Root canal in front tooth

Every year more than 15 million people have a root canal.  Still, having a root canal in front tooth is different from having it in a molar or wisdom tooth.

People understandably have cosmetic concerns with teeth that are visible when they smile.  Turns out that in some ways fixing a front tooth is easier than other teeth and there is a lot to know about the procedure.

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Preparing for a root canal in front tooth

Prior to root canal treatment your dental professional may take X-rays of your teeth and mouth.  These images will allow your dentist to view the tooth and assess the root canal damage.

Antibiotics may be prescribed depending on the particulars of any infection present in the front tooth.

Local anesthesia is often used to numb the tooth and surrounding tissue.  For some teeth anesthesia is not necessary if the nerves have died.  Your dental professional makes this assessment.

A rubber sheet (dam) is placed around the tooth to keep it dry and to stop chemicals used during the procedure from being swallowed

Root canal in front tooth

Removing the Pulp

The tooth will be opened through its crown, the flat portion on the top of the tooth.  The pulp from the center of the tooth is cleaned and removed, including any infection.  Should you have a dental abscess, pus-filled swelling, it will be removed as well.

Cleaning and filling

The next step after removing the pulp is to clean and enlarge the root canal.  There is usually one root canal in each front tooth.  Once the root canal is cleaned it will be filled and sealed with a temporary filling.

Sealing the tooth

At a following appointment the temporary filling will be removed.  It will be replaced with a root canal filling to seal the tooth and prevent reinfection.  Root filled teeth are not as strong as regular teeth so often a crown is placed on a back tooth.

Root canal in front tooth removing pulp

Placing a Crown

Your dental professional will determine whether the treated tooth needs a crown for reinforcement and strength.  If needed, a crown will be placed once the tooth has healed during a follow-up appointment.  Crowns are not used as frequently on a front tooth, it will depend on your dental exam.

Front tooth is easier

Having a root canal in front tooth is actually easier than other teeth.  Having less pulp is the main factor leading to making it easier.  It will also usually make the treatment quicker and less painful as well, especially with local anesthesia.

A front tooth is also easier for the patient since they don’t have to open their mouth as wide during the procedure, sounds simple yet keeping the jaw open can be a cause for pain in root canal treatments.

The root canals in a front tooth are often more straight, another factor making it easier for the dentist and an advantage over extraction.  It is also easier to carefully floss front teeth.

Shorter recovery for front tooth

The recovery time for a front tooth may be a bit shorter than for other teeth.  Since it is an easier and less involved procedure there are fewer things to hurt and become inflamed.

Front tooth may not need crown

The goal of a root canal is to remove any infection and inflammation, yet it can also weaken the tooth.  Removing the pulp and filing down the root canals diminishes the natural strength of the tooth.

Front teeth are not used for chewing with the same force as back teeth and a crown may not need to be used.  The National Institute of Health recommends only placing a crown on a front tooth that has extensive excavation during its procedure.  So frequently you will not need to have a crown placed for your front tooth.

Root canal in front tooth placing a crown

Root canal in front tooth: Complications

There is a risk of complication with a root canal, just as for any procedure.

Contact your dental professional immediately if you have any of these symptoms:

  1. Severe pain or pressure.  Especially lasting more than a few days.
  2. Visible swelling
  3. An allergic reaction to medication (rash, itching, or hives)
  4. The crown or filling comes loose
  5. Symptoms you experienced prior to the procedure return

It has been found that 89% of patients are satisfied with their root canal.  And of course if you have any issue after your procedure you should immediately make an appointment to get the help you need.

Cost of root canal in front tooth?

Estimating the cost of a root canal in a front tooth is difficult since it will depend on the particulars of your case and the costs in your area.  As a general range to give you an idea of possibilities the cost will be approximately $500 - $1,000 for a root canal in a front tooth.



A root canal in a front tooth can make people nervous, yet it is usually an easier procedure than for the back teeth.  The main thing to remember is that the infection requiring a root canal is a serious condition that will not heal on its own.  If you suspect you may need a root canal in front tooth make an appointment immediately.

Root canal in front tooth complications