My dentist suggested that I get a crown on my tooth. I wanted a filling. The tooth is dark in color. It was the same color when I first started coming to him. I don’t have any other problems with my tooth but that. He said that the tooth was dead. If the tooth is dead then why put an expensive crown on it? My question is should I get the crown or not?
What bothers me with the tooth is that when I eat, food gets between that one and the one next to it and I have to always floss after I eat.
—Donnie from South Carolina
It sounds bad to say that a tooth is dead, but it’s only dead on the inside and is still worth saving. It could last longer than you do! If the tooth has a large filling and is weak, then I agree with your dentist—I think you should have a dental crown put on it. You can still chew on a dead tooth, and a dead tooth works just fine. It’s just that the pulp tissue on the inside that senses heat and cold is gone. But the tooth is still alive on the outside. The ligament that holds the tooth in is still alive. It doesn’t have to be alive to use it. It could last the rest of your life and be fine. But once it’s dead, it’s more likely to crack, and then you could lose it. A crown will keep that from happening.
Any tooth that has had a root canal is a dead tooth. But it’s alive on the outside, which is why it can last the rest of your life.
—Dr. David Hall