Root canals and fillings are common dental procedures. But what’s the difference between them? While both are used to remove tooth decay and restore the damaged tooth, there are a few key differences that patients should know about. In this article, we’ll explain the key root canal vs. filling differences.
What is Tooth Decay?
Before we compare a root canal vs. filling, we first need to discuss why these procedures are even used. Both are treatments for tooth decay. Tooth decay is the type of tooth damage that is caused by bacteria. Over time, the bacteria creates a small hole in the surface of your tooth. In order to save the tooth (and to prevent pain and further infection), the hole must be cleaned, filled, and restored.
Regular Cleanings: Your First Line of Defense
While tooth decay can be treated, the best thing to do is prevent it from forming in the first place. Regular dental cleanings will remove built-up bacteria called plaque, helping you prevent cavities down the line. Plus, regular cleanings are the best way to spot decay in its earliest stages, when treatment is quick and simple.
When are Dental Fillings Needed?
If bacteria is not cleared away from the teeth, then cavities can form. Since cavities form holes in the tooth surface, they need to be filled in order to restore the health of the tooth. Dental fillings are used to treat simple cavities. They’re very common procedures. In fact, you most likely have a filling already!
Root Canal Vs. Filling
Root canals are similar to fillings, as they also treat the holes created by tooth decay. However, root canals are used to treat deeper, more complex cavities. Instead of just treating surface holes, root canals remove the damaged tooth pulp beneath the surface. They allow dentists to save damaged teeth and prevent further damage from spreading.
Talk to Your Dentist
If you suspect you have tooth decay, then talk to your dentist. Tooth decay can be treated, but it requires a dentist’s care. To take charge of your oral health, call the Smiles Forever team today. We offer root canals, dental fillings, and a variety of other procedures to keep your smile healthy.