe that it can raise the blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Pain associated with pulp infections may also raise blood glucose levels in diabetic patients, so if you have diabetes, be sure to seek dental treatment as soon as possible.
Avoid Tooth Extraction
In many cases, unless you undergo a root canal procedure as soon as possible, you will need to have your tooth extracted. A severe abscess or extensive decay can be treated temporarily with pain medications; however, the pain relief may be short-lived.
Saving your tooth is almost always a better option than extracting it. Tooth extractions can cause shifting of your remaining teeth, bite problems, and dental crowding. While you can get a dental implant to replace the extracted tooth, your dental insurance, if you have it, may not cover the cost. It may also take you longer to recover from a dental implant procedure than from a simple root canal.
If you develop severe tooth pain, see your dentist as soon as possible. You may have a severe dental abscess or decayed tooth. If the problem is recognized and treated promptly, you may be able to avoid extraction. If your dentist feels that your dental condition requires further evaluation and treatment, he or she may refer you to an endodontist, a dentist who specializes in root canals and dental pain.