Root canal treatment is needed when the tooth becomes infected wherein the infection reaches the pulp. A filling will not help in treating the infection which has reached the pulp. Even the antibiotics will not resolve the infection completely. Hence a well performed root canal treatment is a pre-requisite for a successful outcome and to restore the function of the root. A root canal infection that is left untreated can spread beyond the tooth as well. The infection can spread to the adjacent teeth, jaws, face and even into the blood stream. Root canal therapy is required to prevent periapical , periodontal , pheonix abscess , facial swellings , life threatening conditions like cellulites , endocarditis . Bacteria from the pulp can travel all the way from the root, enter into the periapical region and continue its spread to the maxillary sinus and facial spaces causing space infection.The infection can also spread across the jaw, crossing the midline giving rise to Ludwig’s Angina. Ludwig’s Angina is a life threatening condition as the patient is un able to breathe and causes chest pain . It causes a severe inflammatory response against the bacteria.
The infection can also enter the blood stream and enter into various tissues of our body .The toxins released from the bacteria penetrate the tissue musculature and cause severe adverse effects to the overall health of the patient. A persistent, recurrent infection of the tooth like a sinus tract opening, periapical or periodontal abscess warrants a root canal treatment.
Thus one should keep in mind the consequences of delaying or not undergoing root canal therapy.