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Q. Does my tooth cavity needs root canal treatment?

Answered by
Dr. Shipra Chaudhary
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 16, 2020

Hello doctor,

I have a tooth cavity. Does it require root canal treatment?

#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Do you have pain in your tooth?


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Thank you doctor,

I do not have pain in my tooth.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

It is good that you do not have pain. I suggest to get the caries removed and specifically do not get the procedure done under local anesthesia (you will be able to tell the dentist about the pain, if you experience it or not while getting caries removed).

If you experience the pain, then get the root canal done. If even after the preparation of cavity, you do not have pain then get the filling of your choice done.

The most possible scenario for you looks like that dentist will excavate the caries and put a base under the filling. This will soothe down your inflamed pulp. Then he/she will fill your cavity. Only get root canal done, if you want to get the crown (cap) for your tooth.

So looking at the pandemic condition you can, at present just get the caries removed and have a filling done. But, later when you want to have a crown on your tooth, you should get a root canal done.

You can start chewing Xylitol gums if you have problems with cavity. As a dentist we use terminology as caries for the cavity i.e. defined as permanently damaged areas in teeth that develop into tiny holes. Causes include bacteria, snacking, sipping sugary drinks and poor teeth cleaning. So maintain proper hygiene.


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Thank you doctor,

Can you please tell me for how long I can delay the treatment?

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Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

See, in a normal scenario, I would have suggested to get the treatment done at the earliest possible and convenient time. I will not recommend that you wait until pain develops so as and when the situation with COVID settles, you should get the treatment done.

May I ask what made you go to dentist? Is the cavity visible with naked eyes? Or is food getting stuck in your tooth?


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Thank you doctor,

It is the upper tooth and the food gets stuck often. One-third of the tooth has got a cavity and seems like the cavity is close to the nerve. I was wondering if I could avoid RCT.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Since the food gets stuck often, it becomes more important to get the cavity filled after the excavation of caries. RCT can be avoided (if the dentist removes caries carefully) but, if the cavity is large enough or if the infected tooth is not treated for long then RCT becomes unavoidable. Also, RCT done in a non-infected tooth has better results.

So my suggestion would be to get the caries removed. Get a temporary filling done with calcium hydroxide base. If during the time of temporary filling, you do not experience any pain then go for a permanent filling. If you have pain then proceed with RCT.


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