Karrinyup Dental Centre

Optimising Oral Health with Dental Crowns After Root Canal Treatment

Karrinyup Dental Centre

Written by:

Dr. Justin Soon

Published on:

Optimising Oral Health with Dental Crowns After Root Canal Treatment

When it comes to maintaining oral health, the significance of timely and appropriate dental treatments cannot be overstated. A combination of root canal therapy, followed by dental crowns, preserves the tooth and provides functionality. The process involves addressing a damaged or decayed tooth and restoring it to its original state.

Root canal therapy is a treatment designed to preserve a severely damaged tooth. Often, a dental crown becomes necessary to protect and strengthen the tooth afterwards. This added step is not just a recommendation but an important part of long-term tooth survival.

As we discuss this topic further, we invite you to explore the intricacies of dental crowns after root canal treatment. Whether you’re considering this treatment or seeking an understanding of oral health maintenance, the information ahead will help.

Summary of The Content

  • Root canal therapy, followed by dental crown placement, is vital for preserving natural tooth structure and providing functionality and aesthetics.
  • Dental crowns offer added tooth protection after a root canal treatment, preventing damage and risk of infection.
  • Dental crowns after root canal treatment prevent tooth fractures by distributing stress evenly, which is particularly important for brittle teeth that have undergone root canal treatment.
  • Dental crowns improve tooth longevity, protecting against decay and reducing the need for further dental work.
  • Crowns restore the natural appearance of teeth with custom-made options to match natural teeth.
  • Dental crowns act as a protective shield, sealing the tooth and maintaining oral health.
  • Regular dental visits and proper crown care extend crown longevity.

Understanding the Need for Dental Crowns After Root Canal Treatment

Root canal therapy is a dental procedure used to address infection in the root canal system. This treatment is recommended for cases where the infection has spread to the pulp, which consists of soft tissue, nerves, and blood vessels inside the tooth and has become damaged.

After undergoing a root canal treatment, the next step often involves a dental crown, which is important for providing long-term success in root canal procedures.

  • Protection of the Tooth:
    Following a root canal treatment, the tooth may be more susceptible to damage as the procedure removes the dead or infected pulp, resulting in a hollowed and less structurally sound tooth. A dental crown provides protection for a tooth against external forces like biting and chewing. This protection is important in preventing future damage and infection.
  • Preventing Fractures:
    After a root canal treatment, teeth become more brittle. This happens because the removal of tooth pulp reduces the moisture within the tooth, making it more prone to cracking. A crown helps to evenly distribute the stress and forces exerted on the tooth during everyday activities, significantly lowering the risk of fractures.
  • Longevity:
    The use of dental crowns post-root canal treatment plays a pivotal role in extending the life of your natural tooth by protecting it from further decay and damage. Dental crowns can also prevent the need for more extensive dental work, including tooth extraction or additional tooth restoration procedures.
  • Aesthetic Purposes:
    Crowns are tailor-made to match the colour and shape of your natural teeth. Thus restoring not only the function but also the appearance of the tooth. Porcelain and ceramic crowns can provide a natural-looking appearance, blending seamlessly with the rest of your teeth.
  • The Sealing Effect:
    The crown acts as a barrier against bacteria and further infection, effectively sealing the visible portion of the tooth. This seal helps with oral health maintenance and prevents recurrent decay or infection at the site of the root canal treatment.

Understanding the essential roles of dental crowns post-root canal therapy underscores their importance. They are not merely an add-on but an integral part of the treatment. They help with dental restoration and oral health maintenance, as well as contribute significantly to your tooth’s strength, appearance, and longevity post-root canal treatment.

From Root Canal Treatment to Crown Procedure

The journey from a root canal procedure to the placement of a dental crown is a detailed process. Each step plays a vital role in the overall success of the treatment. Let’s look into why each of these steps is important:

  1. Initial Consultation and Examination:
    This step is essential for assessing the degree of tooth destruction or damage and determining if there is sufficient tooth structure for a dental crown. It will also assist the dentist in identifying the ideal course of treatment and creating a treatment plan.
  2. Preparing for Root Canal Therapy:
    Local anaesthesia is vital for a comfortable experience. It helps in reducing discomfort and anxiety during the procedure. Furthermore, a rubber dam is used to isolate the tooth, which is critical for preventing contamination and allows for more efficient work.
  3. Performing the Root Canal Treatment:
    An opening to reach the pulp chamber is created. This is essential for removing infected or dead pulp, which is the primary source of tooth pain and infection. The canals are then thoroughly cleaned and shaped using an irrigant and endodontic files.
  4. Tooth Obturation:
    The cleaned and shaped canals are filled with a biocompatible core filling material to seal them and prevent reinfection.
  5. Temporary Crown Placement:
    Once the canals have been obturated, the tooth can be prepared for the dental crown procedure. The tooth is reshaped to make room for the crown, and an impression of the prepared tooth is taken and sent to a dental laboratory. While the tooth is being fabricated, a temporary crown is used to protect it.
  6. Fabricating the Dental Crown:
    The dental lab uses the impressions taken to create a crown that precisely fits the tooth, providing comfort and proper function. The crown is designed to match your natural tooth colour and shape, maintaining the aesthetic appearance and providing proper bite alignment.
  7. Definitive Crown Placement:
    During your crown placement appointment, the temporary crown is removed and the new dental crown is placed to check its fit, comfort, and functionality. Once adjustments have been made, the crown is attached to the tooth using a dental cement, allowing the crown to restore the tooth’s strength, shape, and appearance.
  8. Aftercare and Follow-Up:
    Post-root canal and crown care instructions, such as taking rest, maintaining oral hygiene, and avoiding smoking are important for the longevity of the treatment. This helps patients maintain the initial result and avoid complications. Furthermore, follow-up dental visits allow the dentist to monitor the tooth’s health and the crown’s integrity, allowing for treatment’s long-term success.

It’s important to understand the significance of each step in the root canal process to the dental crown restoration. It highlights the meticulous care and precision that go into restoring a healthy tooth and its functionality.

Common Challenges After Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is a significant dental procedure aimed at preserving a tooth that has been severely damaged or infected. While it’s a highly effective treatment, patients often face some challenges during the recovery period. Understanding these challenges is important for a smooth recovery and the long-term success of the treatment.

  • Tooth Fragility:
    Since the pulp contains nerves and blood vessels and is the tooth’s source of nourishment and hydration, its removal during root canal therapy can make the tooth more brittle. A brittle tooth is more susceptible to chipping and cracking, especially when exposed to chewing and biting forces.
  • Aesthetic Concerns:
    A tooth that has undergone root canal therapy may become discoloured over time. This discolouration is due to the internal changes in the tooth after pulp removal. Such changes can affect the tooth’s appearance, especially if it’s a front tooth, potentially impacting the patient’s smile and confidence.
  • Reinfection Risk:
    Reinfection can occur if the tooth is not properly sealed, there’s a crack, or the crown becomes damaged. This can result in pain, swelling, and the need for additional dental procedures, like root canal retreatment or even tooth extraction.

Understanding these challenges is important for patients undergoing root canal therapy. It highlights the importance of following post-procedure care instructions and the role of a dental crown in mitigating these risks.

The Optimal Key for Post-Root Canal Challenges

Dental crown procedures are often recommended to address challenges following root canal therapy, as they effectively address potential issues that may occur.

  • Combating Tooth Fragility:
    Dental crowns provide the necessary reinforcement to a tooth that has become brittle after a root canal treatment. They act as a new outer shell, giving strength and stability. By encasing the entire tooth, crowns protect it from the daily stresses of biting and chewing. This significantly reduces the risk of cracks or fractures.
  • Preventing Further Damage:
    Crowns restore the structural integrity of a weak tooth, allowing it to withstand normal oral functions without additional damage. Made from durable materials like porcelain or ceramic, crowns are designed to last at least five years. Base metal alloys and gold crowns are even more durable, lasting up to 15 years.
  • Addressing Aesthetic Concerns:
    Crowns are custom-made to match the colour of the surrounding teeth, addressing any discolouration issues that might occur post-root canal. The ability to match the crown to your natural teeth provides a harmonious, aesthetically pleasing appearance. This, in turn, maintains the natural look of your smile.
  • Mitigating Reinfection Risk:
    An adequately fitted crown provides a good seal on the tooth, preventing bacteria from entering and causing new infections. This sealing effect is important in maintaining the tooth’s overall health. It helps avoid the risk of reinfection that could lead to the need for more invasive procedures.

Dental crowns stand out as an answer to the challenges faced after root canal therapy. They provide physical protection and strength to the affected tooth, address aesthetic concerns, and reduce the risk of future complications.

Maintaining the Longevity of Your Dental Crown

Proper care of your dental crown is important for it to last as long as possible while maintaining its function and appearance.

  • Brushing Technique:
    A soft-bristled toothbrush is important to avoid abrasion of the crown and the gum line. Gentle, circular motions are recommended to clean effectively while preserving the integrity of the crown. It’s important to reach all sides of the crown and the gum line to prevent plaque buildup.
  • Flossing Around the Crown:
    Careful flossing is essential in preventing the accumulation of debris and plaque in the area around the crown. Slide the floss gently into the space between the crown and the adjacent tooth. Then, bend it into a C-shape against it. This will allow for a thorough cleaning without dislodging the crown.
  • Chewing Considerations:
    It is important to be cautious when eating hard and crunchy foods, such as popcorn kernels, ice, and hard candies. Chewing these foods on the side of the mouth without the crown can help distribute the force more evenly.
  • Sticky Foods:
    Avoiding or being careful with sticky foods, like caramel, toffee, and chewing gum, is necessary. These can adhere to the crown and potentially loosen it. Cleaning the teeth immediately after consuming such foods helps maintain the crown’s stability.
  • Consistent Dental Visits:
    Regular dental check-ups should occur every six months. This semi-annual schedule allows the dentist to monitor the condition of the dental crown effectively. During these regular visits, the dentist can identify early signs of wear or looseness in the crown. It also identifies any other dental issues and provides timely intervention.
  • Professional Cleaning Importance:
    Professional cleanings reach areas that regular brushing and flossing might miss. This is especially important for the health of the gums and teeth adjacent to the crown.
  • Teeth Grinding (Bruxism):
    People who grind their teeth should wear a night guard. Bruxism can cause significant wear to both the crown and the natural teeth. The night guard acts as a protective barrier.
  • Teeth as Tools:
    Avoid using teeth to open packages or for other non-eating purposes is important. These actions can exert unexpected forces on the crown, risking damage or dislodgement.
  • Mouthguards for Sports:
    Wearing a mouthguard is important for those involved in sports, especially contact sports, as it can protect the crown and teeth from potential impacts and injuries. A custom-fitted mouthguard offers protection and comfort.

A dental crown is an investment in your oral health. With proper care, you can significantly extend their lifespan.

The Role of Dental Crowns in Oral Health Maintenance

Dental crowns play a significant role in restoring individual teeth and maintaining overall oral health.

  • Restoring Damaged Teeth:
    Crowns effectively restore teeth that have been compromised by extensive decay, cracks, or fractures. They rebuild the tooth to its original shape and size, enabling it to function properly. For teeth that have undergone root canal treatment, crowns provide the necessary reinforcement. These teeth are often left fragile and prone to breakage.
  • Protecting Against Further Decay:
    By completely encasing the damaged or decayed tooth, crowns create a barrier against bacteria and plaque. This significantly reduces the risk of future decay in that tooth. They seal off crevices and cracks where bacteria might otherwise enter, helping to preserve the remaining natural tooth structure.
  • Structural Integrity:
    Crowns help distribute biting forces evenly across the tooth. This is important in maintaining the structural integrity of the affected tooth and the entire dental arch. They support the surrounding teeth by maintaining the natural shape and bite, which prevents issues like abnormal wear or jaw pain.
  • Maintaining Bite Alignment:
    Crowns help in maintaining the natural alignment of the teeth. When a tooth has a large cavity extending to its side, adjacent teeth may move into that cavity, occupying the space that is supposed to be for the cavitated tooth and affecting tooth alignment and bite. A crown keeps the surrounding teeth in their proper position. By restoring the shape and size of the original tooth, crowns prevent the drifting of teeth and allow even distribution of force when biting.
  • Improving Chewing and Speaking Abilities:
    A crowned tooth functions like a natural tooth, restoring the patient’s ability to chew properly and speak clearly. Patients with dental crowns can enjoy their favourite foods and speak without discomfort or self-consciousness, contributing to better overall well-being.

Dental crowns are integral to maintaining oral health, tooth longevity, and overall quality of life. They stand as a testament to how modern dentistry combines function and aesthetic properties to improve oral health care.

Finding the Right Dental Clinic for Your Crown Procedure

Selecting the appropriate dental clinic for your crown procedure is a critical step to the success and longevity of your treatment. Here are the key considerations when choosing a dental clinic:

  • Qualifications and Experience of the Dentist:
    Look for a well-qualified dentist with specific training in restorative dentistry, including crown placement. Consider the dentist’s years of experience, especially with tooth restoration and crown procedures. Experienced dentists are more likely to handle complex cases successfully and can provide insights into various treatment options.
  • Quality of Patient Care:
    Patient feedback can give you a good sense of the level of care and satisfaction you can expect. Look for reviews that specifically mention crown procedures. A good dental clinic will take the time to explain procedures, answer questions, and make you feel comfortable and informed.
  • Up-to-date Technology and Restorative Materials:
    Check if the clinic uses up-to-date dental technology, which reflects a commitment to high-quality care and treatment efficiency. Inquire about the materials used for dental crown types. Higher-quality dental crown materials provide not only better aesthetics but also durability.
  • Aftercare and Follow-Up Dental Crown Services:
    Look for a clinic that offers comprehensive aftercare instructions and is available for follow-up consultations or in case of emergencies. A clinic focused on long-term care will be proactive in scheduling regular check-ups and monitoring the condition of your crown.

Choosing the right dental clinic for your tooth restoration and crown procedure involves thorough research and consideration of various factors. By selecting a clinic that aligns with these standards, you’re taking an important step towards a successful and satisfying outcome for your dental crown treatment.

Final Thoughts

Dental crowns after root canal treatment play a pivotal role in optimising oral health. The journey from diagnosis to the final placement of a dental crown showcases modern dentistry’s ability to restore teeth. This process not only returns functionality but also improves the tooth’s appearance.

At Karrinyup Dental Centre, we’re committed to providing quality dental care, focusing on patient comfort and satisfaction. Our experienced team is equipped with the latest dental technology. This is for your crown procedure to be seamless and effective.

We invite you to take the first step towards improving your oral health and achieving a beautiful, functional smile. Schedule a consultation appointment with us by calling or visiting our website. Our friendly team is ready to guide you through your dental health journey, providing personalised care tailored to your needs.

Dr. Justin Soon


Dr. Justin Soon

Dr. Justin completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery at the University of Western Australia. Dr Justin completed his surgical implant training under the mentorship of Dr. Glen Liddelow, Dr. Graham Carmichael, and Dr. Brent Allan at the Branemark Centre.

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