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Dental and Oral Health Center

Root Canal Necessary?

09/28/2010

Question:

In June, I had a gold crown put on my right molar. I still get excruciating pain whenever anything hot or cold touches that tooth. The dentist (new to me, my former dentist retired) says the nerve is too close to the crown and I will need a root canal. Is this a common problem with crowns? I have two others and never experienced this kind of pain before.

Answer:

One of the first signs that the nerve has been infected or is dying is that the tooth will be sensitive to cold and/or hot temperatures, and/or biting and chewing. As the process worsens, the nerve will break down and become more and more infected. In some instances, a tooth had a deep cavity or a deep filling and a crown was put on top. After a crown is placed on top, the tooth becomes really sensitive to the hot or cold temperatures. This is the number one sign that the tooth is in need of a root canal; this is not unusual.

Not all teeth that have crowns need root canals; however, some teeth that have been broken down may be in need of root canals.

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Response by:

Andre K Mickel, DDS, MSD Andre K Mickel, DDS, MSD
Associate Professor and Chair of Endodontics
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University