If you have deep decay in your tooth, it may have spread to the pulp. The pulp is the soft center of the tooth that contains living tissue, vessels, and nerves. If the pulp is infected, your dentist may recommend a root canal. During a root canal, your dentist will remove the infected portion of the pulp and seal the area so that it cannot get reinfected. To seal the site, some dentists may use a crown, or cap, while others may use dental cement. Take a look at why you might need a crown after a root canal.
Who Might Need a Crown After a Root Canal?
There is no one-size-fits-all process for root canal therapy. You might need a crown after a root canal if you fall into one of the following categories.
You Have Sensitive Teeth
Some people have naturally sensitive teeth, while others may have sensitivity from gingivitis, bruxism (teeth grinding), or cosmetic treatments, like whitening. If the infected tooth that needs a root canal is extra sensitive, your dentist may recommend a crown to lessen sensitivity — especially from very hot or cold foods.
You Previously Had a Restoration on the Tooth
If your tooth has already had a filling, onlay/inlay, or other restoration, it can be incredibly brittle and weak after a root canal. A crown can be a good restoration to protect whatever enamel you have left. Plus, the crown can prevent the risk of recurrent infections so that you don't have to have an extraction. If you don't have enough enamel to support a crown, then your dentist might build up the tooth base with a metal pin and composite before placing a crown over the top.
You Have a Posterior Tooth That Needs a Root Canal
Posterior teeth, such as molars and premolars, take the brunt of chewing motions compared to anterior teeth (incisors and canines). Posterior teeth can be especially weak if you grind your teeth at night. One study found that posterior teeth should, ideally, be crowned to increase the longevity of the restoration and save as much enamel as possible.
You Have a Tooth with Discoloration
Some people have to get root canals because their teeth have undergone major trauma from an injury. Some people's teeth may turn brown or gray after this kind of trauma. Even if you have strong enamel after a root canal procedure, you may just want to get a crown so that you can match the shade to the surrounding teeth and not have to worry about discoloration.
If Your Dentist Doesn't Recommend a Crown, How Is the Root Canal Site Sealed Off?
If you don't fall into one of the previously mentioned categories, your dentist may not recommend a crown. Thankfully, there are dental cements like calcium hydroxide, glass ionomer, and zinc oxide-eugenol that can be used to seal off the root canal site.
You don't have to worry about missing out on the benefits of a crown, as these cements are very good at stopping oral bacteria from penetrating the root canal site. These cements are resistant to moisture and shrinkage, so they can last you a long time. Plus, these cements are also radiopaque, meaning that they are easy to see on an x-ray, so your dentist can tell whether or not there is breakage or a leak where bacteria can infiltrate the canal.
In short, one method isn't better than the other when it comes to sealing a root canal — there's lots of factors to consider. Your dentist will help you decide whether you'd benefit more from a crown after root canal therapy or from a dental cement.
For more information, contact a general family dentistry clinic.Share
24 July 2020
Do you care for your teeth like you should? Most people brush their teeth, but so many people rush through this process and are not as careful as they should be. Still others avoid flossing. A lack of dental care over the years can lead to increased decay. Thankfully, we have dentists who can treat decay with fillings, crowns, and in some cases, root canals. Dentists also provide preventative care. They can clean your teeth and use things like fluoride treatments to strengthen your enamel. The more you know about dental care, the better you'll be able to care for your mouth, so feel free to read some of the articles on this website.