If you’ve been told that you need a root canal, you may feel tempted to postpone the treatment, especially if your tooth isn’t hurting. The truth is, putting off root canal therapy could cause a simple situation to evolve into one that’s more complicated and costly to repair. Here are four important reasons why you shouldn’t cancel that root canal appointment:
- Your tooth is infected. Your tooth is made up of different layers, with nerve tissue extending down the middle. When the outer layer is compromised, bacteria can invade your nerve tissue and cause your tooth to become infected (and gradually die.) Sometimes infected nerves hurt, other times they don’t. A root canal treatment removes the dying nerve and fills the tooth so that infection can’t spread to other areas. It also prevents further deterioration of your tooth structure, so that you can avoid an extraction.
- Root canal therapy treats the source of your toothache. Most people avoid getting root canals because they think the procedure is going to hurt. In reality, the opposite is true. Endodontic therapy – just like other dental treatments – is performed when the tooth is numb. A typical root canal appointment isn’t much different than getting a dental filling, although the procedure can take a bit longer. If left untreated, your abscessed tooth will undoubtedly cause additional pain.
- The problem will get worse instead of going away with time. Once you have an abscessed tooth or diagnosed nerve damage, your window of time to treat it is slowly growing smaller. Pain isn’t a reliable factor when it comes to the severity of dental decay. Teeth simply do not heal on their own. If your symptoms seem to improve, it could actually be a sign that the nerve inside of your tooth is no longer vital.
- The infection can spread. If left untreated, bacteria from an abscessed tooth can extend into your bone, face, and potentially your brain. In rare cases, hospitalization may be necessary. It’s best to treat the infection while it’s still isolated to a single tooth.
A root canal is intended to save your tooth and extend how long you’re able to keep it. If you choose to delay endodontic therapy, you put your smile at risk of further pain, infection, and tooth loss. Being proactive and scheduling a straightforward root canal treatment can keep your smile healthy and pain-free. Contact Scott A. Norton, DMD of Louisville today to make your appointment.