My dentist did a repeat root canal on my bottom left molar. After the root canal, an infection lingered for almost two months. An oral surgeon helped me get rid of the infection and said that my dentist should wait before putting a crown on.
The tooth hurts again, so I think the infection returned, but my dentist already had the crown made without my permission. I prefer an extraction and implant because the tooth is problematic and has interfered with my routine so much. Besides, after a repeat root canal, if the tooth still hurts, I think putting a crown on it is a waste of money. Why would my dentist order a crown for a tooth that won’t heal? – Aspen from Queens, NY
Thank you for contacting Cornerstone Dentistry.
You are correct; your dentist should not have ordered the crown without your permission. You can refuse the crown because the tooth has not recovered.
When Should You Get a Crown on a Root Canal Tooth?
You can get a crown on a root canal tooth when your dentist is sure that the treatment was successful. Preparing the tooth for a crown will further aggravate the tooth. Covering the tooth with a crown wastes your time and money.
Despite a dentist’s best efforts, root canal treatment can sometimes fail. Still, your dentist took a risk in making a crown for a tooth that had not healed. He is responsible for it, so we recommend asking for a refund of any fees you paid toward the crown.
Should You Try to Save Your Tooth?
If your tooth is savable, a dentist with advanced root canal training or a root canal specialist (endodontist) can save it. But as the number of root canal treatments increases, the likelihood of saving the tooth decreases. If you prefer an extraction, you can schedule an appointment for a second opinion from a cosmetic and implant dentist to discuss your concerns.
Dr. Siny Thomas, a Sugar Land, Texas dentist, sponsors this post. Dr. Thomas is a graduate of the surgical program of the Pikos Institute in Trinity, Florida.