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Root Canals

Is a root canal necessary for me?

07/02/2007

Question:

I have had the build up for a crown. My dentist suggests that I have a root canal on this tooth, that does not have any current problems, prophylactically. Does it seem reasonable to do an unnecessary root canal, prior to a crown, because the root may become infected at a later date and be more expensive to treat?

Answer:

I cannot say why the root canal was suggested in your case. There may be reasons particular to your tooth (i.e, large filling, close to the nerve, cracks, etc.) that would put your tooth at risk of needing a root canal. The advantage of having a root canal done prior to a crown is that if the root canal needs to be done later, they will need to drill a hole through the top of your new crown.

Whether or not the root canal is necessary and whether it should be done before the crown, is a discussion for you to have with your dentist or endodontist who knows the specifics of your particular case. If you still have concerns, you may seek out a second opinion which would include an examination.

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Response by:

Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS Melissa McCartney Drum, DDS, MS
Assistant Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University