For Root Canal Treatment, How Late Is Too Late?

No one looks forward to getting root canal treatment, but the procedure can help prevent the need for tooth extraction.

root canal treatment

Teeth repaired with root canals can last a lifetime. However, if you put the procedure off, damage can grow to the point where the tooth can’t be saved. When it’s too late to get root canal treatment, extraction is the only alternative.

Dentists and oral surgeons recommend saving teeth whenever possible. Tooth extraction should be a last resort, as missing teeth can lead to complications and oral health problems.

Root Canals Aren’t Possible with Severe Infection

When the pulp inside a tooth becomes infected, a root canal can remove and replace the inflamed material.

If the procedure isn’t done promptly, however, the infection can spread. If the deepest layers of the pulp become infected, it may be too late to save the tooth. In addition, if a large portion of the tooth is lost and a crown cannot be placed on what’s left, root canal treatment is no longer a viable solution.

Tooth Extraction Is the Alternative

Antibiotics won’t permanently resolve a severe infection, and the problem can’t be fixed with a filling. Infections don’t go away on their own, so when it’s too late for a root canal, tooth extraction is often the only option.

An extraction removes the entire infected tooth, pulp and all. In some cases, the oral surgeon may prescribe antibiotics to eliminate any lingering infection.

Maintaining a Healthy Bite after Tooth Extraction

After an extraction, oral surgeons typically advise patients to consider a tooth replacement. When teeth are missing, the jawbone begins to deteriorate. And over time, the remaining teeth can shift positions, which can lead to bite problems.

Dental implant surgery is considered the gold standard method of tooth replacement, as the procedure provides a smile that feels, fits and functions just like natural teeth. Plus, replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant helps keep the jawbone healthy and strong.

What’s more, a dental implant can last a lifetime with proper care — and that’s as easy as sticking to good daily oral health care habits, scheduling regular cleanings and visiting your oral surgeon on a routine basis.

If it’s too late for you to get a root canal, the professionals at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah can provide the care you need. Our oral surgery team has extensive experience with both routine and complex tooth extraction procedures. In addition, as tooth replacement specialists, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield have the skills and training to successfully complete your dental implant surgery.

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah can give you a beautiful, healthy smile. Contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today to discuss your options for a root canal, tooth extraction or dental implant surgery.