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When You Need A Filling And When You Need a Root Canal Is A Very Common Question.

Delhi Dental
21 Jun 2023


A filling and a root canal treatment are both dental procedures, but they are used to address different conditions and issues or in another word same issue with different intensity. Fillings are required for small area of caries/cavity or rottenness which are away from deeper part of tooth called pulp whereas root canal treatment is required when such a cavity/caries or rottenness has spread to deeper areas and has involved pulp of tooth structure. A tooth has top layer enamel and middle layer dentine and inside part pulp. When rottenness reaches pulp it leads to extreme sensitivity and most of the time’s intolerable pain. Such a pulp is termed as infected and in such a situation a simple filling of tooth structure won’t serve instead a root canal treatment is required to remove infection and it’s effects. 

 A dental filling is used to restore a tooth that has been affected by decay or a small cavity. When a cavity is detected in the early stages, the dentist removes the decayed portion of the tooth and fills the resulting space with various available filling material (composite resin, amalgam, GIC) Fillings are generally used when the decay or damage has not reached the tooth's inner pulp chamber.

 Root Canal Treatment: A root canal treatment is performed when the tooth's pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels, becomes infected, inflamed, or damaged. This often occurs due to deep decay, a cracked tooth, repeated dental procedures, or trauma. During a root canal, the dentist removes the infected pulp from the tooth's root canal, cleans the area, and then fills and seals it to prevent further infection. This dental treatment is necessary to save the tooth and alleviate pain when the infection has reached the tooth's nerve.

In summary, a filling is used to repair a tooth affected by decay or a small cavity, while a root canal treatment is required when the tooth's inner pulp is infected or damaged.

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