To some people, tooth decay doesn’t seem that serious. That’s because they may be able to treat it with a minimally invasive tooth filling and never have to worry about it again. However, for many patients, decay is a more serious condition that a tooth-colored filling may not be able to address. When patients at our El Paso, TX, dental office exhibit severe, internal tooth decay, root canal treatment is often their best chance at removing the decay from their teeth and restoring their healthy smiles.
How did your tooth start decaying?
Hearing that you need root canal treatment can be especially confusing when you take relatively good care of your teeth and gums. However, the truth is that many people develop tooth decay even when they’re good at hygiene and preventive care. It only takes one small mistake, such as skipping a session of brushing and flossing your teeth, for oral bacteria to form plaque and attack your teeth, potentially leading to cavity development.
Why can’t a filling fix it?
Modern tooth fillings make treating mild to moderate cavities almost seem like no big deal because of their minimally invasive and lifelike nature. The tooth-colored resin used to create the fillings can be tinted to match any tooth color and shade, but it only suffices for decay that is still contained in your tooth’s main crown structure (called dentin). When the decay surpasses the dentin and reaches the tooth’s inner pulp chamber, it infects the tooth’s nerves and tissues, rendering a tooth filling inadequate.
What will happen if I wait?
If you wait to treat a mild cavity, then it may not take long for it to become more severe and reach the internal pulp chamber. For that reason, you may need root canal treatment before you even realize it. If you hesitate further, then you may run the risk of the infection spreading through the tooth’s root canal and into the surrounding tissues and bone structure. In severe cases, root canal treatment may no longer be viable, either, and extracting the tooth may be the last resort.
Learn how root canal treatment can help
If your tooth has become too severely decayed for a tooth filling to fix it, then you might need root canal treatment to save the tooth and restore it to good health. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling the Sunny Smiles dental office nearest you in El Paso, TX, today! We have offices in the East, Northeast, and Westside of El Paso, and happily welcome patients from all nearby communities, including Chaparral, Canutillo, Vinton, and Sunland Park, New Mexico.