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Cracked Molar
My dentist says that I have a cracked molar.   The tooth hurts when I chew on certain foods, but the pain dissipates immediately.  The tooth is sensitive to hot and cold, but the pain goes away immediately.  
Question:  My dentist suggests that I have a crown placed on the tooth.  Even though the tooth has a deep mercury filling, he believes that he could refill the tooth and it would most likely not need a root canal.   He says that only if the tooth hurts after placing a temporary crown would a root canal be necessary.  My concern is that I have several crowns already, and everyone was preceded by a root canal.   If my dentist succeeds in refilling the tooth and fitting a permanent crown, is it likely that the tooth would need a root canal in the future?  If so, the new crown would have to be removed at additional cost.  Would it be best for me to have a root canal first, before getting a crown? Thank ou.


Sorry for the delay. I was out of town and forgot to update my settings.

In regards to your question;
Not all teeth that have crowns need root canals. However, as you are aware, many teeth with crowns will eventually have a root canal. In essence, the bigger the restoration on the tooth, the higher the probability that the nerve inside the tooth will be inflamed and need some treatment.

I would suggest to have your dentist make a temporary crown and to leave that in place for at least 1 month. If there is pain during this phase, then do the root canal while in the temporary. If there is no pain, then you should proceed with the permanent crown.

While this should mitigate the need for a root canal with the permanent crown, there still is a chance you might need one. If so, then they either need to drill through new crown or they can attempt to remove it and then replace it after treatment. However, there is a chance that you might need a new crown.

In conclusion, if you don't need a root canal, better to avoid it. However, there never is a guarantee and every body does react differently.

Let me know if you need anything further!


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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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