For most patients, a root canal is a multi-stage procedure. At your first appointment, your dentist takes X-rays and once the site has been numbed, drills a small hole in the top of your tooth so they can remove the infected dental pulp.
Once the pulp is removed, your tooth roots are shaped and disinfected with an antibacterial agent before being filled with gutta-percha and sealed with a dental adhesive. Your dentist then gives you a temporary filling and recommends a permanent filling or a dental crown to fully restore your tooth.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a cap that is placed over a tooth. It covers the entire tooth down to the gumline and restores the tooth to its normal shape, size and strength. The dental crown is custom made to match your existing teeth so it blends seamlessly with your smile.
When preparing your dental crown, your dentist considers the tooth’s location and function, the colour of the surrounding teeth, the position of the gum tissue and the amount of tooth that shows when you smile.
Why Do I Need a Crown After Root Canal?
Not all root canals require a dental crown, but every tooth requires reinforcement after the procedure because the tooth is hollow so the structure is weaker.
You might wonder, ‘why do I need a crown after a root canal’? Although needing a dental crown depends on the location of the tooth and the strength of the remaining tooth structure, there are several reasons why you need a dental crown to restore your tooth and your smile.
Why Do I Need a Crown After Root Canal? Weakened Tooth
A root canal treatment saves the tooth from infection but weakens the remaining tooth structure by removing the pulp. Your tooth becomes brittle making it more prone to fracturing. A dental crown restores its strength so it won’t crack or break due to chewing pressure, leading to another infection.
Why Do I Need a Crown After Root Canal? Discoloured Tooth
One of the signs that you need a root canal is the darkening of the tooth due to a lack of nutrients. A dental crown fits over the discoloured tooth structure blending in with the rest of your smile.
Why Do I Need a Crown After Root Canal? Multiple Restorations
A tooth with multiple restorations in the past is more likely to need a root canal treatment than a tooth with a minor filling. This means that a lot of the decayed tooth structure has been removed, and the tooth needs a dental crown to restore its function and strength.
Why Do I Need a Crown After Root Canal? Bruxism
When you grind or clench your teeth, you wear down the crown. Since root canal treatment weakens the tooth, a dental crown can make it stronger.
If you suffer from bruxism, talk to your dentist about being fitted with a mouthguard or nightguard to help protect your teeth.
Why Do I Need a Crown After Root Canal? Sensitivity
As the local anaesthetic wears off following your root canal treatment, you may experience some sensitivity and mild discomfort due to the cleaning process during the procedure. Although this dissipates, your tooth may be more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. A dental crown can help alleviate tooth sensitivity.
Why Do I Need a Crown After Root Canal? Prevents Infection
After a root canal treatment, your tooth is at greater risk of infection. Dental crowns seal off your tooth to protect it from re-contamination.
Why Should I Get a Crown After Root Canal? Improves Tooth Survival
Because a dental crown protects the tooth structure, a tooth that has undergone a root canal treatment and is topped with a dental crown that can last a lifetime with proper dental care. The crown will need to be replaced every decade or so.
How Soon After Root Canal Treatment Should I Get a Dental Crown?
If your dentist recommends a dental crown, you should get it placed as soon as the inflammation and discomfort from the infected root canal subsides. This is typically about a week after the root canal treatment.
Most dentists recommend you get your dental crown placed within 30 days of your root canal treatment. The longer you go without a dental crown, the greater the chance of breakage, reinfection and tooth extraction.
How Do I Care for My Dental Crown?
Your dental crown needs to be taken care of just like your natural teeth because a crowned tooth is still susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss. Visit your dentist regularly so they can check that your crown still fits well.
Protect Your Tooth With a Dental Crown
At Dentistry on Solent, we use cutting-edge technology like 2D lateral cephalometry scanners to give us a better view of your mouth and digital sensors to identify dental pulp tissue damage early.
If you are experiencing any tooth sensitivity or have a constant dull toothache call our practice to arrange a consultation. If you are diagnosed with an infected root canal, we will walk you through the steps from your X-rays to your crown fitting before restoring your oral health.
Call us now on (02) 9158 6137 today.