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Root Canals

Crown Ten Years After a Root Filling

12/07/2011

Question:

Ten years ago I had a root filling. It solved the pain I was suffering but the dentist just filled the tooth without a crown being suggested. I have had a further three dentists since, but only the most recent one has ever mentioned the absence of a crown. The new dentist is recommending a crown otherwise the tooth (molar) may fracture. Given I have gone ten years and been okay and nothing has been mentioned until now, what do I do? Is the new dentist just trying to make some money out of me or were all the other dentists wrong to not mention the need for a crown?

Answer:

Not all root-canal-treated teeth require a crown. Many teeth do just fine with a filling, as your tooth has done for the last 10 years. However, we tend to find that molars are more prone to fracture since they endure more forces from chewing and biting.

It is impossible to predict whether or not your tooth will fracture, but a crown is something your dentist can do to try and prevent that from happening.

Thank you for your question and best wishes.

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Response by:

Sara Fowler, DMD, MS
Clinical Instructor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University