I have a canine tooth that needs a root canal treatment. My dentist also wants me to get a crown. To tell you I’m not fond of dentists is an understatement. I get that I’ll need the root canal treatment. The tooth is infected. That has to be fixed. I get that. Do I have to also get a dental crown? The less time I spend in the dental chair the better.
You didn’t mention what tooth needed the root canal treatment. A root canal treatment can make a tooth brittle. Some dentists will just try to crown every tooth after a root canal. However, the location of the tooth makes a big difference as to whether or not you’ll need a crown. If it is a back tooth, then I would say the crown is absolutely necessary.
Molars have between two to four cusps, depending on whether they are a premolar or not. When stress is placed on those cusps, like you’d get with biting forces, the cusps pull apart. This causes split fractures. The back teeth are used for grinding so having a crown protects it.
The front teeth, however, are used for biting and tearing. The shearing stress on front teeth means that putting a crown on that tooth will actually put it at more risk of damage. Instead, I would handle it this way. Don’t let him place root canal filling material. This will cause a darkening of the tooth. The better plan is to place a white fiberglass post. Then fill the rest with a white composite filling material. This will protect your tooth and keep it a color you’ll be pleased with.
Dealing with Dental Anxiety
You are not alone in your dislike of the dental chair. I want to suggest you look for a dentist who offers dental sedation. This will allow you to have stress free as well as pain free appointments.
Most patients find this completely changes their lives. It makes it easier for them to get to the dentist. This in turns keeps them from having fewer, if any, dental infections and gives them better overall oral health.
This blog is brought to you by Lexington, KY Dentist Dr. John Weaver.