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Crowning a really bad tooth with no root canal



Junior member
Jan 30, 2006
Hi all,

I haven't been on in awhile and have had a lot of work done so far on my teeth and made it thru it. I had a root canal done and a crown on that and some bad teeth filled. You would think that after I have made it thru each sitting, I would feel more at ease at the next one, esp since some I have had no pain at all. Which is due to either the laughing gas or a whole lot of nophacane. But no....at each new sitting I am still very nervous and tense. It is only to when I know there will be absolutely no pain and the dentist is almost done that I even begin to breathe easily.
Anyhow.......my question is this, I have 3 teeth my dentist tells me that are very, very bad. He says he can just fill them with deep fillings and try to stay away from the crowns if money is an issue but he thinks crowns would be a lot better route, just because the teeth are so bad. They don't need root canals. My worry isn't so much about the money but more the pain issue. I know now that when a tooth needs a root canal done and you pretty much get through that, then when they put on the crown there isn't any real pain there. But what about when a tooth still has its sensitive roots and you are trying to grind it down for the crown.....am I making sense?? -Well, wouldn't you feel a WHOLE LOT more pain there???? I tried to ask him this and he is a nice dentist and does good work but he made no sense when he gave me his comments on it. I didn't understand him at all. All I want to know is, will you feel a whole lot more pain from crowning a tooth that has its roots and needs to be growned down, verses putting in deep fillings? I'll also try to sum this up better and put it on the other message board...asking a dentist my question. Thanks for all of your help!



Well-known member
Verified dentist
Jan 3, 2006
Hey Roxy,

Well done to you for making it through all that other treatment.

How bad are the teeth? I take it the dentist has shown you the x-rays, indicating if there is decay or whatever.. the idea of doing a crown is to reinforce the tooth, especially if the filling is very extensive and prevent any further breakage of the tooth. But... if a crown is placed on a vital tooth - ie it still has a nerve.. the dentist cannot guarantee that it will not need root canal work in the future - every filling, or crown done on a tooth is an 'insult' to the pulp (the nerve inside) and sometimes the nerve reacts by slowly dying - usually, thank heavens, painlessly. Some dental bods reckon that a crowned tooth will always need root canal in the future. Difficult to be emphatic about that really.

Sooo, to answer yer question... having the crown done is like having a filling really, just takes a bit longer, with the impressions and what have you. I had a crown done on a live molar about ten years ago, and I admit, it was a bit sensitive while being prepared - fleetingly, like a cold sensitivity. Nothing too bad, I'm sure you'll be fine. But if it is a deep filling, the dentist may want to place a core first anyway without jumping straight into the crown stage (a core is just like a normal filing) Having the core done ensures that there are no areas of decay lurking under the old filling and may give the tooth a chance to recover on it's own - if it does not settle then you go down the root canal and crown option (ha - nearly said route..)...

So i don't believe that it will be more painful to have the crown - just look at the wider implications is all I'm saying.

Sorry this hasn't been very clear. been a while since I was on here! :)

Take care.