Dental Filling Vs. Root Canal: What is Right for You

Dental Filling Vs. Root Canal: What is Right for You

August 1, 2023

Dental fillings and root canals differ in a few ways:

  1. Design
  • Dental fillings

Dental fillings repair damaged or decayed teeth or ones with minor fractures. They are a restorative solution designed to restore a tooth’s shape, function, and strength affected by cavities or small defects. Dental fillings are typically made from composite resin, porcelain, or amalgam (a mixture of metals).

Dental fillings prevent further decay, restore the tooth’s integrity, and provide a natural appearance, blending in with the surrounding teeth. They play a crucial role in maintaining oral health and preserving the functionality and aesthetics of the smile.

  • Root canal

Root canal in Stockton, CA, is performed to save a tooth with severely infected pulp. The pulp can become infected due to deep decay, trauma, or a cracked tooth causing severe pain, abscess, or tooth loss.

  1. Procedure
  • Dental Filling Procedure

A dental filling procedure is performed in a dental office near you. It begins with the dentist administering local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth to be treated. The dentist will drill the teeth to remove the decayed part of the tooth and prepare the tooth for the filling material. Depending on the filling chosen, such as composite resin or amalgam, the dentist will carefully place and shape the filling material to restore the tooth’s natural shape and function. The filling is then hardened using a special light or chemical, and any excess material is trimmed and polished. The patient may experience temporary sensitivity after the procedure but generally subsides quickly.

  • Root Canal Procedure

The root canal procedure is a more involved treatment performed by an endodontist or a dentist with specialized training in root canal therapy. The process typically requires multiple visits, depending on the case’s complexity. During the first visit, the dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the area and create a small access hole in the tooth’s crown.

The canals are then cleaned, shaped, and disinfected to eliminate any remaining bacteria. An antibacterial solution may sometimes be used to ensure thorough disinfection. After the canals are cleaned and shaped, they are filled with a biocompatible gutta-percha material. This material seals the canals to prevent further infection.

In most instances, a temporary filling is placed atop the access hole. A dental crown or filling is placed during a subsequent visit to restore the tooth’s strength and appearance.

  1. Problems they solve
  • Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are typically used when the tooth has experienced minor damage or decay that affects the outer surface or enamel. They are suitable for small to moderate-sized cavities, cracks, or chips that have not reached the tooth’s inner pulp. Dental fillings can improve the tooth’s appearance or reshape it. They are commonly used in cases where the tooth structure is still relatively healthy and can support the filling material. Dental fillings are a conservative treatment option that is most effective when the damage is confined to the tooth’s surface.

  • Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy near you is employed when the tooth’s inner pulp becomes infected or inflamed. This can occur due to deep decay, a cracked tooth, trauma, or repeated dental procedures on the same tooth. Root canals are necessary when the infection or inflammation extends beyond the tooth’s outer layers. The goal is to save the tooth from extraction by removing the infected pulp, disinfecting the canals, and sealing them to prevent reinfection. Root canal therapy is recommended when the tooth’s structural integrity is compromised or when the infection is causing severe pain, abscess, or swelling.

Which is Ideal?

Determining whether a dental filling or a root canal is the ideal treatment option depends on the specific circumstances and condition of the tooth. Dental fillings are generally ideal for minor tooth damage or decay limited to the outer surface, as they are less invasive and require less time to complete. A root canal is ideal for saving the tooth and preventing further complications. Visit Lakefront Smiles for an evaluation of the extent of the damage and recommend the most appropriate treatment option for optimal oral health and long-term tooth preservation.

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