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Question
I had two root canals done on the 2nd December on my top front tooth and the one next to it due to having a large abscess covering the tips of both teeth, which were finished with two temporary fillings. I was advised that I should wait between 6 weeks and 6 months before having permanent fillings done. Is it better to go sooner rather than later? And will I need crowns fitted? What is the purpose of a crown and will they be obvious? The dentist indicated that I wouldn't need crowns but didn't explain why, she also said it was rare to have root canals done on the front teeth, and the only reason I got the infection was that one of my teeth was knocked out nearly seven years ago, and put back in. How could this take seven years to happen? The two teeth which were treated have absolutely no feeling and I had the root canals with no anaesthetic and didn't feel a thing, will this affect the strength of my teeth?

Thanks in advance E

Answer
Hi Emma,

Thank you for your question.  Yes, I would have to agree with your dentist that root canals on the front teeth are rare.  In fact, I don't even think I ever heard of it.

If it were me, I would use the sooner than later approach through this whole thing.  Try to find a board certified Prosthodontist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosthodontics).  And since your case appears to be more about dental health and function, then it is about cosmetics, I would investigate whether your medical or dental insurance would cover your treatment.  I would consult with the benefits person at the dental office before contacting your insurance company.

Since your root canal was on your front teeth, I would consider options that go beyond just capping or crowning those teeth. Your two front teeth are going to be up front and center for the rest of your life, so you want to make sure it is done right. Over the past 20 years or so, dental veneers have become very popular.  They look better, but are also more expensive.

Talk with your Prosthodontist and let him/her advise you.  You may also want to get a couple of opinions.

Let me know how it turns out.

Best Regards,
Jonathan
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Jonathan at PatientBabble

Expertise

My area of expertise from the patients point of view would be Dentistry/TMJ plus the speech challenges that these jaw and bite problems sometimes represent. Over the years I have seen a multitude of dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, speech therapists, neurologists and other health professionals who all had an opinion about my TMJ/bite problem. I AM NOT A DOCTOR...but would purely be a patients point of view type person. I "get it" when people say they tried to explain to their dentist what their TMJ/bite problem is and that they are misunderstood. I can listen to people's trials and tribulations and there is a good chance I have been down that road before. I can make suggestions as to what people can do at home, or what questions to ask their doctor or dentist when they visit. I will try and recall information or experiences that may be helpful to you.

Experience

About 25 years ago, I had my wisdom teeth out and since then my bite has never felt "normal." For whatever reason, the first sensation I remember was not that my bite was off.....but rather that my normal tongue and speech patterns had been impeded. I spent years going to different dentists, who lumped me into their generic version of what they knew about TMJ. The majority of dentists believe they can treat TMJ, but only those whose primary focus is TMJ treatment, are really any good at it. Any dentist, can take an impression of your teeth, send that impression off to the lab and have them make a night guard. That is the easy part. The tricky part is what the dentist does with the night guard, once receiving it from the lab. The dentist has to do a "fitting" where they tailor the night guard to be evenly balanced and comfortable in your mouth. Sometimes it can take a few visits, because further adjustments need to be made to the night guard appliance, to get it just right. I have found that dentists, who have had the most practice, do a better job at fitting your appliance. It's almost like an art form.

Organizations
Jonathan's Blog is: https://patientbabble.squarespace.com/jonathans-blog

Education/Credentials
College Graduate with Bachelor of Arts Degree

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