Sometimes, many patients confuse or at least do not know how to differentiate completely, the treatments that include fillings from those that involve the performance of a root canal. For this reason, from Roman Dental Centers we want to talk about similarities and differences, applications of each of these treatments, and the problems that they can help us solve in our oral health.
What is the main difference between a root canal and a filling?
We could define it in that the first involves both the root of the tooth and the crown (part visible in the mouth), while fillings only touch the crown of the tooth. The endodontic is a way to disinfect the ductwork content at the root of the tooth, eliminating bacteria that may affect bone and mucous; Fillings, meanwhile, help us to rebuild the tooth present in the mouth, replacing the lost structure, for example, with cavities.
Root canals and fillings can be closely related. A poorly placed filling can lead to a patient needing a root canal: if the crown of the tooth is not adequately sealed with the filling, saliva, food debris, or bacteria may enter the dental pulp (nerves and blood vessels of the tooth). If the pulp is affected, it will have to be disinfected through a root canal, in which the organic tissue is removed and the entire interior of the tooth is sealed with a specific resin.
When is it necessary to perform a root canal?
Root canals are not only necessary when a filling is poorly sealed, but when the pulp of the tooth is exposed for different reasons. One of them may be cavities, which if not treated in time and worsen can lead to a patient needing a root canal. It should be noted that fillings are not a solution for cavities, but a remedy.
Tips to avoid endodontic treatment
The solution is regular check-ups in the dental office, eating healthy daily, avoiding the inadequate intake of sugars (such as those found in soft drinks and candies), brushing after every meal, and spending time to deep clean teeth every night, before going to bed.
If we only use the brush, no matter how electric it is, it will be insufficient. Cleaning must be associated with elements such as dental floss or interdental brushes, useful for removing food debris that accumulates between teeth every day. The best solution is always prevention.
Advances in endodontics
In the field of endodontics, as in many other fields of dentistry, advances are becoming the best friends of patient care. One of the main advances is magnification, that is, the use of specific magnifying glasses for the correct location of the ducts and the proper management of the treatment.
In addition, today we use highly flexible rotary instruments that allow us to effectively remove the bacteria contained within the root and avoid the risk that they may affect other anatomical areas. Also, the new irrigating solutions and the use of dental lasers are of great help for the complete removal of the infection and guarantee a fast and safe result.
After the organic tissue has been removed from the pulp, the entire canal system is filled with an inert resin called gutta-percha. This resin is pale pink and is the most used material in endodontics because it is fully compatible with our cells and favors rapid healing of lesions (endodontic infections).
A filling, on the other hand, if it is done correctly, can last many years in the mouth. It will be equally important to maintain periodic reviews accompanied by control radiographs, in which the integrity of the tooth-filling is ascertained and if the pulp is in healthy condition, taking into account the normal cold-heat sensitivity. In cases of fillings made several years ago, it is a good idea to polish and shine again with specific diamond pastes for composites.
As we have said before, the best answer is prevention. To avoid both fillings and root canals, the ideal is to follow a correct diet, in which we avoid the abuse of soft drinks, candies, and other sugary products, as well as maintain a healthy mouth cleaning three times a day, with a brush (either electric or manual ) and instruments for interproximal cleanings, such as dental floss or interproximal brushes. Mouthwashes and mouthwashes can help freshen your breath, but they are not a substitute for everyday brushing practices.