Is It Necessary to Do Root Canal on a Chipped off Teeth with Exposed Dentine?

A portion my teeth is chipped off from the edge (one week before) and its dentine is exposed. But there is no pain. My dentist told me that I should undergo a root canal. I would like to know if it is necessary to undergo. What will be the future consequences if root canal is not done ?

Doctor Answers 7

Exposed Dentin Does Not Always Mean Root Canal

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There are many times that dentin is exposed and the tooth does not need a root canal.  The tooth may need to have a filling or a crown, which could cause your sensitivity to subside.  A root canal is always a last resort, but is sometimes necessary.

Maybe you will need it in the near future.

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Xrays are necessary to answer this question, however I can tell you that if the dentine is exposed probably you will need a root canal in the near future, the day you decide to crown that tooth. I am guessing here since it is very hard to tell without a visual element such as an xray. Good luck!

Is root canal needed on a chipped tooth

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It is hard to say without an x-rays and even then one needs to see why and when  the tooth chipped in the first place.  If it broke via a trauma , the nerve may be non vital, or partially vital and needs a root canal if not now , at some unpredictable time, and  If it is due to bite, or the extent of chip, or decay and crack in order to restore and place the tooth properly there may be a need for root canal . It Sounds like you are questioning it, because you do not see the chip extensive enough, so question your dentist. She/he should go into the reason as to why it is recommended and if any of the above is mentioned then doing it before a filling or crown is proper treatment. 

Good luck

Soheyla Marzvaan, DDS
Orange County Dentist

Should I do a root canal on chipped tooth?

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If adequate tooth structure is present, no nerve exposed, and no symptoms I would say not necessary... Keep in mind dentist sometime still recommend a root canal because after the chip they suspect that the tooth will need a root canal in the near future and would like to do it before a crown is placed. Good Luck



Kevin Coughlin DMD, MBA, MAGD        CEO Baystate Dental PC

Kevin Coughlin, DMD
Springfield Dentist

Depends on the chip

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What appears as very small to a patient may in fact be very large to a dentist.  If you are ok with a slight gamble, you could simply crown or bond in a filling and see if that was enough.  If NOT, you may need root canal therapy and run the risk of needing to replace the crown or filling at an additional fee. 


It may end up costing more in the long run if you don't do the root canal now, but you MIGHT save some.  Without an xray or photo, I am only guessing.

Crown chipped tooth

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In general it is best to avoid root canals if at all possible.  But, depending on the chip, if the tooth needs an extensive restoration or there is decay it may be necessary to do a root canal.  It is difficult to tell without photos or x-ray

Lawrence Singer, DMD
Washington Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Root Canal on Chipped Front Tooth

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I practice very conservatively, and if the chip was only in the dentine, with no visible nerve exposure, and a healthy looking nerve on X-ray, I would not insist on Root Therapy if you have no symptoms. I would conservatively do additive bonding on the tooth and see how it responds for a few months prior to doing any more permanent work.

Jay Neuhaus, DDS
New York Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.