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Dr. Katz
Dr. Katz, Dentist - DDS
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 3569
Experience:  Dentist and Anesthesiologist for 37 years.Anesthesiology Fellow-Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.Evaluator for Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners.
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I had a very small crack in a tooth on the side of my mouth.

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I had a very small crack in a tooth on the side of my mouth. It was so minor that my dentist had a hard time finding it. However it was causing me pain when I ate small particulate like bacon bits. I asked for a root canal, since the last time I got a crown on a live tooth, it continued to be sensitive. I am sixty years old with very good, hard teeth that have relatively few repairs and this was a relatively strong tooth, except for the sensitivity. Can I get by without a crown?
JA: Have you noticed any recent swelling? Do you have any tooth pain?
Customer: No, just had a successful root canal
JA: Please give me a bit more information, so the dentist can help you best.
Customer: Obviously an automated response...you have everything now.

The purpose of the crown is to protect a tooth that has a large amount of filling in it. If most of the tooth structure still remains,it is not necessary to have the tooth crowned even if it is root canaled. Root canaled teeth are more brittle because they have no blood supply. If the filling is small,the tooth can still remain without needing a crown.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
This tooth had no prior filling and was only compromised enough to do the root canal. Just for additional clarity, it is the fourth tooth back on the top, counting from the gap between the front teeth.

I am unsure as to why the root canal is necessary. What type of symptoms are you having?

Do you have an X-ray of this tooth to upload? Your sensitivity may just be coming from your bite and this can be corrected with a minor bite adjustment. A root canal would not be necessary in that case.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
The tooth was cracked....a minor crack. I asked for the root canal, since a previous crown over a live tooth continued to have sensitivity to hot, cold, etc. I did not want work done to a live tooth that could cause more work later.

Pain to hot and cold is normally indicative of a tooth that is in hyper occlusion. If you actually had a vertical fracture,a root canal would not save the tooth. First a proper diagnosis needs to be made. Before anything else is done,your bite should be carefully checked. Symptoms of teeth needing root canal therapy are pain to heat,pain to biting pressure,swelling mobility, and darkening at the root tip showing bone loss. If you do not have most of these symptoms,your sensitivity will continue even after the root canal is done.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I'm sorry, but the root canal has been done!!!My question was a "mechanical" question about a crown, based on the location of the tooth, the fact that there was no cavity, and the fact that very little tooth was removed. All the other decisions have been made.

If the filling is small,the crown is really not necessary.

I would still have the bite checked to make sure that you are not hitting this tooth too hard.

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