Do I Need a Root Canal or a Filling?

Root canalCavities are areas of the teeth that have been damaged due to bacteria, which thrive amidst insufficient oral hygiene or excessive consumption of sugary snacks and drinks. These tiny holes in the teeth should be treated quickly with a filling before they become more severe and require a root canal.

Cavities are relatively common; the CDC reports that about 90 percent of adults (aged 20 and older) have had at least one cavity. Fortunately, they can be addressed. Utilizing either a root canal or a filling, our dentists can restore your tooth and ensure it can be used without discomfort. These indicators can help you determine which option you might need.

What Is a Filling?

A filling involves numbing the area and removing the decayed area, most likely with a drill, and then filling the space with composite resin. This stops the decay and replaces the damaged parts of the tooth with a durable material to restore oral health, allowing you to enjoy the foods you want and ensuring your teeth look natural. They are most often used when the decay is minor.

How Does a Root Canal Differ From a Filling?

A root canal targets a cavity that has gone deeper into the tooth and reached the tooth pulp. The procedure involves removing this damaged pulp and ridding the tooth of infection. Then a dental crown covers and protects the tooth from further damage.

How Our Dentists Decide Which Option Is Right for You

When determining if you need a root canal or a filling is right for you, our dentists will look at a few different factors, including:

  • Location: If the cavity is on the surface of the tooth, it will most likely require a filling, but if it’s deeper into the root, then it may require a root canal.
  • Severity: The severity of the cavity also has to do with the location of it. A filling is needed for cavities that have only affected the tooth’s surface, but more severe cavities reach deeper into the tooth. That’s when a root canal is likely necessary.
  • Symptoms: If you have toothaches and sensitivity, this may be another sign that the cavity has become severe.

Schedule a Consultation

Speaking with one of the professionals at Taylor Street Dental is the best way to determine if a root canal or filling is needed. Dr. David I. Peck, Dr. Elwira Tyra, Dr. Stephen J. Greenberg, and Dr. Hien Truong Contact our practice today at (413) 781-7645.

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