How Do I Know if I Need a Root Canal or Filling?

Oakridge Dentists: Do I need a root canal or filling?


A nagging toothache can be as irritating as it is anxiety-inducing for some. This pain can ultimately indicate something is awry concerning your oral health, and a visit to your Oakridge dentists could be required. A common treatment to remove the excess bacteria from your mouth is usually a root canal or filling. Both treatments will aid the decaying of any given tooth and will quell the discomfort you might feel from the decay and bacteria buildup within your mouth. But what treatment will you require based on the state of your oral health? And how do you determine what treatment is necessary to maintain oral health? 


Determine the oral treatment you need between a filling and root canal based on your symptoms and what each treatment entails.


Root canal


When your cavity has become severe and is left untreated, a root canal is usually the remedy to keep your mouth healthy. A root canal treatment also underlines the need for regular dental checkups that will help prevent infections from developing. According to dental experts, a root canal is required when tooth decay has occurred and advanced to the tooth pulp. A root canal can be completed in a couple of dental visits, and only minor levels of discomfort are experienced when undergoing this treatment. A root canal consists of removing any infected pulp around the teeth to prevent the spread of infection, and a crown can be placed on the tooth for preventive measures. 




A filling is advised by your dental professionals when there is slight tooth decay around the tooth that has not yet reached the pulp or the tissue in the centre of the tooth. The cavity will be cleaned out during your dentist appointment, and the hole is subsequently filled in with some composite resin that acts as a preventative measure against the decay from worsening into an infection. 

vancouver dentists

Dentist shows their patient an x-ray of their teeth

Root canal symptoms


Once the infection has spread to the pulp of your teeth, there are certain symptoms of discomfort you will begin to explicitly notice that should indicate that a root canal could be an imminent recommendation by your dentists. It could be a sign of a severe cavity if you begin to feel a distinct sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks. This sensitivity can also result in dull and throbbing pain even after consuming your food or drink. When the gums around a tooth are overtly swelling and reddening, this is also a sign of an infection. Further, if one single tooth has become discoloured, the pulp of your tooth may have become severely infected. Whatever symptom you may have should prompt you to make an appointment with your Oakridge dentists to remedy this issue as soon as possible.


Filling symptoms 


You should look out for symptoms that will indicate a dental filling is needed, and although these symptoms might be minor, they should still elicit a call to your dentist. An obvious symptom is when you spot dark spots or holes in or around your teeth. Cavities can appear as minuscule discolouration or small holes, where food is liable to get stuck easily. You may also feel a certain type of pain when chewing food in the areas where the cavities are located, and your oral sensitivity to temperatures will become exacerbated. 


At Inspire Dental Group, our team of dedicated Vancouver dentists will deliver the best and most complete dental experience, using the latest, high-quality materials, equipment and advanced techniques to restore and rejuvenate your dental health. As a full-service dental clinic, we offer crowns, dentures, fillings, root canals, tooth extractions, wisdom teeth removal, Invisalign, and dental implants in Vancouver. With dentists in Downtown Vancouver, Port Moody, Surrey, Langley and Oakridge, you’ll always have an Inspire dentist ready to help you. Book your appointment with us today by contacting 1-833-876-4531 or