One of the best things about modern dentistry is that it allows you to address a specific concern with your smile in a number of different ways. In most cases, however, your choice of dental treatments depends on largely on a few key factors, such as how long the issue has been present, and how severe it’s become in the meantime. With tooth decay, timing is especially important. For many people, mild decay and the cavity it causes can be treated with a tooth-colored filling. However, when tooth decay is more severe, it could require a more involved solution, such as root canal treatment, to remove the infection from within your tooth’s inner chambers.
The importance of treating tooth decay stems from the destruction that it can cause to your tooth structure if it’s allowed to continue. Like most oral health issues, tooth decay is a progressive condition. Once it develops, there is no way to reverse the destruction that it causes to your tooth structure. This destruction leaves a portion of your tooth structure gone and a hole, or cavity, remaining. In severe cases, it can also lead to the infection of the nerves and soft tissues at the center of your tooth, in a chamber called the pulp. Before determining if root canal treatment is necessary, it’s important to determine exactly what your tooth infection means.
The reason a tooth filling isn’t typically enough to treat internal tooth decay is because a filling is only meant to restore the main part of your tooth structure, called the dentin. Once the infection reaches the inner chambers of your tooth, a lot more than the dentin becomes infected. The point of root canal treatment is to carefully remove the infected nerves and tissues from within the pulp chamber and the root canal, and it’s a more involved procedure than treating milder tooth decay.
The difference between needing a tooth filling and needing root canal treatment is largely one of time. Many people who require root canal treatment now may have been able to avoid it by treating their cavity earlier, when the first noticed its development. It’s the same difference between saving your tooth with root canal treatment and having to save your smile by extracting the tooth. If your tooth is already internally infected, then you shouldn’t wait any longer to treat it, or removing the tooth may be necessary for the good of your long-term oral health.
If your tooth has severe enough tooth decay, then root canal treatment could be a necessary solution for saving your tooth. To schedule an appointment, call Yelena Popkova D.D.S. in Merrimack, NH, today at 603-595-9400. We also serve the residents of Nashua, Hudson, Manchester, Milford, and all surrounding communities.