Do I Need A Root Canal Or Filling?.


    Posted by Dr. William Linger, DDS, MAGD

    do i need a root canal

    There's no question about it. Painful teeth are a problem that simply can't be ignored. If one or more teeth feel sore over a prolonged period of time, you're going to need a dentist in order to find a solution. 

    Often, painful teeth are a result of tooth decay and/or gingivitis. Depending on the severity of the situation, you may need a filling or root canal to keep your teeth healthy overall. 

    As a longtime practitioner in Charlotte dentistry, our office has undergone many of these procedures and we know the questions that so often accompany them. If you're worried about a painful sensation in your teeth or wondering if you may need a dentist, here are a few things you should know about fillings and root canals. 

    What's The Difference?

    Essentially, both fillings and root canals are used to treat the same basic thing, decaying teeth. The difference lies entirely on how far spread the tooth decay actually is. Cavities formed by plaque wearing away at our teeth can usually be fixed with just a filling. In these cases, the nerves and blood vessels surrounding the tooth shouldn't need any more attention.

    In some cases, however, the tooth decay may spread to the blood and nerve supply of the tooth, weakening it to the point where it may be at risk of dying. In these cases, a root canal is required. 

    During a filling, your dentist will wash away any bacteria surrounding the abscess and replace it with either a composite or amalgam material. This can usually be done within a single checkup, requiring no further treatment.

    Root canals are a little more intensive and usually require two checkups to complete. Your dentist will start by cleaning away the bacteria rotting the pulp of your tooth and they'll likely use a temporary filling to allow your tooth to settle. Following this, the tooth will be checked during a later visit where it will be given a proper filling. Both procedures should leave you will fully repaired teeth free of bacteria. 

    Should I Be Worried?

    In most cases, neither treatment causes any lasting side-effects and both are relatively free of pain. The biggest worry should come from letting the problem go untreated for any significant length of time. Once the pulp of a tooth is destroyed it can't heal, meaning the only alternative will be removing the tooth completely. 

    Dental anxiety is common throughout the world, but there is little to worry about in either case. In either procedure, you would be given a local anesthetic to disrupt communication between your tooth and brain. Root canals are usually the longer lasting, giving them a reputation as being more unpleasant, but the experience is relatively the same.

    Some discomfort may occur from having to hold your mouth open over a period of time, resulting in soreness once the procedure is complete. This will wear off gradually and can be treated with over-the-counter pain medicine if necessary. Following this, it's important to care for your teeth as you normally would with proper brushing and flossing to avoid any future decay. 

    Our Charlotte Dental Office

    At the dental practice of William Linger DDS, MAGD, we specialize in comprehensive dentistry for the entire family. Our philosophy is to provide care that's in your best interest now and for years to come.

    Using the most state-of-the-art technologies combined with a comfortable atmosphere, we strive to provide the best possible care while making the experience both easy and completely painless. Visit us here to learn more about all the services we provide and get started on your journey towards a healthier smile!

    Topics: Dentistry

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