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A root canal is a routine procedure that allows dentists to repair the inside of a tooth instead of extracting it. If a cavity isn’t caught in time, the decay will spread to the inner parts of the tooth, and damage the nerves inside. At this point, a root canal is needed in order to save it — if it isn’t done in time, the tooth will have to be removed and might infect the gums underneath.
Sometimes, a tooth may die without any signs of a cavity. It is important to understand that sometimes, a patient may not have any pain, and yet the tooth will decay enough for the nerves to die, leading to infection and eventually, an abscess.
Treating a Root Canal
It is imperative that the patient avoids waiting when a cavity reaches this point, and gets a root canal done as soon as possible. The longer that treatment is postponed, the lower the chances are of saving the tooth at all.
It is important to understand that an abscessed tooth can cause serious consequences, which not only include tooth loss, but also jaw-bone damage, sinus involvement, brain infection, heart complications, and even death.
ADA Codes: Root Canals
Commonly Asked Questions From Patients
“Is it normal for my tooth to hurt after a root canal?” Immediately following a root canal, it is normal to have some tenderness around the area. Within a few days, the natural inflammation your body creates to heal after the procedure should subside.
“Can a tooth infection make me sick?” Yes. There is always a risk of infection spreading and becoming life-threatening when a tooth is infected. If the infection is spreading, you may notice facial swelling, enlarged lymph nodes, fever, and chills.
WATCH: “I have a cavity. Do I need a Root Canal?”
READ: “Myths About Root Canals”
READ: “Root Canals & Endodontics”