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Dr. Peel
Dr. Peel, Dentist
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Experience:  General dentist with 20+ years of experience.
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I had a crown put on about a year ago because of a cracked

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I had a crown put on about a year ago because of a cracked tooth and it is fine. And I also have had a root canal because of a cracked tooth. Why is it one or the other? I do have another cracked tooth and don't know what direction to go in.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr. Peel replied 1 year ago.
Hello , my name isXXXXX and I will try my best to provide you with the answer to your question.

Well, there are cracks and there are cracks!1 No two are alike so depending on the degree and angle and whether there is pulpal involvement will dictate the eventual treatment.

For example. the tooth that was cracked and had a crown put on , may have just had a cusp crack and or a hairline crack that has been able to be held together adequately with a crown.

The one that has had a root canal must have involved the pulp. Once that happens, saliva is introduced into the pulp chamber and will eventually infect the tooth. A root canal is the only option.

With this latest racked tooth, you will need to have an x-ray and a bite test to see if there is pulp involvement. If you already have pain or experience pain on biting, the pulp is involved and you will need a root canal most likely.
Diagnosing a cracked tooth, by the way, is very difficult as some don't even show on x-ray. If you can visualize the crack or chip yourself, it does not mean it is through and through.

I would advise you to get this tooth x-rayed and have your dentist check it out. I cannot say for sure whether you need one treatment or the other as I have limited information from here.
I hope this helps. Please ask more if I can help further.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well the tooth with the crown I was experiencing some pain while eating......and when the dentis took out the old filling it was cracked three ways and he said most likely I would need a root canal. However, he put a crown on and it worked great. So I guess the question is I can alway try the crown first and if it does not work go to the root canal.....this is what I was told....what do you think?
Expert:  Dr. Peel replied 1 year ago.
Hi Erika,

Some conservative dentists will try this and that is fine. If a crown is very well fitting it may hold a cracked tooth together. The only thing that can be a problem is that if he cements the new crown with permanent cement then he may have to destroy the top of the crown to go in and do a root canal if it needs one later. Once the crown is cemented, it is just too hard to take off and do the root canal. It's ok to go through it like that but just be aware that the root canal will have to be done through the crown.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there really a difference going through the crown or just through the tooth?

I really am stuck as to what to do. But I guess if a root canal needs to be done the crow will already be on and will not have to be done after.
Expert:  Dr. Peel replied 1 year ago.
There is no difference but the look of the crown will be changed, that's all. These things are judgment calls best made by the treating dentist . This is not something that should be your worry. Your dentist should guide you based on his sound experience and judgment. If he thinks a crown will be adequate, then by all means try that, particularly if he had success with the other one.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the reply... It is a back tooth. My concern was if the root canal would be more difficult???
Expert:  Dr. Peel replied 1 year ago.
It is somewhat harder to access a back tooth and it has either two or three roots to deal with. A good endodontist should not have any trouble.

I will be available in the morning should you have any further concerns. Hope this helped .
Dr. Peel, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 962
Experience: General dentist with 20+ years of experience.
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