What Happens if you Need a Root Canal and Don’t Get One?

Have you been putting off a root canal? Root canals might not be at the top of your favorite things to do, but booking your appointment is important to save your tooth and prevent further damage or infection.

If you’ve been delaying making an appointment for your root canal in Fairfax, VA, here’s what to know.

When is a root canal needed?

A root canal involves removing the infected soft tissue from inside a tooth, then sealing the tooth. Root canals are performed to prevent further damage to your tooth, and to prevent the spread of infection. 

If you delay your root canal, you risk the following:

  • Loss of your tooth. If your tooth is badly damaged, it may have to be removed. This can compromise the integrity of your smile and your bite.
  • Bacterial infection. Untreated infection can spread into your jaw, brain and even blood, causing an abscess or even a stroke, heart attack or sepsis. 

A root canal is both treatment and prevention. It helps save your damaged tooth, and prevent further damage, infection or potentially life-threatening illness.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

A root canal is needed if you have severely cracked a tooth or if you have a deep cavity that has reached the tooth’s pulp. You will likely be experiencing symptoms including:

  • Strong, persistent pain. Take note if the pain is below the gum line or is spreading.
  • Temperature sensitivity. Teeth that ache or hurt when you eat or drink hot or cold items can be a sign you need a root canal.
  • Tooth discoloration. A tooth that has changed color can indicate that the tooth is infected or dying.
  • Swollen gums. Aching, throbbing gums near the sore tooth can mean you have an infected tooth.
  • A chipped, cracked or wobbly tooth. Teeth whose structural integrity is compromised may require a root canal. 

If you are experiencing these symptoms, don’t just try to wait them out. Make an appointment with your trusted dentist so that they can assess your tooth and recommend a course of treatment. 

What does a root canal in Fairfax, VA involve?

A root canal is performed in one or two visits, and involves the removal of infected pulp from the tooth, then the placement of a temporary or permanent crown. Depending on the complexity of the root canal, it may be performed by your dentist, or by an endodontist, a root canal specialist. 

While many people are scared of the idea of a root canal, there’s nothing to worry about. You’ll be numbed during treatment, and once your permanent crown is fitted you’ll be able to eat and drink as normal, and without the pain of a damaged tooth. 

Considering a root canal in Reston VA?

If you suspect you need a root canal, act quickly. Contact the team at Optimal Dental today for an assessment. We can determine whether a root canal is needed and refer you to an endodontist in Fairfax or Reston VA who can help restore your smile – and treat your pain.