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How Long Can You Go Without Getting A Root Canal?

December 11, 2023
How Long Can You Go

Has your dentist or endodontist recommended a root canal as part of your dental treatment? If so, it often means you have a tooth with an infection that has spread into the inner area where the pulp and soft tissues are found. 


If this is left untreated, the infection can spread.  


So, what happens if you have to delay going through with your treatment? How long can you put off getting a root canal?

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure warranted when the inner areas of the tooth become infected or inflamed. While this is often due to a cavity that was not treated, it can also arise from things like cracks, decay, or trauma. 


The procedure itself involves going deep into the tooth to remove all signs of infection —especially within the tiny root canals that are found within the tooth. 


Once removed, an antiseptic is placed within the tooth and it is sealed, giving it the chance to heal. Over the next couple of weeks or so, the inflammation will subside. A dental crown will then be placed over the tooth to restore its integrity and functionality. 

Signs You May Need a Root Canal

Signs of infection and inflammation in your tooth will vary from person to person. A few of the most common include: 


  • Pain that can be chronic or spontaneous – often while chewing or biting down
  • Severe tooth pain
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Tooth Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, as well as sugar
  • Swelling around the area
  • Pus or small pimples of pus at the tooth’s site
  • Facial swelling


If you notice any of these signs, make an appointment with your endodontist immediately. 

Why You Should Never Delay a Root Canal

You should never delay a root canal, regardless of the reason for wanting to do so. Below are a few reasons why. 


The pain can become severe. A tooth that needs a root canal is usually already causing pain — and undergoing the procedure can stop it entirely. Without addressing this, the pain will persist and may even become more severe.  


The infections may spread. If the tooth is infected and left alone, the infection can spread. This means that it can go down into the bone and can even spread to other teeth or into the bloodstream, allowing it to be carried throughout your body.  This can be very dangerous — and even life-threatening. 


You risk losing your tooth. Without a root canal, an infected tooth can become too damaged to save. This will require an extraction and tooth replacement. 


The alternative is more expensive. If you wait too long and your tooth is not salvageable, your endodontist will have to perform an extraction, and a tooth replacement, such as a dental implant or bridge, will be necessary. This can be much more costly than a root canal.

Root Canal Treatment at Las Vegas Endodontics

Don’t put yourself at risk. A root canal treatment with the team at Las Vegas Endodontics can be done with local anesthetic and is about as routine as filling a cavity. Let us provide you with the relief you are seeking. 


Contact us today at 702-876-5800. Or, request an appointment online. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a root canal painful? 

Root canals are performed using local anesthetic. Sedation can also be used for those patients who are apprehensive. The procedure itself should not be painful. However, minor discomfort may be felt once the anesthetic wears off. This should subside within a day or two. 


Does insurance cover a root canal? 

Most dental insurance carriers will cover a root canal, at least in part. This can vary from policy to policy. It is best to reach out to your insurance company to confirm your benefits. 

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