PA Department of Health Ruling Regarding Dental Appointments

Root Canal vs. Filling: Dental Treatment for Damaged Teeth

The decision to get a root canal vs. a filling can be confusing. Do you need a simple filling for a cavity or a root canal to treat more severe tooth decay? A dental professional will consider a few factors before making a treatment recommendation.

Explore the differences between tooth fillings and root canal therapy, and get expert advice on the best choice for dental treatment.

Dental Treatment for Damaged Teeth

Cavities are also a common cause of tooth pain. They can lead to more severe issues if left untreated. If you’re experiencing tooth pain, schedule a dental appointment to check for cavities and other signs of tooth decay. A dentist will examine your mouth to determine if a dental filling or root canal can save teeth damaged by tooth decay or cavities.

There are a few key symptoms to look out for when deciding whether to get a filling or a root canal. If you are experiencing severe pain when you bite down on food, sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, and swelling around the affected tooth, it could be a sign that a root canal is necessary. For minor tooth pain, a basic filling may provide sufficient relief.

Dental Fillings

A dental filling repairs a tooth after decay has already set in. Tooth decay results from bacteria feeding on food particles left in the mouth, producing acids that erode the tooth’s enamel surface. A dental examination will determine the extent of the decay and if a filling is needed.

If the tooth has a small cavity that has not affected the tooth’s roots or surrounding tissues, then a dental filling could be the treatment solution. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research points to filling materials used to repair cavities, including natural tooth-colored (composite) and silver-colored (amalgam) fillings. Dental crowns are also a solution to fix damaged teeth.

Fillings can stop the decay from spreading, but only if caught early. Take into account your personal dental history. If you’ve had multiple fillings in the past, your teeth may not be strong enough to withstand another filling. In this case, a root canal may be a more practical solution to avoid further damage to the tooth.

Root Canals

When tooth decay is left untreated, it can infect the inner part of the tooth, leading to the need for a root canal. If tooth decay has progressed too far, the tooth may be too weak to support a filling, and a root canal may be necessary to save the tooth.

Root canal treatment involves removing inflamed or infected pulp from the inner part of a tooth. This process involves careful cleaning and disinfection, followed by filling and sealing. The objective is to eliminate bacteria and prevent re-infection to save the natural tooth.

A root canal might be necessary if the infection is severe or if there is significant damage to the tooth caused by trauma. The Cleveland Clinic points to common symptoms that indicate a root canal may be necessary, including:

  • Tooth discoloration
  • Temperature sensitivities
  • Swollen gums or gum line and jaw inflammation
  • An infection caused by a loose, chipped, or cracked tooth
  • Consistent tooth throbbing or pain
  • Severe pain experienced with pressure to broken teeth

Following a root canal, a patient can expect relief from tooth discomfort and experience restored dental health. It’s important to note that not all infections require a root canal. It’s always best to consult a dental expert before making any decisions.

Dental Solutions to Relieve Tooth Pain

Deciding to get a root canal vs. filling depends on various factors. While dental fillings can address mild to moderate tooth decay, root canals are often the best treatment for severe damage caused by advanced tooth decay. Ultimately, it’s always best to consult with an experienced dentist to determine the best course of treatment for your specific needs.

From fillings and root canal therapy to crowns, bridges, dentures, partials, or dental implants, Three Rivers Dental Group offers dental solutions to improve smiles and restore oral health. We offer sedation dentistry solutions for immediate comfort and relief during dental treatment, making dental visits pleasant and anxiety-free. Before administering any sedative, we review the patient medical and dental history to select the best option.

Learn what to expect with sedation dentistry and how it helps patients relax before, during, and following dental appointments.

Schedule Dental Treatment Today

Regular dental visits and good oral hygiene provide protection against cavities and tooth decay. Prioritize dental care. Are you looking for a dentist that does root canals or fillings? Contact our dental experts at 1-855-NO FEARS or request an appointment online to schedule dental treatment to keep smiles healthy. We are conveniently located throughout the Pittsburgh area in Cranberry, Greentree, Greensburg, and Jennerstown.