While many people already know that it is important to visit the dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning and dental exam, not everyone knows that many dentists check for more than just cavities and gum disease. In addition to examining the teeth and gums, it has become standard for dentists to inspect the…
Is a Dental Crown Necessary After Root Canal Treatment?
Dental crowns are the final step in many root canal treatments, but still, many wonder if they are necessary. Patients tend to be intimidated by the root canal procedure in itself, but when adding the factor of a dental crown, it may seem even more daunting.
Root canals may be one of the most misunderstood procedures in modern dentistry. People often dread this straightforward procedure for fear of pain and the placement of a dental crown. However, know that root canal therapy is meant to alleviate pain and prevent the tooth from future infection and damage. In most cases, the treatment is not complete without a protective cap, the dental crown.
What is root canal therapy?
Root canal therapy is a dental procedure where an endodontist or dentist gains access to the center of a tooth to eliminate an infection. The infection that has reached the roots of a tooth is called pulpitis, or infection of the pulp (tissue) deep inside a tooth. Pulpitis occurs when advanced tooth decay is left untreated. It can also happen when sudden trauma damages a tooth and allows infection into the pulp. A tooth needing root canal therapy can be painful, but the procedure will help bring all of that pain to an end.
After the procedure, patients have a tooth that is hollowed out and painless. Because the tooth no longer contains pulp inside it, a crown can add support to it so no further damage occurs.
Reasons why a treated tooth needs a dental crown
For the most part, teeth in the back of the mouth (molars and premolars) will require a crown. These teeth bear the most bite force and usually, need a little extra support. Teeth in the front of the mouth tear rather than crunch, so they can generally get away without a crown after a root canal. Some other factors that determine whether a tooth needs a dental crown after a root canal is: patient oral health, bruxism and past tooth damage.
The severity of the break or decay that led to the root canal in the first place is a significant consideration with dental crown placement. If the crack or decay is minor at the surface, it can sometimes be filled in with resin rather than needing a full dental crown. When a patient has otherwise good oral health, and the teeth on either side of the compromised tooth are structurally sound, a crown is not always necessary.
Those who grind and clench their teeth, a condition known as bruxism, will certainly need a dental crown following root canal treatment. Root canal treatment weakens the tooth, and the immense pressure put on this freshly operated tooth will prove detrimental. Bruxism can weaken perfectly healthy teeth, just imagine what the act of grinding teeth can do to a hollowed out tooth.
Teeth with root canals that have had damage in the past are especially susceptible to breakage. A crown can help prevent a tooth from crumbling when its structural integrity is dubious.
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There is nothing to fear if you need a crown. Call us and let us put your mind at ease. That way you can have good oral health once again!
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