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Can having a root canal cause any long-term complications?

I'm a 25 year old male. My dentist says I need a root canal but I'm afraid of the pain. Are there any complications I should know about as well?
A root canal is needed with an infection gets deep enough into a tooth that it causes damage to the root. In order to remove the infection, essentially the entire tooth has to be drilled out and reconstructed at this point. This is a "root canal." There can be some pain and bleeding associated with the procedure, however these are usually quite minimal and managed by anesthetic medicine injected at the time of the procedure. On the other had the complications of not having a root canal could be very severe. In addition to the ongoing pain from the erosion of the infected tooth which you are probably dealing with everyday, there is also the risk that the infection will worsen and get into the blood stream, potentially spreading to other parts of the body and causing major problems. Therefore, I highly recommend that you follow your dentist's advice on this one and set up an appointment to have your root canal performed as soon as possible.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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