The term “root canal” has an unfortunate negative connotation associated with it, a stigma attached to the procedure reinforced by movies, television, and largely exaggerated by the media.
Many folks avoid seeing the dentist because they are afraid of pain associated with looming, unaddressed oral health issues. Just like ignoring signs of ill overall health, ignoring the messages your teeth and gums keep sending to you is equally as dangerous.
Not going to the dentist can cause a number of additional, more costly problems down the road. One of the most common reasons patients avoid seeing us is that they believe they’ll have to get a root canal procedure done. When we give our patients the news, that they do indeed require a root canal, we get a similar reaction as a doctor would diagnosing a major illness.
But here are some reasons why you should never avoid seeing your dentist, especially because you think you may need to have a root canal done.
1. Your tooth could be infected and could even be dying.
Your tooth’s outer layers are made of hard material, but your tooth’s inner pulp is made out of soft, living tissue. Sometimes this tissue can get infected from something as simple as a cracked tooth surface, deep down decay, or a multitude of additional reasons. At this point the tooth can begin to degenerate and start to die away. If this worst-case scenario happens, you’re going to need an emergency root canal, which will quell your pain, control the infection, and stop the infection from spreading to your other healthy teeth.
2. Root canals are designed to relieve pain, not cause it.
People widely consider the root canal to be one of the more painful dental procedures, but it’s simply not true. A root canal doesn’t cause you pain, it will relieve your pain. The procedure itself is actually fairly pain free. A root canal is most similar to a cavity treatment. To put it simply, if you’re having pain in your tooth, chances are you’ll need a root canal. Putting it off will only make things worse and you’ll be holding on to the pain associated with this tooth malady. When you get the root canal procedure done, you’ll experience an absence of pain. Seriously, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t get it done sooner.
3. If the pain resolves itself, that’s a bad sign.
Sure, some injuries and illnesses will in some cases take care of themselves. But this is not the case for problems with your teeth. When you ignore root canal pain and wait too long, your discomfort could very well disappear. But the underlying cause of the absence of pain is because your nerves have died. That doesn’t mean the infection is gone. It’s still there, as a matter of fact, and it can spread and cause additional problems.
4. Things can (and will) worsen.
Leave a root canal problem untreated and the bacteria that resides in infected pulp may travel through your tooth’s roots into your jaw and gum tissue. You know that underground tunnel Elon Musk keeps talking about? Imagine one of those but for bacteria needing quick and easy access to your entire mouth. This situation could lead to pus-filled abscesses, which often require urgent treatment. Abscesses can also cause inflammation through the entire body, causing a stroke or even heart disease.
5. A root canal can save your natural tooth.
If you’re neglecting your root canal problem, you could likely lose your entire tooth. Between that and having the procedure done to save the tooth, is there really a choice here? Getting the root canal procedure done sooner rather than later will help save your teeth and gums. It will also help preserve your bite and protect important dental work you’ve already had done.
We hope we’ve convinced you that ignoring your root canal is out this year. If you suffer from tooth pain, schedule your consultation with NYC Endodontics today. We’ll get to the bottom of the problem and set you up for great oral health in the future.