What Happens if You Don’t Get a Root Canal When Needed?
Has your dentist told you that you need a root canal but you have been putting it off? Maybe you can’t afford the treatment, are too busy or have a fear of the pain? Don’t delay, if you have been told you need root canal therapy don’t procrastinate, this simple procedure could be the difference between saving your tooth or losing it all together.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental treatment needed when the pulp, or the soft tissue inside of the tooth containing blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue deep inside of the root of the tooth, becomes infected. An infection generally occurs due to a chip or crack in the tooth or an untreated cavity. Root canal treatment consists of removal of the infected pulp within the tooth and then sealing of the tooth to prevent against future infections. The treated tooth should last a very long time, provided that a good oral hygiene routine is maintained.
Signs You May Need a Root Canal
The symptoms of a damaged or diseased tooth pulp may include:
- Spontaneous pain in the tooth
- Sensitivity to hot and cold food or drinks
- Pain when biting or chewing
- Loosening of the tooth
- Swelling of the gum near the affected tooth
- Oozing of pus surrounding the affected tooth
- Facial swelling
In some cases, there may not be any symptoms and the problem may be diagnosed by x-rays during a routine dental check-up or treatment for other dental concerns.
Is a Root Canal Really Necessary?
Like other infections, an infected pulp of the tooth will not heal on its own, it will only get worse, so a root canal is the recommended treatment. Sometimes, the pain might disappear and patients may think the infection has healed itself, however, this is just a sign that the nerves inside of the tooth have died. While there may no longer be pain present, the infection will still be inside the tooth. The only option apart from a root canal is extraction of the tooth. If you do not undergo treatment or get the tooth removed, then the consequences can be severe. If left untreated, the bacterial infection can spread to the jaw, brain, blood and rest of the body.
Is a Root Canal Painful?
Most patients feel little or no pain during a root canal procedure. Generally, before the treatment begins, the tooth and surrounding area are numbed to prevent the sensation of pain, this is usually done with local anaesthesia. For a few days following the treatment, some patients may experience some minor pain and sensitivity. Over-the-counter should help to ease any discomfort. If pain persists longer than a few days after treatment, it’s advisable to contact the treating dentist as soon as possible.
Root Canal After Care
A treated tooth can last a lifetime with proper care. After treatment you should:
- Practice good oral hygiene – brush teeth twice a day, and floss at least once
- Visit the dentist regularly
- Avoid chewing on hard foods
- Avoid high sugar food and drinks
If you think you may need a root canal, contact the friendly team at York Hill Endodontics. Our dentists are committed to delivering the very best results for you – when you visit our practice, you will experience and feel the difference. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.
Article originally appeared at: https://dentistwilliamstown.com.au/
Author: Williamstown Road Dental Surgery