In 2016 my dentist did a root canal on a molar tooth. The root canal filling came out two weeks ago. My new dentist says I need a crown and post. I am wondering whether I can get a new filling or if I really need a crown. I am afraid that if this doesn’t go well, the dentist will say that I need a dental implant next. Are a crown and post too aggressive? Should I agree to treatment or get a second opinion? Thank you. Salman J. from NY
Thank you for your question. Although Dr. Gavrilos would need to examine your teeth and x-rays, we will provide some basic guidelines on when a tooth needs a crown and post.
Does a Root Canal Tooth Need a Crown and Post?
Whether a root canal tooth needs a crown and post depends on the tooth’s condition and location.
- Condition – A root canal tooth can weaken over time and the risk of it breaking increases. Also, if not much healthy tooth structure remains, a dentist may recommend a crown or a crown and post.
- Location – Molar teeth have a higher risk because of pressure from chewing and grinding teeth. Also, molar teeth have cusps or peaks that can separate with chewing forces. Front teeth are less likely to break, but horizontal stress can damage a weak tooth.
Will a Root Canal Tooth Require Removal and an Implant?
Depending on the tooth’s condition, a dentist or specialist may save it with repeat root canal treatment if necessary. If you have signs or symptoms of recurring infection, your dentist will x-ray the tooth. But repeat root canal treatment can prevent the need for tooth removal and an implant.
If you are unsure about your dentist’s treatment recommendation, you can see another dentist for a second opinion. Or, you can ask your dentist to refer you to an endodontist (root canal specialist).
Dr. James Gavrilos, a Barrington, Illinois cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.