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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Tooth Cavity

11/19/2009

Question:

I went to a private dentist. He took X-ray of the concerned tooth. He showed me the X-ray result which showed a cavity going inside through the tooth but clearly away from the nerve and clearly not touching it. He told me I need a root-canal treatment. I dont have any pain/swelling from hot/cold/pressure/chewing. I was researching online and I found out an alternative called "Pulp Capping".

Please suggest what should I do? Whom should I consult for honest opinion? Already spent $100 on this doctor.

Thank You

Answer:

Not all teeth that need a root canal treatment are symptomatic. If you do not trust this doctor's opinion, get a copy of the x-ray and get a second opinion. Ask a friend or family member that has a dentist they trust to recommend someone to you. You can also contact the local dental society who can refer you to a dentist.

As far as pulp capping, this is a procedure done when the decay is very close to the pulp or even slightly touches the pulp. It does not guarantee that you will not need a root canal in the future, but it gives the pulp a chance to heal if it has been injured by the decay. 

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Response by:

D Stanley Sharples, DDS
Clinical Assistant Professor of Primary Care Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University