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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 goes away  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? I appreciate your advice.

this is very common situation. we see it often. people crack a tooth but the piece does not break off. this causes chewing and cold pain...but only then things hit the crack. you get a zing and it is over with right away. the treatment for these is a crown. the crown will cover the crack and hold the pieces together. the pain generally stops right away.

every tooth with a root canal needs a crown. a tooth gets very brittle after a root canal is done so a crown in needed to protect it. every tooth with a crown does not need a root canal. crowns are done because of cracks, large fillings, etc. a root canal is done only when the nerve is dying or has died.

you can do the crown now. most likely your pain will stop and you should not need a root canal. if it ends up needing a root canal, you can cut a small hole in the top of the crown and do the root canal through that hole. we then just put a filling in the hole and you do not need a new crown. it is fine at that point.

i hope this helps.

good luck

jeff dalin, dds


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Jeff Dalin DDS


general dentistry questions with topics ranging from cosmetic dentistry to dentistry for children


Fellowships in American College of Dentists, the Academy of General Dentistry, and the International College of Dentists.

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