Root canals have something of an undeserved reputation as an unpleasant procedure. In reality, these procedures often involve only minimal pain and discomfort, if any at all. However, the fear of a painful dental visit, or dental anxiety in general, can sometimes cause patients to delay this important medical procedure.
You must visit your dentist as soon as possible if you're experiencing pain, discomfort, swelling, or other signs of a serious tooth issue. Depending on the underlying cause of your symptoms, they may want to schedule a root canal as soon as possible. While you may be nervous about scheduling this procedure, here are three reasons why delaying your root canal is a bad idea.
1. Risk of Further Damage
Your dentist will often decide that you need a root canal when it's clear you're suffering from a serious infection or damage to your tooth. In these cases, leaving your condition untreated may further damage your tooth. Even if the pain seems severe, a root canal is often sufficient to remove the infection and save the tooth.
The longer you wait, the more likely your tooth will continue to degrade. While performing a root canal and keeping your tooth may still be possible, the likelihood of a more involved dental procedure or serious cosmetic damage will increase. The sooner you deal with the underlying issue, the more likely you'll retain your tooth's full function and appearance.
2. Increasingly Severe Pain
It's no secret that dental pain can often be incredibly severe. If you're in the early stages of an infection, your current pain level may be relatively low. Unfortunately, minor pain doesn't mean the problem isn't severe or won't worsen rapidly. Infections can often quickly escalate from seemingly minor problems to extremely painful events in a very short period.
The good news is that root canals often provide almost immediate relief, and a successful procedure will prevent the infection from worsening. If you're already in severe pain, a root canal will quickly help alleviate your discomfort while ensuring that the infection cannot worsen and cause more damage.
3. Life-Threatening Complications
It's easy to write off dental issues as purely cosmetic, but many dental problems can deeply affect your underlying health. A tooth infection can spread to other parts of your body, causing significant damage, severe symptoms, and even life-threatening diseases. Simply treating the infection with antibiotics is often insufficient to remove it altogether.
Even if you're willing to risk pain and additional dental damage, the health risks of an untreated infection are far too great to ignore. If you need a root canal to resolve an issue with one of your teeth, it's best to schedule this quick and often pain-free procedure as soon as possible.
For more information, talk with a dentist.