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.

New Office Protocols for COVID

To make the office safe:

1. Every room has an Airgle 600 air purifier… capable of filtering and sanitizing 270 cfm air. Triple filtration with HEPA filters and UVC lights removing 99.99% of bacteria and viruses. 

2. During treatment we use an extraoral suction unit which does the same thing as the Airgle but contains 99.99% of the aerosols produced by the procedure. 

3. We installed a Reme Halo system in our AC unit that sanitizes the whole office air quality from bacteria, viruses, and pollen and contaminants. 

4. Staff uses the CDC and ADA required PPE for our protection as well. 

5. High risk procedures are also done in a contained room to segregate that room from the rest of the office. 

6. We minimize the number of people in the office at any one time. 
7. We prescreen patients when making appointments and upon arrival to their appointments. 

8. Patients are checked for fever at time of appointment as well as staff upon arrival to work. 

9. Patients are checked in and wait in their car to avoid crowding in the waiting room. 

10. Patients do a disinfecting pre-rinse prior to being worked on and other devices are available to minimize aerosols and viral loads.

Leaf made of water splash


Do you or do you know someone that has breastfeeding problems? Are you familiar with ANKYLOGLOSSIA or Tongue-tied? Breast-feeding requires a baby to keep his or her tongue over the lower gum while sucking. If unable to move the tongue or keep it in the right position, the baby might chew instead of suck on the nipple.

Some other symptoms of tongue-tie include:

  • Struggle to lift tongue to upper teeth or even having trouble moving the tongue side to side
  • Another sign of your baby being
    Tongue-tied is if you notice your baby is not sticking his or her tongue out past the lower gumline
  • If you are concerned your baby may have a few of these symptoms, look to see if he or she has a tongue that looks notched or heart-shaped when he or she sticks it out

This can cause significant nipple pain and interfere with a baby’s ability to get breast milk. Ultimately, poor breast-feeding can lead to inadequate nutrition and failure to thrive. You can read more complications with tongue tie in a post from the Mayo Clinic here.

I can help you and your baby with ANKYLOGLOSSIA (Tongue-tied) with a quick, painless procedure by laser in the office. The results are almost instantaneous. Contact my office at 561-797-4077 for information or an appointment today!

Sending Your Graduate Off Right

How are you sending them off?

Would you send your new graduate off to college without a place to live? Would you make sure they have plenty of clean clothes? How about all of the tools and supplies they need to succeed at college classes like a laptop or computer, paper and pens/ pencils, backpack to carry their books in, or furniture to complete their dorm room or apartment?

It should be the same with their health…teeth and bodies, and eyes.

You want to make sure they are in the best shape and condition to face college life, both in academics and social situations. They don’t need to get sick or attempt to study while they are dealing with cavities, toothaches or bothersome or infected wisdom teeth.

Send them off right.

Send them off to college life knowing that you did the best for them by making sure they are healthy and ready to face the stress of the next 4-6 years of their life.

Get their teeth checked.

Have them checked and cleaned and fix the problems in their mouth before they take off for college knowing that they won’t take care of themselves the way their parents would take care of them. You owe it to them to do the best for them now and they will thank you for it later!

Schedule your appointment with Dr. Bruce Elkind

Call now at 561-798-4077 for their routine care or fix small problems now before they become bigger and more expensive problems later.