Do You Need a Crown After Root Canal Procedure? (Understanding a Dental Crown’s Importance)

Dental Caps

Is Dental Crown Needed After Root Canal?

Modern studies have proven that dental crowns reinforce the strength of the tooth after root canal treatment. It is reported that a tooth with a dental crown has an increased chance of survival compared to those without. A root canal treatment involves tooth-drilling which causes the tooth to be more fragile, which is why dental crowns are a perfect tool for reinforcement. You can view more by clicking on this link.

Understanding Root Canal Treatment

To have a better understanding of the importance of dental crowns, we must first learn the processes involved in root canal treatment. By doing so, we will have an insight into the procedures, and get a better understanding of why a dental crown is beneficial for our tooth, and overall oral health.

What is Root Canal Treatment?

To put it simply, a root canal treatment or endodontic treatment is the process of treating the infected pulp of a tooth to prevent further infection and saving the unaffected part of the tooth from microbial contamination. The process involves a complex series of procedures, and depending on the severity, it usually lasts several weeks. 

Diagnosis and Analyzation

Your dentist will diagnose your tooth condition first to get a better understanding of the degree of damage, or infection. In some cases, a cracked tooth may not look severe on the surface but is infected internally. Diagnosis will help your dentist choose the appropriate method for the procedure. After analyzing the results from the tests, your dentist will decide if the tooth can be saved by root canal treatment, or not. Tooth extraction is the next step in such a case.

The main purpose of the root canal is to save the tooth from extraction. The surface of the cracked tooth can be polished, and filled-in by composite materials, that is why a dental crown is typically needed for protection and longevity. 

Clinical Tests

Several tests are required to help your dentist determine the state of your tooth’s infection. These tests will tell your dentist if there is an increased chance of future complications, or if a root canal treatment will suffice. Tests include:

  • Tooth Mobility – This test will check whether the tooth is loose or not.
  • Tooth Transillumination – This involves directing light to the cracked tooth to find noticeable damage.
  • Palpation – Palpation checks the gum tissues surrounding the root for swelling or tenderness.
  • Tooth sloth – The patient is asked to bite down on a plastic surface and check for pain, effective on tooth isolation.
  • Dental pulp tests – These tests will determine the health of the pulp.
  • X-ray – X-rays are used to get an internal view of the gums and teeth for better evaluation.
  • Percussion – also known as Tender To Percussion (TTP). Your dentist will tap on the surface of the tooth to check for tenderness.

Steps in Root Canal Treatment

  • Once the tooth is isolated, a dental dam is placed to keep the tooth dry and free of contaminants from saliva.
  • Local anesthesia is administered.
  • Your endodontist will drill an opening on the surface of your tooth to clean the areas of the cracked tooth, and clean the pulp chambers, to prepare a space for the composite filling.
  • After the cleaning phase, your endodontist will use a material called gutta-percha to seal off the root canals. (In some cases, temporary fillings are used for complex cases, only to be removed when the toot is fully healed).
  • Finally, once the procedure is complete, a dental crown is placed to protect your tooth from damage or infection.

What are Dental Crowns

placing a crown after a root canal

Dental crowns are also known as Dental caps. They are a type of restoration that improves the tooth’s appearance, durability, and functionality after treatment from dental procedures such as root canals, and similar. Dental crowns come in many types and materials. 

Types of Dental Crowns

  • Stainless Steel Dental Crowns – Stainless crowns are ideal for children’s primary teeth protection. They are placed over the primary tooth to prepare for the growth of the permanent tooth. The crown falls naturally as the tooth develops.
  • Metal Dental Crowns – These crowns are designed to endure the stress involved in chewing, biting, and are considered tough. There are a wide variety of metal alloy materials. The American Dental Association categorized these into 3 groups: high-noble, noble, and base metal. The only catch is, they are expensive because of high gold and platinum content.
  • Porcelain Dental Crowns – Porcelain dental crowns are ideal for people that are conscious of teeth color matching. They can be manufactured to match your natural teeth color. However, these crowns wear easier compared to metal alloyed materials. They may also chip, and break off.
  • Ceramic Dental Crowns – Ceramic crowns look like natural teeth, compared to all the other types of dental crowns. They are ideal for front and back teeth since they are primarily designed for aesthetic purposes. They are also beneficial for people that have allergies to metals.
  • Resin Dental Crowns – Resin crowns are the most affordable among all the other types. However, they are also the most damage-prone of all types.

Important Reasons for Getting Dental Crowns After Root Canal Treatment

Now that we have an idea on how the root canal treatment goes, and a general overview of the types of dental crowns available, let’s talk about the advantages of getting a dental crown after the procedure. 

  • Infection Prevention – Dental crowns provide protection against bacteria and other contaminants that may damage the teeth.
  • Tooth Protection – A tooth can become fragile because of the procedures involved in root canal treatment. The drilling of holes, and smoothing of surfaces because of the cracked tooth needs protection from complications. Dental crowns provide the needed protection.
Dental Crown Color
  • Aesthetic Benefits – In some cases, your teeth’s color may change after the procedure. It may appear discolored and somewhat grayed. A dental crown can restore and improve the overall appearance of the tooth.

After Care

A tooth with a dental crown doesn’t really need special attention. However, we should always bear in mind that A protected tooth is safe from infection or damages. Certain situations may still cause damage or re-infection. The best way to do is to maintain your oral health routines and visit your dentist regularly.

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