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How do I know if I need a root canal or a filling

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Are you experiencing tooth decay, cavity, or a cracked tooth? If so, you might be wondering whether you need a root canal or a tooth filling. While both procedures are common and used to treat the same issues, tooth fillings and root canals are different from each other.

Read this guide to know whether you need a root canal or a filling. But we advise you to visit Porter, TX, dentist. Expert advice is always better!

What is the difference between a root canal and a filling?

A tooth filling is generally recommended to treat smaller cavities or minor decay where the pulp isn’t affected by an infection. If you have a chipped tooth and your tooth root isn’t infected, then your dentist can save your tooth simply by a dental filling. During this procedure, your dentist will clean out the decay and then fill the crack with composite resin. This way, the cavity won’t lead to severe dental issues.

A root canal is typically required if you have severe tooth decay or when the infection has reached your tooth pulp. Untreated smaller cavities can turn into bigger dental issues, like pulp infections needing root canal treatment. Your dentist will remove the damaged tooth pulp during this procedure to relieve pain, inflammation, and infection. After that, they will place a dental crown to restore your tooth functions.

How do I know if I need a filling for my tooth?

Below are some of the symptoms that can tell if you need a tooth filling. It is advisable to schedule a dental exam immediately when you notice these signs of decay and other tooth issues. This way, your teeth will get treated early enough to avoid severe dental problems.

  • Throbbing or sharp tooth pain
  • Tooth hurts while chewing or biting
  • A noticeable dark spot or hole on the tooth
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Cracked or chipped tooth
  • When food gets stuck between certain teeth every time

When do I need a root canal?

A root canal is often required when you have major tooth decay or a severely damaged tooth. Treating it immediately is crucial if you want your tooth to be saved. Please visit your dentist immediately when you experience any of the following symptoms.

  • Severe tooth pain, especially when you chew
  • Bumps or pimple on your gum line
  • The dark or discolored appearance of a painful tooth
  • Swollen gums
  • Persistent tooth sensitivity

Note: you may still need a tooth filling or a root canal even when your tooth isn’t painful. Sometimes, symptoms only show up when the infection has already been worsened. So, it is important to visit your dentist regularly.

Visit the Dentist

Now that you know the difference between a tooth filling and a root canal, visit your dentist if you experience any of the above symptoms. Additionally, we advise you to visit your dentist’s office twice a year for dental exams and cleaning. This way, you and your dentist will know the problem at the right time before your case worsens.

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