Your dentist has already determined that you need a root canal since there’s an infection in your mouth. However, you get cold feet and keep postponing that appointment. So, how long can you delay getting a root canal, and what are the side effects? Keep reading to know more.
The truth is that it’s not uncommon for people to delay undertaking the root canal procedure, but this should not give you motivation not to go for that appointment, as the early you go for that dentist appointment, the more you save in terms of pain and added expenses.
In most cases, people fail to get a root canal because they don’t know the details of the procedure, but we’re here to shed more light.
What Do Root Canal Entail and What Should You Expect?
If your dentist has already determined you need a root canal, they’re likely to prescribe an antibiotic. However, the antibiotic is meant to prevent the infection from worsening, and thus you shouldn’t extend the waiting time for too long. You have to undergo a root canal to eliminate the infection within the shortest time possible.
A root canal procedure takes about two hours, but you may need to visit your dentist severally, depending on how severe the damage was. At first, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to make the area numb.
Afterwards, they’ll dry the area around the tooth by placing a rubber sheet. Next, they’ll drill a hole into the tooth to get to where the infection is and then remove the damaged nerve tissue and tooth pulp. The operation is done by scrubbing out debris and infected tissues using root canal files. Your dentist will use sodium hypochlorite or water to rinse away debris coming from the infected area periodically.
After the procedure, your dentist will seal the tooth, and this can be done on the same day of the operation or after a week, depending on if you need more medication to clear out the infection. If your dentist doesn’t seal the area on the day of the procedure, they’ll place a temporary filling to keep saliva and food from contaminating it. Also, your dentist may opt to put a crown on your tooth to secure it in place.
Why Shouldn’t You Delay Getting a Root Canal?
Postponing getting a root canal for too long could lead to scary complications. Although we understand that undergoing the root canal procedure can be scary due to the underserved reputation the procedure has for being painful, the truth is that you only experience a little discomfort as your dentist will use local anesthesia.
Let’s briefly discuss the complications of delaying the procedure:
· Abscess. An abscess is an accumulation of pus in an infected area on your tooth. A delayed root canal can lead to the development of an abscess, which requires emergency treatment
· Bone loss. A delayed root canal can cause severe bone loss as it gives room for bacteria to attack the tooth’s root, and this can lead to tooth loss
· Swelling and an increase in blood pressure. Although you may get pain relief as the nerves on the infected tooth begin to die, you may end up getting a swollen face, neck, or head and increased blood pressure.
· Sepsis. If bacteria multiply, they can spill into the surrounding gums and skin and find their way into the bloodstream, causing sepsis, a life-threatening condition that can damage organs.
· Systemic inflammation that can put you at risk of heart disease and stroke.
If your dentist has determined you need a root canal, you need not wait for too long before undergoing the procedure to clear the problem. Even if the pain disappears, it doesn’t mean the infection is gone. Don’t wait for too long, as you may lose a part of your jaw, which may necessitate reconstructive surgery.
We are here to help if you need dental checkups or a root canal procedure. Give us a call.
If you are looking for a dentist, HPS Advanced Dental Care would love to see you. Dr. Heather is gladly accepting new patients.
We are located at 4741 24 Mile Rd. Shelby Township, MI 48316, and we can be reached at (248) 652-0024. We look forward to meeting you!