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Tooth Filling vs. Root Canal: Which Dental Procedure to Get?


There is nothing more painful, inconvenient, and disruptive than experiencing a toothache. The chances are that you have tooth decay or a fractured tooth that is causing this unbearable pain. When faced with this ailing situation, your best choice will be to see your dentist as soon as possible to remedy the situation. Your dentist in Raleigh will most likely recommend either a tooth filling or a root canal for you, but which dental procedure must you get? That’s what we’re going to figure out.

In this article, we will discuss the differences between tooth filling and root canal so that you will know what dental work to get.

Tooth Fillings vs. Root Canals

Let’s first explore the major differences between a tooth filling and a root canal. Take note of the following details:

  • Tooth filling: This dental procedure involves fixing a damaged or decayed tooth by inserting porcelain or composite material—hence, the name “tooth filling.” The chances are that you have dental decay that results in a small cavity. But if left unattended for long periods, this hole can become bigger and eventually lead to tooth loss. It can also spread to the surrounding teeth, which is when tooth filling becomes necessary. This dental work typically involves cleaning the decay inside the cavity and filling it with the special material thereafter.
  • Root canal: This dental procedure also aims to repair a damaged or decayed tooth, as with tooth filling. However, the difference is that tooth decay has already affected the pulp inside your tooth. As you may or may not be aware, this pulp consists of connective tissues, nerves, and blood vessels. When the pulp gets infected, it can spread to the surrounding teeth and impact your overall oral health. A root canal involves cleaning and removing the inflamed pulp and filling and sealing the crack.

What Dental Procedure to Get

Based on the information discussed above, both dental procedures are designed to address tooth decay or damage. However, the difference lies in the condition of the tooth pulp. If it is already infected, you may need to undergo a root canal treatment instead of a tooth filling.

When suffering from tooth pain, your dentist will check your infected tooth and identify the root cause of the oral problem. From there, the specialist will then decide what dental work to perform, whether a tooth filling or a root canal.

Here at Dr. Thomas E. Cooke Family Dentistry, we offer superior dental care services, such as tooth fillings and root canals, performed by highly reliable dentists in Raleigh, NC. Our ultimate goal is to help thousands of clients improve their overall oral health through excellent dental treatments or procedures. If you’re looking to save and restore your natural tooth from decay, we’ve got you covered!


At this point, we’ve covered the major differences between tooth filling and root canal. To that end, be sure to consider all the valuable information discussed above and work with a reliable dentist who will determine what dental procedure to get, whether tooth filling and root canal. Ultimately, the goal is to save your natural tooth and foster your good oral health!

Are you looking for an emergency dentist in Raleigh to get a tooth filling or root canal? You’ve come to the right place! We provide a wide range of patient-focused dental services—from general dentistry to restorative dentistry down to dental emergencies. Get in touch with us today to make an appointment!