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Dentistry/Can this tooth be saved w/ crown? X-ray attached.


Hi there,
Ok, so I had a root canal on #30 who knows how long ago and never put a crown on it (trust me, I know how stupid this was). So fast forward to today and the tooth is pretty much chipped very close to the gum line (see attached x-ray). Iíve been to 2 dentists who both told me it needed to be extracted. I started seeing another dentist and he mentioned there was a chance it could be saved if the decay wasnít that deep (or something along those lines) but he would need to drill into it to find out. So we had an appointment to build it up but before then I saw an endodontist for RCT on #31 and when he saw #30 on the x-ray and I mentioned we were going to trying saving it he agreed with the other 2 dentists that there was no way to save it and even if we put a crown on it it would fail.

All that to say, what is your opinion? Obviously since I had RCT on #31 the best chance of success would be to extract #30 and bridge #29-31 but if I could at least get a year or 2 out of the crown to reset my insurance max and be in a better position to afford an implant and since I have 3 crowns already (soon to be 5 on #30 and 31) I would hate to crown #29 just for a bridge. Also, what is the worst case of happening if we the crown failed? Is it just the crown falling off or are we talking about infection or something along those lines?

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for any help.

Hi Tom,

Sorry, but I agree that the tooth is a goner. There is nothing left for the crown to stay onto. And, if it fails, you will likely end up with a bigger headache to fix.
At this point, I would recommend an implant instead of a bridge if possible.



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Benjamin Schwartz, DDS FAGD


I can answer a range of questions in dentistry, ranging from cosmetic dentistry, fillings, root canals, and comprehensive treatment. Specifically, my fields of interest are in CEREC technology, Invisalign (Invisable braces), and Endodontics (root canals).


Full time practicing dentist in New York City, treating all phases of adult dental needs. Specific focus on Invisalign cases, Endodontic (root canal) treatment, and CEREC single visit restorations.

Schwartz Benjamin, Boczko Fae, McKeon S. Oral Care For The Elderly. Perspectives in Gerontology December 2006

New York University College of Dentistry - D.D.S.
Woodhull Medical Center, 1 year post-graduate residency program - GPR

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