Delaying Root Canals? Here’s What You Should Know

tooth decay
Written by Nancy

According to the American Association of Endodontists, up to 15% people in the US avoid going to the dentist. The reasons vary—from fear of pain to lack of affordable care.

Root canals are recommended by dentists in scenarios where the pulp of the tooth is compromised. The spongy core inside the hard exterior of a tooth is made up of soft tissues called the pulp. Because of its delicate nature, the pulp has no way to protect or heal itself. Therefore, if a need for root canal is indicated, then there is no point in delaying it.

In cases where root canals are overdue, the tooth can develop certain complications. Here is a list of reasons why you shouldn’t delay treatment:

Increased pain:

Once the soft tissues inside the tooth are infected, it needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. Leaving it as is and thinking the pain will go away on its own can be a serious mistake. Contrary to popular belief, root canals help alleviate rather than cause more pain. The pain might go away for a while but will definitely return, unless the tooth has been treated properly.

worried person

Possible spreading of infection:

Leaving the tooth untreated for long can cause an infection to build up inside the soft tissues. This can lead to pus-filled abscess to form. The infection can spread into the gums and the jaw, causing excruciating pain and swelling of the facial features. It can even lead to development of cysts that can ultimately cause loss of bone in the jaw and has been known to cause inflammation of the sinuses.

Loss of tooth:

When the infection is left untreated for long, it can also affect the gums and the tooth itself. The tooth can become unstable or start to break apart. In such instances, the only option is an extraction of the infected tooth. This can be far more painful and expensive than a root canal. Tooth extraction also has a lot of formalities, and in some instances, general anaesthetic used when extracting a tooth needs to be administered which has its own risks vs. Root canal treatment local anesthetic which is safe and predictable.

Risk of Septicemia:

In extreme cases, an ignored infection can cause Septicemia. This is a systemic inflammation that affects the person’s lungs, heart and even their brain through the roots of the teeth. Although rare, this can trigger a risk of a stroke or heart disease.


According to a retrospective study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the most common reason for delaying a root canal is the disappearance of pain. However, in most patients, it is due to a deadening of the nerves within the roots and no clear symptoms  while the infection is still present.

Midtown Root Canal provides painless root canal services with latest technological breakthroughs in the dental industry. Ideally located near Central Park? (closer to bryant park? or did you write central park for seo map purposes ?) in Manhattan, NYC, they have dedicated staff members that make sure you get the best care. Contact us today to book a consultation with one of the leading root canal specialists in New York!

Address: 501 5th Ave Suite 2101, New York, NY 10017

About the author



I’m Nancy and no, I didn’t always look like I do in that picture on the right. My foray into health and fitness began as a brace-faced, 16 year-old who was too afraid to wear a two-piece at the beach because I felt my body paled in comparison to my much more toned friends.

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