dentist and female patient looking at x-rays to see if she needs a root canal in richmond va
February 4, 2022

If you’re experiencing dental discomfort, you may be wondering whether you need a tooth filling or a root canal in Richmond, VA. Although both treatments can bring your problematic tooth back to life, your dental care provider is the best person to tell you which procedure is right for you. 

Knowing the Difference Between a Dental Filling and a Root Canal Treatment  

Tooth Filling 

When tooth decay is left untreated, it leaves behind a hole called a cavity. Thankfully, a tooth filling procedure will prevent the damage from the cavity from spreading to the adjacent teeth. It’s important to note that tooth fillings are only recommended for fixing small cavities with minor decay.  

Besides a visible hole on a tooth, the most common signs your need a filling include tooth pain, tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages, and pain when biting down or chewing food. During the procedure, your dentist will eliminate traces of decay inside the cavity before filling it with a composite resin material that blends in with your existing teeth.  

Although tooth-colored fillings typically last for many years, they don’t last a lifetime. The constant stress from chewing, clenching, or grinding teeth will cause the fillings to wear out, chip, crack, or fall out altogether. Scheduling regular dental checkups allows your dentist to check if your fillings need to be replaced. 

Root Canal 

Each tooth contains a pulp chamber that houses connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves that keep the tooth healthy. When the dental decay or infection reaches the tooth’s pulp chamber, dental fillings will no longer be a viable option. If you experience severe and persistent tooth pain, you’ll need a root canal procedure. 

Besides preventing the infection from spreading to the surrounding teeth, this treatment also stops bacteria from entering the bloodstream and affecting your overall health. A certified endodontist removes the infected, disinfects the inside chamber of the tooth, and fills it with gutta-percha before placing a dental crown over the tooth. 

Do You Need a Root Canal in Richmond, VA? 

At Commonwealth Endodontics, we’re here to provide you with quality endodontic care and guide you along the path to optimal dental health. Contact us today to make an appointment.