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Ask Mark Bornfeld, DDS Your Own Question
Mark Bornfeld, DDS
Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 5990
Experience:  Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
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what happens if i need a root canal but dont get one

Customer Question

well i need a root canal, but i''ve been postponing it over and over. So many people have told me how painful it can be and i''m sort of afraid of needles as well, i need to know what can happen if i don''t get one, i mean, the tooth isn''t even bothering me anymore.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 8 years ago.
DearCustomer

If root canal therapy has been prescribed for your tooth, then it can be inferred that the tooth is chronically infected.

A chronic infection can erode the bone supporting the root, can cause destruction of the tooth root, and can flare up into an acute severe toothache at any time. Ultimately, a chronic infection will necessitate removal of the tooth, but possibly not until you have experienced several unpleasant episodes.

If you cannot tolerate the thought of a root canal, your only logical recourse, assuming you want to avoid something much worse than a root canal, is to extract the tooth. Neglect of a chronic infection is not a reasonable option, because it exposes your to risk that far exceeds either a root canal or an extraction in terms of unpleasantness. An oral surgeon will be able to provide either sedation or general anesthesia that will manage the anxiety that is keeping you from seeking proper treatment.

Hope this helps...