How Do I Know if I Need a Root Canal or a Dental Filling?

Most people are reluctant to see a dentist even if they experience tooth pain because they fear they'll have to undergo a root canal in Conroe.  

Even though root canals are one of the treatments for extensive tooth decay, they aren't always necessary. In most cases, all you’ll need is a filling. However, your dentist must first examine your teeth to determine what treatment is best for you. So, when you experience tooth pain, visit your dentist for a comprehensive oral exam.

Clse up of a person's mouth while a dentist checks it before root canal treatment in Conroe

Treatment for Cavities: Root Canal or Dental Filling?

Both treatments are procedures used to treat tooth decay. However, your dentist will evaluate the decay based on its location and severity before proposing a treatment plan. When choosing between a root canal or dental filling, your dentist will consider the following factors:

  • Location of the decay: For small cavities on your tooth’s surface, your dentist will likely recommend a dental filling. But if the decay has reached the pulp of your tooth and is causing severe tooth sensitivity and pain, you’ll need a root canal to prevent an infection.  
  • The severity of the decay: If your decay is small to moderate, you can benefit from a dental filling. Dental fillings involve removing the decayed parts of your tooth and filling the area with materials made of glass, plastic, or metals to restore the structure and strength of the tooth. But again, if the decay has penetrated the inner layers of your tooth, it could result in an infection, and the best way to treat it is through root canal therapy.  
  • Symptoms: Your dentist will recommend a dental filling if you only experience minor sensitivity or discomfort. But, you may need a root canal if you exhibit swelling, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, and severe pain.  
close up of a person using a magnifying glass to check on another's person teeth after a root canal in Conroe

Do You Require a Root Canal in Conroe?

The best way to know what type of treatment you need is to consult your dentist. At Barker Dentistry, we provide consultations and patient education to boost oral health. We also offer a wide range of dental treatments to restore your smile and oral function. Contact us for an appointment.

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