Root canal therapy is considered the most widely feared dental procedure. Because of that, many patients avoid visiting their endodontist in Tacoma even after being told that they need a root canal. While the anxiety is understandable, avoiding a root canal procedure will invariably lead to severe oral health issues. Here are just a few of the consequences that a patient will suffer if they don’t seek endodontic care when it’s recommended to them.
The Tooth Stays Infected
The whole purpose of root canal therapy is to get rid of the infection that is affecting the soft inner pulp of the tooth. The pulp contains numerous blood vessels and nerves that will start to die if they become infected. It’s essential to address the problem as soon as possible. Otherwise, it could become more difficult to control the infection and prevent from spreading, and the patient will continue to experience severe dental pain.
The Pain Will Continue
Tooth infections are often accompanied by persistent toothaches. Root canal therapy will typically help relieve this discomfort, and the procedure itself is actually relatively painless. Thus, if a patient is worried about pain, it is actually more beneficial to have root canal therapy performed as soon as possible instead of avoiding it altogether.
The Tooth Won’t Be Able to Heal by Itself
Dental infections will not get better without professional treatment. When the nerves inside the tooth are completely destroyed, the pain will stop. But that will not mean that the infection is over; it will still continue to cause damage inside the tooth. It’s important for patients to understand that a dental infection is not a problem that they can afford to ignore.
The Infection Could Grow Worse
Once the bacteria in the tooth reach the roots, they can travel into the nearby gum and bone tissue. As a result, abscesses – pockets of infected pus – could form throughout the mouth. Abscesses need to be treated immediately, or else the damage could spread even further. Some patients might even develop an infection known as sepsis, which can spread to other parts of the body and could cause life-threatening damage.
The Tooth Could Be Lost
As time goes on, the damage done by a dental infection can compromise the structure of the tooth. Eventually, it may be too late for root canal therapy, and the tooth could be lost altogether. A missing tooth can lead to additional health problems, like an increased risk of decay in the remaining teeth.
Patients might choose to avoid root canal therapy out of anxiety, but in reality, they should be more afraid of what will happen if they don’t receive timely treatment. General dentists and endodontists alike need to make it clear that getting a root canal could be the key to keeping the smile safe and healthy.
About the Author
Dr. Tina Olsson received her certificate in Endodontics at the University of Washington. Currently, she leads a local study club of endodontists, periodontists, orthodontists, and general dentists in order to discuss various treatment plan options. She has worked in the dental field for over 15 years. To schedule root canal therapy at her practice, South Sound Endodontics, visit her website or call (253) 752-5511.