An infected tooth is a common dental issue that many people experience, which usually results in the need for a root canal. Some individuals, due to fear or financial constraints, may postpone this necessary dental procedure. Leaving a needed root canal untreated may have serious consequences.
If you’re experiencing signs that you may need a root canal, like severe toothache, discoloration, or tenderness, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible. Columbia Smiles Family Dentistry offers root canal consultations in Columbia, Maryland. Led by Dr. Michael Hsu, our team focuses on providing comprehensive and effective treatment plans that can help you improve your oral health. Call 410.690.4855 to book an appointment today.
What Happens If You Leave a Root Canal Untreated?
When a tooth’s pulp (the innermost part of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels) becomes infected or inflamed, a root canal is often required. Leaving a needed root canal untreated can lead to serious complications.
First, the infection can spread, leading to an abscess or a pus-filled pocket at the roots of your tooth. This can be incredibly painful and can cause swelling that may spread to other areas of the face or neck.
This infection can lead to bone loss around the tip of the root. Left untreated, this can destabilize the tooth, potentially leading to tooth loss.
Over time, the infection can cause drainage problems extending outward from the root. This can result in holes that drain into the gums or through the cheek into the skin.
How Long Can You Leave a Root Canal Untreated?
The length of time you can leave a root canal untreated varies depending on the severity of the infection and your personal pain tolerance. Some people may experience severe symptoms within days, while others may go weeks or even months without significant discomfort. However, even if you don’t feel much pain, the infection is still damaging your tooth and surrounding tissues. Therefore, it’s essential to seek dental treatment as soon as possible.
Benefits of a Timely Root Canal
Getting a root canal treatment promptly has several benefits:
- Pain relief – A root canal can alleviate the severe pain caused by an infected tooth.
- Preventing the spread of infection – By removing the infected pulp, a root canal stops the infection from spreading to surrounding teeth or into your jaw.
- Saving your tooth – A root canal can save a severely damaged or decayed tooth from extraction.
- Improving oral health – A root canal can help you get back to a healthy oral state.
When you need a root canal, knowing what to expect can help reduce any anxiety you may feel.
What to Expect During a Root Canal
During a root canal procedure, the endodontist will numb the area, then drill a small opening into the tooth to remove the infected pulp. After cleaning and shaping the inside of the tooth, the endodontist fills and seals the space. Finally, a crown or filling is placed on the tooth to restore its natural shape and function.
Most patients report that a root canal is no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed. With modern anesthesia and pain management techniques, discomfort during the procedure is minimal.
Book a Root Canal Consultation at Columbia Smiles
If you’re experiencing toothache, tenderness, or discoloration, contact Columbia Smiles Family Dentistry today. Our experienced team can help you decide whether root canal treatment is the right option for you.
We also offer a range of other dental services to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy. From periodontal treatment and wisdom teeth consultations to veneers, crowns, and prosthodontics, we strive to provide comprehensive care for all your dental needs. Contact us by calling 410.690.4855 or completing our online form to book an appointment today.