Is a Root Canal Necessary Before a Dental Crown?

Is a Root Canal Necessary Before a Dental Crown

People seek appropriate dental treatment for a severely decayed tooth and minor damages like tooth discoloration/chipping but do not know which procedure would suit them best. Well, severe tooth decay is treated with a root canal treatment and tooth stains or cracked/chipped teeth can be fixed by oral prosthetics like crowns. If you are unsure of the extent of your tooth damage and wondering if you require a root canal, a dental crown, or both to save the natural tooth, then the provided information is a must-read!  

Is a root canal necessary before a dental crown and do crowns always need a root canal? There is a relationship between root canal therapy and a crown, which is often unclear or misunderstood. Let’s sort this out by learning what are they and when they must be performed together for a patient.  

What Is a Root Canal Surgery?

A root canal therapy is a dental procedure to remove severely infected tooth pulp by drilling a hole in the damaged tooth using files of different widths. Once the contents of the pulp chamber are extracted, the dentist fills the tooth and seals it with gutta-percha (a rubber material). A dental crown may be placed over the treated tooth to provide additional stability.

What Are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns (also referred to as tooth caps) are the oral prosthetics used in cosmetic dentistry to solve dental concerns like discolored teeth, broken/chipped teeth, and weakened teeth. They are also used to support a dental bridge or as a replacement tooth over the abutment-attached dental implant.

The Link Between Root Canal and Dental Crown

Should I get a root canal before the crown? This is one of the most commonly asked questions at our dental clinic in Chicago, First Point Dental.  Root canal process becomes necessary before performing the placement of a dental crown if the patient is experiencing any of the following issues-

  • Persistent and Intense Tooth Pain- This is an indication of severe tooth decay that would require a root canal to repair the damage and a dental crown to prevent further damage.
  • Sensitivity to Hot and Cold Food or Drinks- This signifies that the nerves and blood vessels lying at the base of the tooth (part of the tooth pulp chamber) are infected and exposed. The root canal and dental crowning is required in such case to preserve the natural tooth and provide further protection and stability.
  • Staining of the Teeth- The major contributing factors to tooth discoloration are food stains, smoking, and even an infected tooth pulp. If the tooth is darkly stained because of a severely decayed tooth, and also shows other symptoms like tooth sensitivity, inflammation, and persistent and severe pain, then a root canal and dental crown are recommended.
  • Swollen Gums- When the gums become sore and tender around the painful or sensitive tooth – usually because of the accumulation of acidic waste products released from infected tooth pulp – then a root canal and dental crown are the best treatment plan. 

Why You May Need to Have a Root Canal Before a Crown?

Why do you need a root canal before a crown? Our root canal specialist at First Point Dental Clinic explains that when a tooth is severely decayed, the endodontist first removes all infected content of the pulp chamber (including the tooth nerves and connective tissues) by performing root canal process. This helps prevent the spread of infection to other teeth and the worsening of your oral health. If the tooth is not seriously infected, a dental crown may be placed without root canal therapy.

Following a root canal suegery, a dental crown is necessary to strengthen and protect the treated tooth from further damage. However, if a dental crown is directly placed on a decayed tooth, the underlying infection is likely to spread and worsen, leading to additional health complications.

Is a Root Canal Necessary Before a Dental Crown and Do crowns always need a root canal? It is not at all necessary to get crowns only after a root canal. There are cases where dental crowning or capping is done without going through root canal therapy. These are:

  • To provide an anchorage for the dental bridge- A dental bridge is composed of two dental crowns fitted over the teeth on either side of the space created by missing teeth. These crowns help strengthen the supporting teeth so that the dental bridge gets better anchorage. 
  • To cover a large tooth filling- This is necessary to preserve the integrity of the live tooth.
  • To protect a broken/chipped tooth- It is used when the breakage or chipping of the tooth has not opened up the pulp chamber to prevent the tooth from tooth sensitivity and further damage.
  • To improve the appearance of the patient’s smile with a stained tooth- It is performed when the discoloration is caused by food stains, excessive fluoride treatments, or smoking.
  • To cover a dental implant and to provide stability for a weakened tooth.

Meet our dental experts at First Point Dental to explore more about root canal and dental crown treatment in detail. For more information, schedule an appointment today!