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A 32-year-old member asked:

in my bottom left molar, the hole is about the size of a pen tip, will the dentist do a root canal?

5 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gary Sandler
Dentistry 54 years experience
How big & deep?: What you see is not always what you have. The hole may be small and you may just need a simple filling. If it's deeper and more of a problem, you may need more than just a filling. My crystal ball is not working right now, so without personally seeing your tooth and an x-ray, I have no way of knowing what treatment will be necessary. Your dentist can answer your questions after looking at it.
Dr. Paul Epstein
Dentistry 48 years experience
Probably No: No . The dentist will remove the decay and place a filling. If the decay goes into the nerve then a root canal will be required.
Dr. Kayvon Javid
Dentistry 20 years experience
Maybe: It is very difficult to diagnos if you need a rootcanal or not without a clinical examination and some x-rays. The width of the cavity is not as important as the depth of it. See a dentist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Dr. Dennis Cufone
Dentistry 32 years experience
Decay: The depth of decay can only be judged by a radiograph so its impossible to predict online. The sooner you see your dentist, the lower your risk of needing a root canal!
Dr. James Wright
Dentistry 33 years experience
Must be examined: There are many new technologies out there today. Diagnodent uses infared technology to help determine the depth of a cavity. Other new systems exist as well. X-rays are still used as a diagnostic tool. Depending on the depth of the decay and the proximity of the nerve, will determine the course of treatment. Do not wait, as procrastination may lead to more extensive treatment.

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Similar questions

A 37-year-old member asked:

What is a root canal? How can it be performed on my upper left molar?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Dominick Curalli
Dentistry 20 years experience
Root canal: A root canal is when a hole is made in a tooth to access the pulp (nerve and blood vessels) in the tooth's center. These tissues are removed with files and the resulting space is disinfected and then filled with a sealer and gutta percha (rubber like substance). The hole in your tooth is then repaired and if it is a molar, the tooth should have a crown placed.
A 46-year-old member asked:

Root canal on upper molar - advice wanted before proceeding!?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. John Yu
Dr. John Yu answered
Endodontics 16 years experience
Need details: Root canal is virtually painless. Your dentist should be able to walk you through it. Sometime due to the complexity of the case your dentist may refer you to a specialist (endodontist). Talk to your dentist about your concerns.

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Last updated Dec 27, 2014
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