What to Expect or Consider if You Don’t Get a Root Canal

When you have a tooth infection, a root canal can help it heal and allow you to save your tooth. Although root canals provide a safe and effective form of treatment for infections, some people choose not to have them. It’s important to understand what could happen if you don’t have this type of endodontic procedure done. The following information can help you understand more about root canals and compare them with other treatment options.

Infection Spread and Bone Loss

Letting a tooth infection go untreated gives bacteria a chance to spread. Severe infections can spread to other parts of the body, which can lead to a widespread infection. This requires emergency medical care, especially if an infection enters the bloodstream. Leaving tooth infections untreated can also result in bone loss in your jawbone. When this happens, the teeth in the affected areas can become loose in their sockets and eventually fall out.

A root canal involves removing infected tissue from inside teeth in order to clear up infections and stop them from spreading. During this procedure, our endodontist takes out infected tissue, cleans the inside of the tooth, then fills it and seals it up to keep bacteria out. This helps lower the risk of widespread or severe infections. Having a root canal done can also reduce the risk of bone loss that leads to tooth loss.

No Chance to Save the Infected Tooth

When you have a tooth infection, severe damage can occur without treatment. This damage can lead to deterioration that makes the tooth unable to be saved. Severely damaged teeth usually need to be removed rather than treated or repaired. The loss of one or more permanent teeth can affect your appearance and your ability to speak clearly or chew food.

Root canals provide a way to keep your natural teeth, as long as they’re done before severe damage occurs. Having a root canal done when you have a tooth infection helps lower your risk of needing a tooth extraction done. Being able to keep your teeth means you won’t have to worry about having trouble eating or talking or having your smile affected. Instead, you can have your natural teeth treated and sealed to prevent additional infections from occurring.

Possible Need to Pull the Infected Tooth

When an infection becomes worse, it can leave your tooth in poor condition overall. A badly damaged tooth might need to be pulled instead of being treated with a root canal. Although having a tooth extraction done is also a safe procedure, it leaves you without your permanent tooth. After your natural tooth is removed, you’ll have a gap in that space unless you have it replaced with an artificial tooth or dental implant.

A root canal can prevent you from needing a tooth extraction. Having this procedure done on an infected tooth before damage gets worse can help you save your natural tooth. You might need to have a dental crown or cap put on your tooth to seal it and prevent infection, but you’ll still have your permanent tooth in place.

Dental Implants Might Be Needed

If you don’t have a root canal done and end up needing a tooth pulled, you might need to replace it with a dental implant. Otherwise, the gap or space where the missing tooth is can affect the way you speak or chew. Depending on where it is, it might also affect your appearance. Dental implants provide a way to replace missing teeth, but they have some disadvantages to consider.

Dental implants are an expensive type of tooth replacement, especially if you need more than one. Having dental implants also means undergoing an invasive procedure to have a post placed in your jawbone, which comes with a risk of complications, such as bleeding and infection. You’ll then need to wait for the bone to heal before having an artificial tooth placed on the post. This involves multiple visits to the dentist rather than one visit and can take several months to complete.

Root canals typically only take one visit. This procedure is also much less expensive compared to dental implants. Our endodontist explains what to expect to patients beforehand and provides details on root canal care to ensure proper healing. Root canals offer a simple, safe, and effective way to treat tooth infections.

If you need more root canal information or have more questions about this procedure, please contact Largo Endodontics. Our endodontist, Dr. Rillman, can help you find the right treatment for a tooth infection.