If I need a root canal treatment but do not have a lot of money, is there a time limit for how long that I can put off the tooth infection? I will also admit that finances are not the only issue. I have some pretty severe dental anxiety, so between the two issues going to the dentist is the last thing I want to do.
Dear Callie Anne,
I could not give you anything definitive without examining the tooth. However, I can give you some basic guidelines. If it is not hurting and has not hurt for some time, you could get away with waiting while you save up. Some patients can go years with what is known as an arrested infection and not notice much of a difference. However, once the root canal treatment is done, they realize they suddenly feel better.
That being said, if there are any signs of an active infection, you likely cannot afford to wait and should get it treated. Most dentists leave room in their schedule for urgent appointments.
Here are some signs that you have an active infection:
- There is a pimple on your gums.
- There is pain, even if it just a little.
- There is drainage.
Dealing with Dental Anxiety
You are not the only person who avoids the dentist, so please do not feel bad about your anxiety. I do know something that could help you, though. My suggestion is that you see a dentist who offers dental sedation options, especially if they offer more than one level of sedation.
If you have severe anxiety, than oral conscious sedation will be the way to go. It is administered by a simple pill but is so strong that you can sleep completely through your appointment. People who use sedation find it completely changes their life and they are able to finally see the dentist without any fear.
This blog is brought to you by Kalamazoo Dentist Dr. Susan Dennis.