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Do I Need a Crown After a Root Canal?

Has your dentist or endodontist suggested that you might need a root canal? A root canal is performed to deal with pain and infection inside a tooth. To address these issues, the dentist makes a hole in the interior of the tooth with a drill, then uses dental files to remove soft tissue. After this is completed, the outside structure of the tooth must be restored. Does this always require a crown? It largely depends on your unique situation, but in most cases, you will need a dental crown after a root canal procedure.

What, exactly, is a tooth crown?

Dental crowns are essentially tooth covers that look like the natural tooth. They’re fabricated to match the tooth, then permanently cemented onto the tooth, to restore the look and function of the tooth that’s been treated. By covering the chewing surface of the tooth, a dental crown reduces stress on the tooth and protects it from trauma.

So, will you need a crown?

After a root canal, crown placement depends on a few factors. If the affected tooth is in the back of the mouth, it will require a crown, because these teeth are used for heavy chewing. Because the front teeth are not used for as much chewing and don’t handle as much pressure, they may not require the strength of a crown. They can sometimes be repaired with build up of tooth colored material. Then, too, the amount of tooth that’s gone factors into the need for a crown. If more than half the tooth is gone, it needs a crown to maintain its structural integrity. Further, if the tooth is cracked, it may need a crown to keep it from continuing to crack further.

One thing that’s traditionally been a hassle about dental crowns is that they required a few appointments to get them into place. The dentist would begin preparing the tooth by shaving off enamel so that it would fit tightly with the crown. An impression would then be made and sent to a lab, and the patient would receive a temporary crown. The customized crown would generally take about two weeks to be prepared, at which point the patient would have to go back in to have it fitted. After any necessary alterations were made, the crown would be attached. Today, it’s not necessary to wait that long. Technology has advanced, to a place where same day crowns are a reality, and in our practice, we use computer-assisted design and milling to provide crowns in just one day. We take a non-invasive, 3D photo-scan of the damaged tooth, and use our on-site milling device to match your tooth perfectly within minutes.

At West County Dental, we provide personalized family dental care, including same day crowns, using state of the art procedures. Adhering to a standard of excellence, we provide comprehensive treatment, from preventive care to restorative dentistry. When you make an appointment with West County Dental, you can be confident that our team of highly-trained dental professionals will provide you the care you need for a healthy smile. Call (314) 488-2921 or contact us to reserve an appointment today!