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Root Canal vs. a Regular Filling — What’s the Difference?

You Can Still Have Cavities

filling or root canal

Even if you brush and floss regularly and come in for all of your well dental checkups, you could still develop cavities. However, your chances are better when you actually do get to the dentist and if you floss every night. When you do develop a cavity, a simple filling is all you need to preserve your tooth, prevent pain and even restore the cosmetic appearance of your tooth.

You May Need A Root Canal

When a tooth is more damaged, though, you may need a more extensive repair – a root canal. Tooth damage requiring this more involved repair could be the result of a large or deep cavity; if you’ve skipped a few well appointments lately due to a busy schedule, then your small cavity could have turned into a larger issue. In some cases, an injured or broken tooth may also be a good candidate for root canal.

Fillings Verses Root Canals

Regular fillings are ideal for small to medium sized cavities with no surprises or issues. If the cavity is too large to be filled, your tooth will require more intensive care. Left untreated, your deep cavity or damage can lead to infection and pain. A root canal resolves these larger cavities before they can cause further damage or cause you pain.

When a root canal is performed, the interior of the tooth is cleaned away and any damaged tissue is removed. Once the area is excavated and free of damage and bacteria, it is covered with bonding or a crown to prevent any more damage or pain.

The decision to do a root canal or a simple filling will depend on the condition of the tooth in question and the location and depth of the cavity or damage. If you suspect you have a cavity, the best thing to do is schedule an appointment and have the tooth assessed; the sooner you do so, the better, since cavities can grow rapidly, taking care of a suspect tooth today can save you time in the dental chair tomorrow. Call us to schedule a visit to have your tooth examined by our team and to find out the best course of action to restore your smile and prevent further damage.