Q. Is root canal required if the cavity has not reached the pulp?

Answered by
Dr. Sagnik Biswas
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 15, 2023

Hello doctor,

I need another opinion for my tooth X-ray. The first doctor I went to told me I needed a root canal, but from what I saw on my X-ray, the cavity had not yet reached the pulp of my tooth. May I ask what I should do about it? Should I get the tooth extracted or get the tooth filled?



Welcome to

I read your query and can understand your concern.

As a dentist, we always try to preserve the natural tooth structure because no artificial structure can provide you with the same comfort and feel as the natural one. So, we not only do RCT (root canal treatment) when the carious lesion reaches the pulp chamber but tend to advice RCT when the carious lesion is very near the pulp chamber as well, which is evident in your case. Suppose caries reaches the pulp chamber, which, in my opinion, will surely reach there in no time in your case. In that case, it will cause severe pain, the formation of an abscess under the root, swelling of the gingiva, and, if worse, a peri-apical cyst or, in rare situations, a space infection. That is why your dentist has advised you an RCT.

I would suggest you go with the RCT as well, and as you are young, please do not go for extraction. Extraction would create an unnecessary gap between dentition, and the teeth at the distal end of this tooth would attempt to move forward. Going for a bridge after extraction will lead to unnecessary loss of tooth structure for two other teeth as well. A removable denture would not be a good option for you at this age, and the cost of an implant is high, and the placement of an implant depends upon the bone morphology. If you try to fill the tooth, it will lead to exposure of the pulp chamber, as the carious lesion is very close to the pulp chamber.

Hope this helps.

Thank you and take care.

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