Is a Root Canal a Dental Emergency?

A root canal can be viewed as a medical emergency because of the consequences it can have on a person’s oral and overall health if not treated in time.

When Does a Patient Need a Root Canal?

A root canal is usually required when the pulp of the tooth has been damaged. There are numerous tissues, blood vessels, and nerves that can be affected by decay. When the infection has reached the pulp, then you will most likely need an emergency root canal. If the pulp is extracted on time, the tooth can be saved. 

If the condition is overlooked, the chances of your natural tooth being saved decrease considerably. 

The moment you start experiencing symptoms of infection, it is important to schedule an appointment with your dentist and treat it right away. 

Here are the signs that can indicate you might need a root canal treatment:

  • Long-lasting toothache that can go to the jawbone, neck, and ear
  • Dental sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Pain and pressure when chewing 
  • Sensitivity to sugary foods 
  • Swelling 
  • Fever 

What Happens If You Delay a Root Canal Intervention?

If untreated, the bacteria forming inside the tooth can expand and lead to other complications such as:

  • Abscess: when a pocket of pus develops at the end of the tooth and needs emergency treatment.
  • Bone loss: the bacteria will start attacking the tooth’s root causing damage to the bone. You can lose bone density and eventually the entire tooth.
  • Tooth loss: the root decay that forms if the infection is not treated in time will make it impossible for the dentist to save your tooth. It will need to be extracted and substituted with an artificial tooth. And of course, this is also a more expensive procedure. 
  • Drainage: the growing bacteria in your tooth will create a hole that allows the infection to drain into the gums, cheeks, skin, and bloodstream. If it reaches the bloodstream the effects of it can be life-threatening and it can damage other organs. This is also called Sepsis. 
  • General inflammation: this happens when the tooth infection spreads all over the body. This comes with a high risk of experiencing serious health issues such as stroke and heart disease.
  • Gum disease: if you lose a tooth, it is likely it increases the chances of having trouble with your gums too. 

It is very common to ignore dental issues, especially if it is something minor or if the pain disappears. But once you have experienced a symptom, know that the problem is there. 

The sooner it is treated, the more you avoid further complications and even more expensive procedures. 

Do You Need Emergency Root Canal Treatment? 

If you are experiencing any dental emergency, know that at Tampa Smile Co, we can provide the kind of care you need. Whether it's a root canal, a knocked-out tooth, or other types of dental injury or pain, we can treat you. 

Don’t hesitate to contact us today and schedule an appointment with us; we will be more than happy to help.

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