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How likely is it to need a root canal on a tooth with a deep filling?

J

jen2605

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Messages
24
I had a really deep cavity filled a couple of years ago in a lower molar. The tooth actually broke because of the decay, which is what finally made me go to the dentist after 10 years of being too scared. I actually only needed that tooth filled, and one other filling, but I found having the fillings really distressing.

Anyway, when the dentist did the filling, she said the cavity was very deep and she was surprised that it hadn't caused any significant pain. She put something in the bottom of the cavity (I think to protect the root??) before putting the filling in (pretty huge amalgam one).

She told me at the time that there was about a 50:50 chance of the filling not being enough and me needing a root canal, but everything seemed to settle down and it's never caused me any problems since.

I went for a check up yesterday and she did x-rays and again commented on how deep that filling was and asked if it was causing any problems. I said no, and that I was lucky to have avoided a root canal, and she told me that it still might need a root canal in the future.

Why would I need a root canal when the filling seems to have sorted it and it's been 2 years? I'm scared, I thought that the filling was bad enough, but I thought that was it over now! I'm going to try to cut down my sugar intake and improve my dental hygiene because she warned me that I have several early cavities that could need fillings in 6 months - will that help with the deep filling tooth too?
 
S

Spike 1969

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Messages
683
Location
Derbyshire UK
Hi Jen

Im not a dentist but I am in a similar situation to you, I had a tooth filled by my previous practice (enough said on that one :mad:). Anyway the dentist said the filling was very deep and he put in a sedative filling in the bottom (I understand this stops irritation to the tissue in deep fillings) the filling took several weeks to settle but settle it did.

I then fired this dentist due to their lack of customer service and after some research I found my new dentist who is brilliant, when I went for a consultation with my new dentist we discussed this and he said as it is an extensive filling there is a possibility that it could give trouble in the future or it might be perfectly fine for a very long time so we have agreed to periodically radiograph the root of the offending tooth and review whether there are any changes and then we can decide from there.

Hope this is helpful.
 
carole

carole

Well-known member
Forum Buddy
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
7,744
Location
UK
Hi I had a tooth that was deep filled and was told at the time that some time in the future it would need a rct. It went for about 6 years and did need a rct.

I have another tooth that has a deep filling as well and this has lasted for about 20 years, it has recently been filled again and this tooth may need a rct in the future I was told but after it doing okay for 20 years I am not too worried.

I absolutely hate having fillings done, and the position of this tooth is very hard for the dentist to reach as I have a small mouth and it is at the back. If it does need a rct I am not too worried because I would rather have a rct any day than a filling. There is very little drilling using the hand piece, they mainly use hand files, they do take a bit longer but to be honest when this tooth was filled it took ages because it was difficult for my dentist to reach it properly so there wasn't much time difference.

Don't worry about having a rct, they are much easier to sit through than fillings. The worst thing about a rct is that it is boring for us.

Good luck to both of you :clover::clover::clover::butterfly:
 
R

rob wain

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Apr 23, 2013
Messages
521
Location
Newcastle Upon Tyne
A tooth dies as a result of being injured. The injury could be caused by tooth decay, biting too hard on something, an incorrect bite, tooth drilling etc.
The problem is that the injuries add up over time so once a tooth has had a lot of decay, broken and then been drilled to remove the decay it may be touch and go as to whether the tooth dies and a relatively small future injury may push it over the edge.
The dentist is doing a good job in advising you of the future risk. You can help the tooth by keeping it clean and not eating sugary foods as this reduces the likelihood of future injuries (tooth decay, more fillings etc)
the good news is that teeth nerves gradually contract over time so the chances of the tooth dying will reduce so long as you keep future injuries to a minimum.
Hope that explains things
 
J

jen2605

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Messages
24
Thank you so much Rob, that totally makes sense now. I'm currently on a "I can't handle more fillings" diet, so restricting sugar and trying to take really good care of my teeth to prevent multiple early cavities worsening, so hopefully that will help the deep filled tooth too.
 
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