After getting a repeat root canal on a bottom left molar, I had an infection in the tooth for almost two months. An oral surgeon said my dentist should wait before making a crown for the tooth. My dentist finally made the crown without my permission, but the tooth is still infected. I asked for an extraction and implant because this lingering problem interrupts my busy work and family schedule. Is putting a crown on the tooth a waste of money? Why would my dentist order a crown without my permission? Thank you. Lamar from Illinois
Thank you for contacting us with your questions.
Although your dentist ordered a crown without your permission, you can refuse it because your tooth is still infected.
When Should You Get a Crown on a Root Canal Tooth?
A dentist should place a final crown on a root canal tooth only after ensuring that your treatment is successful. Additional work on an infected tooth will further irritate it and delay healing. Cementing a crown to an inflamed tooth wastes your time and money.
Root canal therapy can fail despite a dentist’s efforts to remove an infection from your tooth. Nevertheless, consider a few facts about your case:
- Making a crown without your permission for a tooth that has not healed is a flawed judgment.
- Your dentist is responsible for the risk he took in making the crown.
- Your dentist should not ask you to accept or pay for the crown.
Should You Try to Save Your Tooth?
You should try to save a tooth that will not further threaten other teeth or oral health. A root canal specialist (endodontist) can examine your tooth. You can consult with an endodontist. You can get a third root canal, but when you must get repeated root canals on a tooth, it decreases the chances of saving it. If the tooth is unsavable, speak with a cosmetic dentist about replacing it with a dental implant and crown.
Dr. James Gavrilos, a Barrington, Illinois, cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.