Why Do You Need a Dental Crown After Root Canal Treatment?

Why Do You Need a Dental Crown After Root Canal Treatment?

In an ideal situation, a dental crown is the final step in a root canal treatment. It takes care of the exterior of the tooth after the root canal treatment has taken care of the inside.

Combining these two treatments, therefore, gives you a treatment plan that takes care of the whole tooth.

After root canal treatment is a crown necessary?

After a root canal treatment, the structural integrity of your tooth has been weakened. This is why it’s necessary, especially for your back teeth, to have a dental crown placed on the treated tooth.

Root canal treatment, also known as root canal therapy, removes the infected pulp from the tooth. Which is done to save the tooth as well as prevent decay and infection spreading to other teeth.

It’s important to remember that a root canal treated tooth is essentially a dead tooth. So, over time, the tooth will lose some of its strength and have an increased chance of fracturing.

Find out more about root canal treatment

What is a dental crown?

A dental crown is a prosthesis placed over a root canal treated tooth to protect it and enable you to eat hard foods. While root canal treated front teeth don’t necessarily require a crown, back teeth certainly do.

Front teeth may not need a dental crown because these teeth undergo less stress and pressure than back teeth.

The pressure of your bite is why back teeth should always be crowned after a root canal. The sheer force of your bite can easily crack a root canal treated tooth. Should the tooth not be crowned, there is a risk that the tooth may crack and may require extraction and a single tooth implant.

What root canal treatment does to your tooth

Teeth that have had root canal treatment are intrinsically ‘dead teeth’ with their source of nourishment (blood vessels) removed.  This makes them brittle and more likely to fracture.

Scientific research illustrates that a root canal treated back tooth is 6 times more likely to crack than an untreated tooth. Therefore, it is generally recommended all root canal treated back teeth be crowned to provide long-term protection for the underlying tooth.

Emergency Case Study: Cracked tooth after root canal treatment

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Dr Joffe was contacted by a new patient one Saturday afternoon.

She had been referred by a loyal existing client and complained of toothache on the upper left side of her mouth. The patient was seen for an after-hours appointment on the same day. She had cracked her upper left 2nd premolar tooth (as pictured). The tooth had been previously root canal treated.

An anaesthetic, using the STA Wand machine, was administered and the loose tooth fragment was easily removed.

A temporary filling was then placed to stabilise the tooth and the patient returned home feeling comfortable and pain-free.

The consequences of not having had a crown placed over the tooth

The tooth fragment had cracked 3-4 mm below the gum line. The tooth was now in a severely compromised state, making it extremely challenging to successfully restore the tooth long term. The best treatment option for this patient was to remove the remaining tooth and replace it with a single tooth implant.

If the tooth had been crowned after root canal treatment, tooth loss would have been avoided and the cost of a dental crown is far less than the cost of a single tooth implant.

As the above case study illustrates, a crowned root canal treated tooth is better for your oral health, and more affordable in the long run.

Hyde Park Dental Care now offers One Visit Crowns. As the name suggests, this treatment is performed in one appointment and is cheaper than traditional dental crowns.

4 advantages of the one visit crown

  1. Treatment time is around one hour.
  2. Up to 50% cheaper than a laboratory-made dental crown.
  3. Less invasive than a full crown; which means it conserves more tooth.
  4. Looks and feels like a natural tooth.

Discover our range of One Visit Crowns

If you have had a root canal treated back tooth that has not been crowned, get in touch with Dr Brian Joffe to avoid a potential dental emergency by calling 02 9267 9526 or contacting Hyde Park Dental Care today.

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