How To Know if You Need a Filling or a Root Canal


There is no question that tooth discomfort cannot be ignored for long. If one or more of your teeth feel pain over a prolonged period of time, you need the help of a dentist to find an effective solution. Based on the severity of the situation, a tooth filling or root canal can bring your teeth back to perfect health. As a longtime practitioner in Dallas and Houston, TX, MINT dentistry can let you know which procedure is right for you.

A tooth filling or root canal treatment usually works in the case of dental decay or a fractured tooth. So what is a tooth filling, and what happens during a root canal? And when does a cavity need to be filled? If you have questions or concerns about dental treatments, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable team members. A skilled dentist can give you all the information and resources you need to move forward with confidence.

What is a tooth filling?

A cavity is a hole left behind by dental decay. If left untreated, the damage from the cavity will continue to spread to the surrounding teeth. During a dental filling procedure, dentists clean the decay inside the cavity before filling it with a special material. Dental cavities were once filled with metals, such as silver or mercury, but these have proven to be dangerous to your health. Instead, MINT dentistry offers fillings made from composite resin. This material is not only safe but also tooth-colored to blend in with your natural teeth.

So when does a cavity need to be filled? A dental filling is usually suggested for small cavities with minor decay. A simple toothache is the most common sign you need a filling, but there are other signs to look out for as well. This includes sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, pain when biting down or chewing, and a visible hole you can see or feel in your teeth. Even though tooth-colored fillings are generally long-lasting, it is important to attend regular dental exams to ensure the procedure remains successful.

What is a root canal?

Sometimes, dental decay affects the pulp inside of a tooth. The pulp is made up of connective tissue, nerves, blood vessels, and other tissue that help your teeth stay healthy. When the pulp becomes inflamed or infected, it becomes a serious matter. An infection could spread to the surrounding teeth and affect your overall health. Root canal therapy may be needed if you have a decayed tooth that has reached the pulp and caused an infection. This option is chosen for severe cases when dental fillings are no longer a viable option.

Persistent or severe tooth pain may be a sign you need a root canal. So what is a root canal? During your treatment at MINT dentistry, a board-certified dentist carefully removes the affected pulp using the most advanced techniques and tools. Once the inside chamber of the tooth is empty, it is thoroughly sterilized to remove any leftover debris. It is then filled with a special material to seal the tooth and prevent the infection from coming back. In many cases, we will create a personalized crown over the tooth to protect it from further damage.

Are you concerned about dental treatment?

A dental filling or root canal are both used to treat decayed teeth. Although some discomfort may be the result of treatment, it is better to address the matter as soon as possible before the damage causes additional problems. At MINT dentistry in Dallas and Houston, TX, we offer options, such as laughing gas and oral-conscious sedation, to help you feel comfortable during treatment.

So what is a tooth filling, and what is a root canal? Can they help with your dental pain and discomfort? If you are still wondering which treatment is an option for you, our staff is happy to discuss everything that goes into your dental treatment. During your consultation, our staff will also give you helpful guidelines and instructions for aftercare to make sure the area heals properly afterward.

Schedule a dental examination

Tooth pain is an unfortunate situation that needs to be dealt with right away. Whether you are experiencing a dull pain or sharp sensitivity, you should schedule an appointment with a dentist near you. Rest assured that one of the experienced dentists at MINT dentistry can diagnose your issue and make helpful suggestions for treatment. To schedule a consultation or routine examination, reach out to our office in Dallas and Houston, TX. Our dental team uses only the highest quality tools to perform a dental filling or root canal therapy.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.