Almost every other day, we get patients at Bryant Park Endodontics who ask, “Do I need to get a root canal? What if I don’t?” We make it clear to such patients that if a dentist, especially an endodontist, has recommended a root canal, then they should opt for it as early as possible. When an endodontist suggests an endodontic therapy (the medical term for a root canal procedure), there are good reasons behind the recommendation.
You may need a root canal procedure for a fractured or splintered tooth. However, just because you have a broken or cracked tooth does not imply that you’ll have to go for the treatment. More often, a filling on the root canal followed by crown implantation for replacing the fractured part will suffice.
But if the fracture is prominent, extending up to the pulp, then you should not delay the treatment. Unnecessarily delaying the treatment will lead to exposure of blood vessels and nerves that’ll eventually become infected. Endodontists usually recommend a root canal treatment for treating an infected tooth and reversing the infection.
In this blog, we look at the main reasons to choose a root canal procedure and the possible risks associated with a delay.
An infected tooth which is adversely affecting the pulp
The outermost surface or layer of the teeth known as enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. So, the enamel is harder than the root canal or pulp composed of living, soft tissue. When a tooth becomes infected, the infection first affects the enamel and then spreads to the pulp.
When you have a cavity in your tooth, you know that the infection has already pervaded the pulp area. If you want to preserve your infected tooth, then you should choose the treatment immediately after the endodontist has diagnosed the contamination. By continuing to postpone the root canal procedure indefinitely, you’re allowing the infection to spread.
Ultimately things will come to such a pass where you’ll suffer from excruciating pain and may not be able to eat food or drink. You may not even be able to open your mouth to speak because of the unbearable pain. In the worst possible case scenario, the infection from the blood vessels and nerves in the root pulp could extend to vital body organs, including the brain.
If you keep putting off treatment, you may have to get the tooth extracted as a last resort to stem the infection — root canal procedure aids in getting rid of the contaminated pulp. Our endodontists, after removing the diseased section of the pulp, thoroughly clean the canal chamber and seal it.
Opting for timely treatment could also help you to retain your tooth.
The diseased tooth will not heal on its own
An infected or broken tooth, unlike the majority of the vital organs, does not heal on its own. Even antibiotics won’t come to your aid; antibiotics at the most will alleviate or stem the infection to an extent for some time but will not reverse it. Therefore, the only option left to you is root canal treatment.
Root canal procedure will help reduce and minimize pain
Contrary to what most people think, the root canal procedure does not inflict pain but rather offers relief from pain. Dentists administer local anesthesia before starting the procedure, so you hardly feel a thing while they perform the process.