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What Happens If I Delay a Recommended Root Canal?

What Happens If I Delay a Recommended Root Canal?

If you need a root canal and dread it to the point of delaying or even putting off your appointment, you’re not alone. 

Many people have negative associations with root canal therapy because the procedure has a reputation for being painful and traumatic, thanks to pop culture and urban legends.

However, you might be surprised to learn that a root canal is actually similar to getting a dental filling. In fact, delaying a root canal can actually worsen the problem and put you at risk for serious oral health problems that require more invasive and expensive treatments.

Dr. Ramin Mahallati and our Center for Implant & Esthetic Dentistry team offer restorative and cosmetic dentistry services at our office in Beverly Hills, California.

Why you shouldn’t delay a recommended root canal

A root canal is recommended to treat inflammation and remove damaged pulp tissue from an infected tooth. When bacteria enter a tooth, the infection must be treated quickly to prevent permanent damage. 

If left untreated, the infection usually worsens, causing pain and inflammation. The infection can also spread and form an abscess, increasing your risk of tooth loss and potentially serious health issues.

What to expect from your root canal

Despite its reputation, the procedure is similar to getting a filling. You’ll receive a local anesthetic to numb the area and keep you comfortable during the root canal. A small hole is drilled into the tooth, and the damaged tissue and bacteria are removed. 

Once the canal is clean, the tooth is filled and sealed. Like a filling, you may experience some numbness and mild discomfort as the anesthetic wears off. However, most people return to their normal routine immediately. 

Over-the-counter pain medications are usually sufficient for any discomfort after the procedure.

After your root canal, you’ll receive specific care instructions. Depending on the extent of the damage to your tooth, you may need a crown

After your root canal, it’s important to maintain a good oral hygiene routine and keep up with your follow-up dental appointments and monitoring. 

While accidents are sometimes unavoidable, good oral hygiene, eating a healthy diet, avoiding tobacco, drinking alcohol only in moderation, and getting regular dental exams and cleanings are your best protection against gum disease and other oral health problems that can lead to needing a root canal.


For more information about root canal therapy and the restorative and cosmetic dentistry services available at the Center for Implant & Esthetic Dentistry, contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mahallati at our Beverly Hills office.

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