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Old 02-23-2005, 04:28 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: California, U.S.A.
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Re: HElp, Smell on gums Under Root Canal/Capped Tooth any advice?

I had two options: Save the tooth and re-crown... or extraction. I opted of course to save the tooth since I have insurance....

The tooth had cracked and there was additonal decay that had developed under the crown. But tooth was still "salvagable". I don't think the canals had to be re-"rooted" so to speak. (If they did I would have seen my endodontist and I have no memory of this!)

I don't know what exactly my REGULAR dentist did to re-prep this tooth (which was really a little stub) for another crown but by the time he finished grinding out the decay, the stub was VERY short. Too short to hold a crown.
SO I was referred to a periodontist who did a "crown lengthening". This is a surgical procedure whereby the periodontist removes gum and/or bone to expose more of the stub, in effect "lengthening" it so it can now hold a crown properly.

None of this was cheap even with dental insurance. Even the BEST dental insurance in this country (good ol' US of A) is terrible unless the procedure is very basic and very simple. And even then there are so many limits.
For instance, this particular "failed" tooth of mine had been root-canaled and crowned two years prior (like yours).
My insurance company stalled for MONTHS declining to pay for the re-do even though my dentist wrote them a letter, sent them x-rays and a supporting letter from the periodontist. We won finally..... but when I went to read my dental plan it clearly said that they wouldn't pay for a new crown unless 5 years had passed!

But don't forget, mine ended up being more than just a clean-out of decay and a new crown made (all by reg dentist)...I had the complication of losing too much tooth structure to support a new crown, so had to have crown lengthening by a diff kind of dentist, which was a much more expensive deal than I anticipated.
See your dentist who did the orig work and talk to'll need an xray for starters.

There's no way to know what's going on without removing that crown, which they may or may not be able to use again. Unfortunately this is doubtful.

zuzu xx