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Why Dental Crowns May Be Necessary after Root Canal Therapy

Craig Goldin DDS Jan 30, 2014

Troy Dental Crowns and Root Canal TherapyWhen the root canal of a tooth becomes infected, it can lead to serious dental problems, including bone and tooth loss. In order to treat deep infections within a tooth, root canal therapy may be required. This treatment can save a tooth from extraction, but it can’t preserve tissue that has already been lost to decay. In many cases, a dental crown is the best way to ensure the future health of a tooth following root canal therapy.

At our Troy cosmetic dentistry practice, we strive to strike a balance between the comfort and well-being of our patients. To therefore illustrate why dental crowns may be necessary after a root canal procedure, we offer the following information.  

How Is Root Canal Therapy Performed?

To better understand the need for dental crowns, it’s necessary to understand why root canal therapy results in large tissue loss. If you need to undergo root canal therapy, the procedure will be performed in the following manner:

  • Similar to a cavity filling procedure, tissue is removed from the tooth. This requires the removal of any diseased tissue within and around the cavity. Once a cavity has reached the roots of a tooth, it has usually compromised a relatively large portion of the tooth.
  • Once the dentist has access to the tooth’s roots, the infected dental pulp is removed and the roots are treated with antibiotics.

After root canal treatment, a tooth may be significantly reduced in structure. More importantly, the most integral tissues for the health of the tooth have been removed. Dental crowns are therefore often necessary to restore and protect the tooth as much as possible.

The Benefits of Dental Crowns

Dental fillings, inlays, and onlays are all effective ways of replacing lost tooth tissue. However, they can only fill gaps in a tooth that is otherwise healthy and relatively strong. Root canal therapy tends to weaken a tooth to the point where it shouldn’t be just filled, but also protected on the exterior. More importantly, the dental pulp has been removed, which is responsible for generating new, healthy tissues within a tooth. Consequently, dental crowns are needed for superior restoration:

  • Structural support: Crowns simultaneously fill lost tissue while serving as the tooth’s outer layer. In this way, crowns restore strength to a tooth that would be too weak to function on its own.
  • Protection: By capping the natural crown of a tooth, dental crowns protect a tooth from injury, stress, and abrasion.
  • Preservation: Without a crown, the alternative for many teeth would be extraction and replacement. A crown allows patients to preserve a natural tooth, rather than replace it with a dental implant or bridge.
  • Durability: By using porcelain, dental crowns can easily last 15 years or longer without wear or damage. With the right care, porcelain crowns are effective permanent restorations.  
  • Realistic appearance: Porcelain is the most effective dental material for mimicking the shape and color of natural teeth. And because it’s stain resistant, your porcelain crown will continue to shine for years.

Receiving a Dental Crown after Root Canal Treatment

Once you have received root canal treatment, you can expect a dental crown to be crafted and installed as follows:

  • A thin layer of enamel will be removed from the exterior of the tooth. This is to make room for the crown to cover, or “cap,” the tooth.
  • Digital impressions will be taken of the tooth, which will be used by the CEREC® machine as 3-D models.
  • Porcelain will be color-matched to your teeth and used for the crafting of the crown. In an hour or less, the crown will be ready.
  • Dr. Goldin will position the crown over the tooth to ensure a proper fit. Once ready, it will be permanently cemented on.

Unlike many dental practices, which require dental crowns and porcelain veneers to be crafted in an outside lab, we can create our own restorations with our in-office CEREC® machine. This allows patients to receive their permanent dental crowns in a single day, as opposed to multiple trips over the course of two or more weeks.

Schedule an Appointment

A root canal infection poses a threat to your dental health and your comfort. Contact us to schedule an appointment and receive the proper treatment, or to inquire further about root canal therapy and dental crowns.

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