People who have injured or fractured a tooth, lost a filling, experienced tooth decay and other damage may need to get a crown. The crown is a permanent placement over the tooth to restore the strength of your tooth and improve the aesthetics of your smile. Often a root canal is required before the crown is placed. Find out the reasons why root canal might be necessary and more info about how crowns work.
Does a Crown and Root Canal Always Happen Together?
While a root canal is often done before a crown, this is not always the situation. They are two separate procedures. In certain cases, root canal therapy is not necessary. One can be done without the other, based on the patient’s unique circumstances. A dental exam and x-rays are required to see what is going on in the patient’s mouth. Once the dentist evaluates the situation, a recommendation is made to optimum oral health.
The Relationship Between Crowns and Root Canal Therapy
Because a crown is placed on a damaged tooth, the patient may experience some sensitivity and pain. Over time, a root canal might be a necessity to get rid of an infection and make the patient feel more comfortable. Conversely, a crown can improve the integrity of a tooth that has had root canal performed. This depends on the extent of the root canal and the condition of the tooth. Otherwise, the tooth could be more susceptible to cavities and fractures. Additionally, crowned teeth that are done without root canal have the potential of developing pulp (nerve tissue) problems that necessitate endodontic therapy.
Types of Crowns
Crowns are often commonly referred to as caps because they “cap off” the compromised tooth. A weakened tooth that has undergone root canal therapy is often a good candidate for a crown. There are three basic types of crowns to choose from, based on the patient’s situation, budget, and preferences. All metal crowns are quite durable and use gold or silver dental alloy. All-ceramic crowns are made with dental ceramic. Some are strong while others look aesthetically pleasing. Patients may also consider a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown. Porcelain encase a metal crown structure for a great combination of durability and aesthetics.
Placing a Dental Crown
Root canal therapy might take one or two appointments to complete. A crown may also take one or two appointments to place. Both procedures can take up to two to five appointments to finish. The root canal is done and must heal before a crown is placed. The tooth must be shaped and an impression taken.
A temporary crown is placed while the permanent one is being created for the patient. A dental laboratory fabricates the crown for placement. During the final visit, the crown is cemented into place by your dentist. Each appointment can take about a half hour. It could take a bit longer or less time based on what is being done in the patient’s mouth.
Because teeth are susceptible to fracture after a root canal, a crown is often recommended by the dentist. While a root canal might not be a necessity, if it is not done when a crown is placed, it is likely it will need to be done in the future. Your dentist will advise you if root canal therapy is required when you decide to get a crown.
Most crowns lasts between five and fifteen years so you want your mouth to be comfortable and healthy. Once the root canal therapy is performed and the crown is placed, most patients can smile and eat with confidence for years to come.