Tooth With Root Canal Hurts Years Later latest 2023

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Risks of Delaying Dental Treatment

Modern health care has been spectacular over the past 100 years. Modern antibiotics (penicillin) were not available before World War II. This fact sometimes lulls us into a false sense of security that no matter what, we are only a “pill” away from a cure. Moreover, most of the time we think that pain or discomfort is an absolute sign that a pathology or disease is going on. This is true for the vast majority of life’s illnesses, with the exception of “silent diseases”. Dental diseases, like some types of cancers, have minor symptoms or no symptoms until the disease has progressed significantly. In the dental field, when the patient complains of pain…in many cases…we can examine a root canal or extract the tooth.

Our dental office has seen several patients over the past week who have delayed their dental treatment. The stated reason includes:

  • Severe dental anxiety
  • Financial problems
  • Time issues…their life is just too busy
  • I don’t mind…it doesn’t hurt
  • Other

This week, our dental office is treating a dental phobic whose dental bills have gone from a few thousand dollars to $11,000. Delaying treatment was not in the patient’s interest. What can we (you) do?

Severe dental anxiety

Many dentists can help severe dental phobics get treatment. These means include, but are not limited to:

  • General anesthesia in a hospital setting
  • IV Sedation in the dental office with a dental anesthesiologist
  • Oral premedication
  • Nitrous oxide/oxygen
  • Local anesthesia

Financial options/difficulties

Many, but not all, dentists offer financial options, including care credit, to help make treatment more affordable on a monthly basis. Care Credit is one of many such companies providing financial services to dental patients

Time issues

Many dental offices (like ours) offer extended hours and it would certainly be appropriate to call those in your area.

Additionally, many dentists “block the book” to maximize treatment in the time available. This allows treatment in as few appointments as possible. It is not uncommon for a patient with a significant amount of dental work to be done to schedule a morning visit to the dentist. Often, but not always, we can complete “most” of your treatment.

I don’t mind…it doesn’t hurt.

I think most dentists have found this to be the hardest problem to deal with. Some patients just want to delay treatment because it doesn’t hurt. For “many” their dental health does not deteriorate quickly. For some it is not. The problem is that we cannot accurately identify which ones will quickly collapse versus which ones will gradually decline. Certainly, home care (brushing and flossing) as well as diet and fluoride help immensely. For those in rapid decline…there are protocols that attenuate the response, but we cannot predict at what level.

It’s much easier to fix a problem early than to wait for it to happen. The dentist can preserve more tooth structure (bank of teeth) if the tooth is treated earlier in most cases. As a general rule…the more teeth you have left…the better your prognosis.

Our recommendations for most patients are… get your dental work done as soon as possible. It’s in your best interest.

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