When tooth decay reaches beneath the outer surface or enamel of a tooth and affects the root, your dentist will usually recommend a root canal. After a root canal procedure, what happens next? Will you need a crown after a root canal? Here’s what you need to know about root canals so you can give your tooth the best chance of survival.

What is a Dental Crown?

A crown is a cap that is placed over a damaged tooth. It can be made from various materials such as porcelain or metal. It’s function is to reinforce the tooth to protect it from further damage and give it a better chance of long-term survival.

How Do I Know When I Need a Crown?

Whether you need a crown after a root canal depends on a number of factors. Crowns are typically placed over teeth that have experienced extensive decay that threatens the structure and continued health of the tooth. A dental crown can help to provide strong reinforcement and seal the tooth to protect it from further decay and infection.

The location of the damaged tooth also matters a lot when determining whether you need a crown after a root canal or not. If the tooth that the root canal procedure was done on is at the front of the mouth, it is less likely to require a crown afterwards. However, if it is a molar, or one of your back teeth, it is more often exposed to extensive force and grinding when chewing, so a crown is usually recommended.

You may also want a crown for reasons that may develop after a root canal procedure. Sometimes teeth can change color after a root canal, becoming gray or stained, and a crown can restore its appearance to match the rest of your teeth. A root canal may also affect the nerves connected to your tooth. A crown can help to protect against the resulting increased sensitivity.

Long-term Benefits of Crowns

Studies have shown that dental crowns can improve the survival rate of teeth by up to six times and that only 30% of molars endure more than 5 years without a crown, so a crown can be well worth the investment.

Discuss With a Endodontist

While regular dentists typically perform two root canals a week, endodontists typically perform twenty-five, so when you talk to an endodontist you’re benefiting from extensive expertise and experience. If a root canal has been recommended to you, it’s important to talk to an endodontist, a dental professional who specializes in root canals and treatment of the dental root or pulp, so that you can make a well-informed decision you can feel confident about for many years to come.

Call our Lee's Summit dental office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.