Tooth Filling or Root Canal: What Do You Need?

Tooth Filling or Root Canal: What Do You Need?

Tooth filling

If you have tooth decay or cavities, your dentist may recommend either a tooth filling or a root canal. Both can help treat dental problems, but they’re not exactly the same. The former is a simple procedure, while the latter is more complicated. It’s important to visit the dentist to help determine which is suitable for your situation.

Tooth Filling

This is advisable for minor tooth decay or a small cavity that has not affected the tooth pulp yet. If the tooth root is not yet infected, a filling may be enough to save it. The procedure will include cleaning out the decay and filling the hole using a tooth-colored resin. This prevents the cavity from leading to bigger dental problems in the future.

Here are some signs you need a tooth filling:

  • Sharp or throbbing tooth pain
  • Holes or dark spot on your tooth
  • Tooth sensitivity when exposed to hot or cold temperatures or sour and sticky food
  • Lost or cracked tooth filling
  • Fractured tooth

Root Canal

This treatment may be necessary if you have severe dental decay that has reached the pulp of the tooth. Neglected tooth cracks or cavities can get worse and result in bacterial infections. Smile Designs Dentistry and other root canal dentists in Manteca, CA further explain that the procedure saves the tooth by removing the infected tissues and sealing it. This may also involve placing a dental crown to restore the functionality of the tooth.

Here are some signs you need a root canal:

  • Extreme tooth pain when eating or putting pressure on the area
  • Swelling or tender gums near the painful tooth
  • Tooth darkening
  • Small bump (pimple-like) on the gum line close to the affected tooth
  • Teeth sensitivity lingers after exposure to hot and cold

Even if you’re not feeling any kind of tooth pain, your dentist may still recommend a tooth filling or a root canal. If they tell you that you need the latter, it’s important not to put off treatment. This is true even if you feel no pain or any other symptom.