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FAQ:  Root Canal Therapy RCT



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Question:
I had a root canal done about 10 months ago. Everything went fine. When I went to the dentist to get a cap he drilled it down and put a temporary cap on the tooth. It felt fine.

When he put the permanent cap on is when it started bothering me. It is tender when I touch it. I went back to the endodontist about 4 months later. They took an xray and found nothing wrong. She suggested maybe it was hitting.

Went back to my dentist and he ground it down a little. It is still bothering me. Went to my dentist the other day and he said maybe the tooth is cracked and that could be causing the pain.

He suggested the only thing to do is replace the cap. ...Visitor from PA

Answer:
If the treated tooth has a crack or internal fracture that enters "down" into tooth structure (as opposed to a sideways or lateral crack) a porcelain crown can actually make it worse and even accelerate failure.

Some dentists can differentially diagnose the existence and direction of a crack while the root canal procedure is being performed. In situations where the crack moves down "into" the tooth, the usual recommendation is extraction and replacement with a dental implant... thereby cutting short the cost of a completed root canal.

Other dentists simply avoid placing a crown on any type of cracked tooth, especially if it is in the molar area. The extreme biting pressures we have create a high risk of failure, even though it might not be immediate.

Editorial Staff

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