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Root Canals

What Are the Risks of Doing Nothing

05/19/2010

Question:

I have had a failed root canal, one canal was able to be sealed but the other one could not be cleaned because it had a bend in it. The dentist suggested either going to a specialist or having the tooth extracted. Cost is a factor. He put a temporary filling in. I can’t afford the specialist option but keep putting off having the tooth out. It is not troubling me, what are the risks of doing nothing?

Answer:

Your risks depend on the condition of the tooth. Since I have not evaluated you, I can not comment in specifics.

For generalizations: Often with no treatment, one can remain asymptomatic for periods of time. However, tooth pulpal problems do not resolve themselves. Symptoms may disappear (swelling, pain, drainage), but until the underlying cause is treated, the symptoms will continue to reappear (usually at inopportune times) and these conditions can be painful and possibly have serious consequences.

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Response by:

Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS
Assistant Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University