My dentist wants to do a root canal on a left incisor tooth in which I’ve had fillings since childhood. The tooth does not hurt, but my dentist says the x-ray shows something like decay. I’ve had this dentist since 2020 and had no dental care other than cleanings and exams. Why would I need a root canal on this tooth? I was supposed to start Invisalign in September, but the dentist says we need to delay it for the root canal. – Thank you. Manal from NJ
Thank you for your question. Although Dr. Vargas would need to examine your tooth and x-rays, we recommend that you do not get a root canal without a second opinion.
Do You Need a Root Canal Before Starting Invisalign?
If your dentist is unsure about your x-ray, you may not need root canal therapy before Invisalign.
Factors to consider:
- Misunderstanding your x-ray – Sometimes, a dentist can mistake dental materials in a tooth for decay.
- Lack of symptoms – Root canal treatment removes tooth infection. A toothache usually precedes the condition, but if you have not felt any pain or other symptoms of an infection, a second opinion is worth it.
- Incisor teeth – Preparing an incisor tooth for a dental crown after root canal therapy requires removing about 60% of the tooth structure. Preparation will weaken your tooth and increase the risk of it breaking. A dentist should be sure that you need root canal treatment before proceeding.
Schedule a Root Canal Second Opinion
We recommend finding a dentist with advanced training in cosmetic dentistry and root canal therapy. Schedule a second opinion for an exam and a review of your x-ray. If you like the dentist, you may want to speak with them about taking your Invisalign case.
Dr. Claudia Vargas, a Dallas, Texas dentist, sponsors this post.