Many patients wonder why a crown is necessary after getting a root canal. Why can’t dentists just put a filling in? It’s so much cheaper…

What Is a Root Canal Procedure?

When a cavity in a tooth is left untreated, it enlarges and eventually reaches the nerve inside. The nerve gets infected resulting in the immense pain that prompts people to go to a dentist or endodontist (root canal specialist).

During a root canal procedure, the infected nerve is removed. Then, Gutta percha is packed inside the disinfected canals.

What Happens After?

After a root canal treatment is completed, there is no blood supply and innervation to the tooth making it brittle and prone to fracture. Additionally, removal of all decay often results in a very little tooth structure remaining.

What Is a Crown?

A crown is a permanent cover on a tooth fabricated to resemble natural dentition in shape and color. Circumferential coverage reduces stress on a weakened tooth. Additionally, it provides a barrier against trauma and chewing forces.

If you’re looking to save your tooth long term,  crowning is your best option.

Risks Associated To Not Getting A Crown?

Below is the X-ray from a MyDental patient who received root canal treatment but no crown. The treated tooth is circled in red.

After prolonged stress, the patient came to us for an emergency fracture.

A crack right down the middle of the tooth can be clearly visualized in the photo above. A filling, in this case, was not an appropriate treatment after the root canal. The result is vertical fracture and subsequent tooth loss. Without the crown, the tooth is not properly supported and will, eventually, fail with an exception of few cases. If a crown were placed after the root canal treatment, there would have been a firm foundation that would have allowed the tooth to manage impact and occlusion from other teeth.

In Conclusion…

In dentistry, the cheapest option is not always the best option. The goal is a long-term solution to the problem at hand. Consult with your dentist if you had a root canal treatment.

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