Sometimes, bacteria can enter your tooth’s pulp, causing an infection. And when this occurs, a root canal treatment is needed to prevent reinfection, keeping your pearly whites pristine.
But as efficient as a root canal is, many fail to realize how they can weaken a tooth. Hence, many succumb to more cavities and tooth loss over time. Getting a dental crown to cover it can help restore your tooth to what it once was.
If you’re still unconvinced, this post discusses why you need a root canal — and why a dental crown is necessary post-treatment.
Root Canals: A Short Overview
A root canal relieves pain caused by infected teeth or dental abscesses.
Dentists remove the swollen pulp during a root canal treatment. And to prevent further infection, they will clean and disinfect the tooth. Then, they’ll fill the void and rebuild your tooth to what it was once.
When is it Needed?
You’ll need root canal therapy once oral bacteria invades your tooth’s pulp. And this often occurs when you leave a cavity untreated for an extended period. Aside from that, it can also happen if your teeth get damaged by physical trauma.
When to Get Root Canal Treatment?
Sometimes, you might not even know if you have an infected tooth. In contrast, others notice specific symptoms fast. Either way, here are signs you’ll need a root canal soon:
- You experienced a sudden increased sensitivity to heat and cold. You may need a root canal if your tooth throbs whenever you gulp a hot or chilled beverage.
- Chipped or cracked teeth. These can quickly welcome in bacteria through the pulp, prompting infection.
- Gum inflammation. When a tooth of yours gets infected, pus can accumulate. And this may lead to swollen and sensitive gums.
- You feel a throbbing tooth pain that stays for a long time. Many dental issues can lead to excruciating pain. And root canal treatment is necessary if you have a deep ache in your teeth. Other places you may feel discomfort include the jaw and face.
- Teeth discoloration. When your tooth’s pulp becomes infected, it can make your entire tooth look darker.
- Swollen jaw. When pus doesn’t drain from your tooth, it can affect your jaw and make it swell up.
- A loose tooth. Infected teeth requiring root canals may feel looser due to the pus softening the bone supporting each tooth.
What Happens During a Root Canal Treatment?
Before starting the root canal treatment, your dentist will request dental X-rays of your affected tooth. It helps them see the extent of damage to the tooth, ensuring the root canal is the best treatment.
Here are the complete steps included in a root canal procedure:
- Numb the infected tooth. Your dentist will administer anesthesia to it and the surrounding gums. Some may give you exclusive medications for relaxation, like nitrous oxide or oral/intravenous sedatives.
- Place the rubber dam on the tooth. It isolates the affected tooth, keeping it dry during the root canal procedure.
- Create an access hole. Your dentist will create a small opening in your tooth’s crown for better access to the pulp.
- Remove the pulp. Your dentist will remove everything (blood vessels, tissue, and nerves) inside the tooth with tiny dental instruments.
- Clean, disinfect, and shape the root canals. After removing the pulp, the dentist will work on the pump chamber and root canals.
- Add filling. Once clean and shaped well, your dentist will fill the empty canals with gutta-percha, a flexible and rubbery dental filler.
- Seal the tooth. Your dentist will place a temporary dental filling to seal the tooth, preventing reinfection.
Although not required, getting a dental crown to cover the treated tooth can help if you want the best results after a root canal treatment. After all, it’ll protect the treated tooth better, aiding in faster restoration.
How to Prepare for it?
Before starting your root canal treatment, preparing yourself to guarantee lasting results is essential. Hence, here are some things you can do to prepare for it:
- Take all prescribed oral medications. Your dentist might’ve prescribed you antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medicines. Take them a few days before your appointment or whenever your dentist instructs you to, especially if you have a severe infection.
- Consume a light meal or snack before root canal therapy. Since the anesthetic used during the root canal procedure can make your mouth/jaw numb for a while, eat a healthy and light meal before the treatment.
- Avoid smoking. Tobacco can interfere with your body’s self-healing ability. Avoid smoking at least one week before your root canal.
Why Is Getting a Dental Crown After Root Canal Therapy Crucial?
Reinforce your tooth after root canal treatment with dental crowns. After all, as efficient as this procedure is, it can weaken your tooth. So, to help it remain healthy and robust, you’ll need a permanent dental restoration solution. Although you can also opt for filling, a dental crown is the overall better choice for the long term.
If you’re still unconvinced, here are four more reasons why you should get a dental crown after a root canal:
Restore Your Fragile Tooth
Your infected tooth could’ve become more fragile following root canal treatment. After all, your dentist had to drill into it to get access to the infection. And this already adds to the previous effect of the cavity, making it weaker.
Hence, the tooth’s structure won’t be as strong as it was after root canal therapy. And it might even be missing a huge chunk of itself. Exposure to daily oral activities like eating and speaking makes it even more vulnerable to breaking! So, protect your treated tooth by getting a durable dental crown for better cover and protection.
After root canal treatment, the remaining nerves in your tooth might become more sensitive to excess heat and cold exposure than usual. And this can be debilitating, affecting your everyday life. You can combat increased sensitivity by getting a dental crown to cover the tooth, allowing you to better tolerate the heat and cold.
Maintain a Natural-Looking Color
Your tooth may change color following root canal therapy, often becoming darker. Luckily, dental crowns can balance the discoloration as they usually have a natural-looking appearance and lighter shade to match your natural teeth.
Following root canal treatment, you can expect your tooth’s surface to be more vulnerable to infection. So, to avoid reinfection, have a dental crown placed over the affected tooth and protect it against harmful leakage. And that’ll prevent your tooth from having to be extracted.
Receiving a dental crown is the best permanent dental restoration for your tooth following root canal therapy. After all, your tooth will be more vulnerable to damage than ever! And it’s imperative not to leave it in a helpless condition. So, discuss the possibilities of getting a dental crown from your dentist for better protection and results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When will I know if it’s the perfect time to get a root canal treatment?
A: Dentists may recommend a root canal if your tooth displays signs of infection. Or worse, if it showcases pulpal nerve damage. And when untreated, it can lead to widespread infection, resulting in bone or tooth loss.
Q: How long will a root canal often last?
A: Over 98% of root canals can last for an entire year, 92% last for five, and less than 86% last for more than a decade.
Q: Is getting a dental crown after a root canal treatment necessary for lasting results?
A: Due to the weakened state of your tooth, getting a dental crown after a root canal is crucial. And this is especially the case for your teeth at the back, as it’s more vulnerable to bacteria and infection. Hence, have one placed on your treated tooth for better recovery.
Q: What will happen to my tooth if I don’t cover it with a dental crown after a root canal?
A: Since a root canal can weaken your outer tooth, not covering it with a dental crown can make it crumble. Never underestimate this, as dentists often remove a big chunk of your tooth’s structure during a root canal. Hence, its outer part will likely crumble if not backed by a crown.
Q: What will happen if I don’t get a root canal with an infected tooth?
A: If you don’t get root canal treatment even after knowing you have an infection, it can spread throughout your mouth. And this may lead to dental abscesses, force you to remove your tooth, or worse, sepsis or a heart attack. Not only is this move life-threatening — but the pain caused by the infected tooth can also be excruciatingly painful.
Address all cavities and oral infections with root canal treatment for fast restoration. And get better results and improve the dental therapy’s effects by getting a dental crown on the affected teeth. It can cover and protect your tooth, ensuring smooth recovery. Don’t wait until you lose a tooth or two — save your molars and inquire about root canal treatment and dental crowns today!