Root Canals vs. Dental Fillings: What’s the Difference?

Root canals vs. Dental fillings: What’s the difference?
Posted By
1 Comment

If you have recently been told you have a cavity, you may be wondering what the difference between a root canal and a porcelain dental filling is. These two treatments are quite different, yet they are both used to treat damaged and decaying teeth.

While porcelain dental fillings can be used to fill and treat cavities, root canals are used for more severe cavities that have damaged or infected the tissue and roots of your tooth. If you or someone you know is in need of dental repair in the form of a root canal or dental filling, read on to find out how these treatments differ and how they can both be used to protect and prolong your natural teeth.

Benefits of Dental Fillings

Dental fillings help protect and preserve the integrity of your tooth as they serve to fill in areas that have been damaged or decayed. Your dentist will work to fix your cavity by removing the infected and decaying part of the tooth and filling it in with dental fillings.

These dental fillings come in a range of different materials, some of the most popular being porcelain or ceramic. Unlike fillings made of silver and gold, these fillings are made to match the colour of your teeth and blend in seamlessly. Dental fillings are durable and made to last a number of years without any issues. They prolong the life of your teeth and keep your smile both beautiful and healthy.

Composite or Porcelain Ceramic

As opposed to silver, gold, mercury and amalgam fillers of days past, composite and porcelain ceramic dental fillings are now the standard and most popular types of fillings. They give a more natural appearance and can be matched exactly to your existing tooth shade. No one ever has to know that you’ve had a cavity filled!

Ceramic fillings often have to be done in two appointments as opposed to just one. However, they are more durable and will need less maintenance over time, lasting on average up to 20 years. Ceramic fillings are more resistant to staining, which can be beneficial if you drink a lot of coffee or red wine. They are also non-toxic as opposed to mercury and amalgam fillings that were used in the past.

Root Canals

If you are suffering from an injury, a deeply cracked tooth, a severe cavity or problems from a previous filling, you may be in need of a root canal. Although you may have heard the term before, you may still be wondering what exactly a root canal is and how it differs from a regular dental filling.

Root canals go much deeper in that they actually remove the infected pulp of a tooth, which is the center of the tooth itself. This “pulp” is made up of nerves and blood vessels that are inside the roots of your tooth. This is why root canals are considered to be more invasive than simple dental fillings.

They usually require anesthesia and can leave your mouth sore and uncomfortable in the days following the procedure. Although the process is typically regarded as painful, this is often just a misconception as modern-day advancements have made the treatment manageable and similar to any other dental procedure that you may have done in the past.

Improve Oral Hygiene

Whether you need to get a root canal or a simple dental filling, one thing remains true. You will be improving your oral hygiene and on the road to a better, healthier smile.

Once that cavity or infection is taken care of by a dental professional, your teeth and gums will look and feel much better. Rest assured that any pain will subside and brushing/flossing your teeth will become more manageable.

Make sure to not neglect cavities, as they can spread and infect other teeth, gums and surrounding roots. Root canals can be prevented by managing cavities promptly and cavities can also be prevented, by adhering to better oral health hygiene practices.

If you are unsure and suspect that you may have a cavity and need dental treatment, remember to speak to your dentist first and they will be able to guide you in the right direction.

All in all, while dental fillings are for less severe cavities, a root canal is a more invasive procedure that is reserved for more complicated cases where the tooth and gums are suffering from further decay and infection (usually due to prolonged cavities).

This is one reason why you should never neglect cavities and have them filled and taken care of as soon as possible. You don’t want to have to resort to having a root canal later on down the road.

For more information on dental fillings or to speak to a prosthodontist in Mississauga or the GTA, please contact Bristol Dental at 866-673-2109 or contact us here. Our dentists are professional, knowledgeable and friendly. Contact us today to speak to a dental professional that cares about your health and well-being.

Leave A Comment

1 Comment

  • Posted on 12-09-2023 by 10 Tips to Help Prepare for Root Canal Treatment

    […] Root canal treatments remove painful infections from within the teeth. These procedures are safe, common, and provide immediate pain relief. Furthermore, root canals preserve the natural tooth so there is no need for a tooth extraction. […]