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Temporary Crown before Root Canal - Normal?



Junior member
Feb 26, 2014
I'm just looking for advice on whether or not I should trust my dentist. I feel like my apprehension might be in my head. But I also believe my dentist is horrible and hates me (get a new one! i know!)

Two weeks ago I presented with an enormous amount of pain in one of my back lower molars. began as pain during bite, and escalated to throbbing, nonstop pain, anytime. Over the course of a few days, the pain escalated to the point of needing Vicodin and staying home.

meanwhile, i visited my dental office. my primary was out. another dentist took me and he said there was a visible fracture in the tooth, and based on my symptoms and degree of pain, i would need a root canal. (extreme throbbing nonstop, sharp shooting pain upon contact, referred pain all over my face, etc)

a day later, my primary dentist comes back in, and she says she wants to do a temporary crown first, to see if a crown fixes the pain. i argue with her that everything i've read indicates that this goes deeper than a crown, and this is nonstop pain. she argues that it's probably just pain on contact and "maybe if i'm watching tv, with my mouth open, and breathing, it feels like nonstop pain." I argue with her that this isn't the case. i've had days to examine my own pain and i know it's not contact-related. I break down and cry. She convinces me to try the crown anyway, saying i can always get a root canal tomorrow if the pain isn't relieved once lydocaine wears off.

they take the impression for the crown. prep the tooth. affix the temp crown. and i'm on my way. after paying them $385.

within an hour, the exact pain is back. i'm in tears. i give it six hours. i need more vicodin. i hate them all at this point. i call and schedule a root canal at another office.

the next day, i have a root canal procedure and could not be more pleased by the care, expertise, and relief shown to me. the endo affixes my temp crown again after the procedure.

14 days later, after my gums finally feel normal again, i call my original office to have my permanent crown scheduled. after putting me on hold forever, they finally tell me that i have to come in to have an impression made, and then they'll send it out for a permanent crown. ??? "didn't you already do that?" i ask.

they give me some song and dance about how my first appointment - and payment - was just to prep the tooth, and now they'll have to remove the temp crown, take a final impression, and THEN send it out to the lab.

Is that normal? What did i pay $350 for? I was in the most pain of my life, literally crying and asking for a root canal, and they told me to try to this temporary first. I endured all those extra shots and tooth work and pain, for nothing. And now they have to rip off the tooth again, take another impression, put the tooth back on, and finally rip it off again to affix the permanent one? "well since your nerves are gone, it won't hurt" they told me. Eff that. messing around with my gums definitely hurts.

I'm at my wit's end with these people. Are they being upfront with me? Or giving me a song and dance?

is it normal to do a temporary crown before you do a root canal? should i find a new dentist? i feel so angry and betrayed by them.
Hi :welcome: to the forum.

I can only tell you of my own experience. I was in agony with a tooth, when I saw my dentist they x rayed it and found I had an infection. A rct was done after I had taken antibiotics, I had no pain while I was being worked on even the injections were pain free. Once I was symptom free for approx 6 months they have prepared the tooth as yours has been done and I have a temp crown on. The temp will be removed on my next appointment and an impression will be taken. The dentist will probably numb me because she says that she will be going near the gum line and it could be a bit uncomfortable, so I think if you feel more comfortable being numbed then your dentist should numb you. The temp crown will be put back on and the week after the perm crown will be ready and placed on the tooth.

My tooth has a long history with infections and rct re treatments but at no time have I felt any pain or discomfort. If you don't have confidence in your dentist then I would look for someone that will put my comfort and feelings first.

I don't know if your dentist has done right as I am not a dentist and have not seen you but I do know that they should consider how you feel and make things as comfortable as possible.

You are paying and you are in charge, you have to consent to treatment, they cannot do just as they like.

All the best to you, let us know how you get on please