do you need a crown after a root canal - man smiling hand in pocket

Do You Need a Crown After a Root Canal?

Root canals are often necessary to save an infected tooth. But is it also necessary to place a crown after a root canal? You may be hoping to skip the extra time in the dentist’s chair, but a crown may be needed to protect the tooth and prevent future infections. Here’s more about dental crowns and why you usually need one after a root canal. 

When Do You Need a Dental Crown?

Dental crowns are restorations used to protect teeth affected by a variety of dental issues. For example, sometimes a tooth has so much decay that a filling will not suffice. Crowns can also prevent a cracked tooth from breaking apart. And a tooth that has been weakened by infection may need a crown for protection after a root canal procedure. 

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap, typically made of porcelain, that covers a damaged tooth. It restores the appearance and functionality of the tooth, so you can eat and smile confidently. Crowns are very durable, and can last up to 15 years with proper care. 

To place a crown, your dentist will first prepare your tooth by removing the weak or decayed portion. A local anesthetic is used to numb the area, then the tooth is shaved down until it can support the crown. 

Unless they offer same-day crowns, your dentist will then fit you with a temporary crown to wear for a week or two until your permanent crown comes back from the lab. The permanent crown will be cemented in place at a second visit.  

Why Do You Need a Crown After a Root Canal?

A root canal procedure involves making a small hole in your tooth and carefully removing the infected pulp with tiny instruments. Then your tooth is filled with a biocompatible material, and the hole is closed. This process stops the infection from spreading and restores your tooth. 

However, depending on the level of damage the infection caused, your tooth may still be significantly weakened after the infection is removed. A dental crown is then necessary to reinforce your tooth so you can eat normally. The crown also protects your tooth from the sensitivity that can result from removing much of the pulp inside of your tooth

A crown may also be necessary for cosmetic reasons, as prolonged tooth decay can discolor an infected tooth. The tooth-shaped crown helps give you an attractive, natural-looking smile. However a crown is not always necessary after a root canal if the tooth is still in good condition. Only your dentist can determine whether or not a crown is best for you. 

How Soon Do You Need a Crown After Root Canal?

The purpose of a dental crown is to protect your tooth, so it should be placed as soon as possible after root canal treatment. However, you may need to wait several weeks or a month for your mouth to heal and for the infection to clear before placing a permanent crown. 

Your dentist will fit you with a temporary crown, and recommend the best time to place your permanent crown, depending on the state of your tooth after the procedure. But as a rule, the crown should be placed within the first month or two after a root canal.  

Root Canal Treatment in Gilbert, Arizona

Root canals and crowns are painless dental procedures that help preserve your natural teeth. If you have a cracked or painful tooth, please don’t hesitate to contact Lifetime Family Dental. We can determine whether you’ll need a root canal and/or a same-day crown to treat the problem. Call us at 480-558-4331 today to schedule an appointment. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (2/10/2023). Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash