After my dentist examined my upper right front tooth, she did an x-ray. The tooth is stained, and my dentist wanted to check it out before she did Zoom Whitening. I switched dentists about 7 months ago because my previous dentist didn’t do Zoom whitening. The x-ray shows that the tooth root is getting calcified, so my dentist recommends root canal treatment and a crown. I feel like my dentist is rushing me through the root canal and crown so we can complete the Zoom Whitening. She mentioned Lava and e.max crowns. How am I supposed to know which one to choose? – Thank you. Russ from MO
Although Dr. Finley would need to examine your tooth, why is your dentist recommending root canal treatment? If a tooth’s root canals are getting calcified, it doesn’t always mean they are infected.
What Is Tooth Root Calcification?
Tooth root calcification is a condition that reduces the size of the pulp chamber in a tooth. It is the result of extra dentin deposits in the tooth. Sometimes calcification requires root canal treatment.
What Causes Tooth Root Calcification?
- Traumatic injury – After trauma, a tooth releases extra dentist to protect against infection in its canals.
- Aging – Tooth canals slowly get calcified as we age.
- Decay – A large amount of tooth decay can result in decalcification.
Lava Crowns vs. e.max Crowns
Different companies make Lava and e.max crowns. But they both have a lithium disilicate foundation overlaid with feldspathic porcelain. The crowns require aggressively grinding down your natural tooth, which will further weaken it.
Even if you need a root canal treatment, you do not necessarily need a crown on your front tooth. An advanced cosmetic dentist can preserve most of your healthy tooth structure with this process:
- Remove the root canal filling material
- Strengthen your tooth with a fiberglass post
- Place a thin porcelain veneer to correct tooth color
Although Zoom whitening will brighten your teeth, discoloration from within a tooth needs an alternative treatment. A porcelain veneer can correct it.
We recommend that you get a second opinion from an advanced cosmetic dentist to determine if you need root canal treatment and explain options for concealing the discoloration in your tooth.
David Finley, DDS, a Monroe, LA, accredited cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.