If you have damage or decay in one or more teeth, your dentist may have suggested that you undergo root canal therapy in order to preserve the integrity of your natural tooth. Saving your permanent teeth is critical for the ongoing health of your mouth and can impact your physical and mental health as well. Missing teeth can cause bite misalignments that can affect the look and function of your facial structure and your ability to chew and digest necessary nutritious foods. Over time, misaligned teeth can contribute to wear and tear that can impact later dental health. Missing teeth can also affect your self-esteem and make it difficult to feel confident in social situations.
Root canal therapy is a proven way to extend the life of your permanent teeth in the face of infection, decay, or damage. And despite over 15 million teeth being saved every year by this procedure, some patients still fear undergoing this treatment, partially because they think it will be painful and partially because they are anxious about the placement of a dental crown. This blog post will demystify root canal therapy and help you understand the importance of concluding the procedure with a dental crown.
In many cases of infected, inflamed, decayed, or damaged teeth, your endodontist can save them by performing a root canal. During this nearly painless procedure, the endodontist will remove the infected tooth’s pulp, clean the root canal, and fill it with a biocompatible material. Then, they will seal it with a temporary filling until your dentist can create a permanent crown to restore your tooth to its full function.
Protecting the integrity of your natural teeth is an important way to increase your oral—and overall—health. More and more often, research shows that there is a strong link between oral and physical health. Good oral health can reduce issues with cardiovascular disease, endocarditis, pneumonia, and even complications with pregnancy and birth.
If you choose to protect and save a diseased tooth using root canal therapy, it is essential to finish your procedure with an important element—a dental crown—if your dentist or endodontists advises you to do so. Here’s why:
While your root canal may have removed the infection and saved your teeth from decay, they are not able to restore your teeth to their original pre-disease strength. While not all teeth will require reinforcement with a crown, many, such as molars and premolars that are used for the bulk of chewing, do. Teeth that have suffered damage or have been drilled or had pulp tissue removed, such as in root canal therapy, can require reinforcement to ensure they last and to defend against further damage.
If your tooth has been exposed to an infection due to decay or physical damage, then it may be at a higher risk of becoming reinfected. Seating a crown atop the tooth can provide another layer of protection against bacteria to help you avoid extraction down the line.
Some teeth can look stained or even gray after the pulp has been removed. While this is only an aesthetic issue, it can make a big impact on your ability to feel confident about your smile. Your dentist will create a crown that is perfectly matched to the color of your surrounding teeth. Once it is placed, a tooth that has been treated with a root canal will appear indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
Bruxism, or tooth grinding, can cause a great deal of damage to your teeth. Many people grind their teeth daily or at night, which can lead to cracks or fissures in your teeth and even broken teeth. Tooth misalignment, mouth irritation, stress, anxiety, and even allergies can all contribute to this destructive oral habit. Bruxism typically exerts six times more pressure on your teeth than normal use—a pressure that can result in tooth wear and damage over time. Since teeth treated with root canal therapy are more fragile than untouched teeth, they need the additional protection of a crown to withstand the significant forces bruxism can exert.
At Renovo Endodontic Studio, we understand that root canal therapy is a big step for many patients. But we also know that it is a great way to restore—and preserve—the integrity of your natural teeth, a step that is important for long-lasting oral health and improved confidence. If you are wondering whether your affected tooth will need a crown in order to get the best, most permanent results, our highly trained endodontic experts can help. Not only can we perform a complete assessment of the tooth—or teeth—in question, but our diagnostic technology will allow us to determine if the tooth can be saved and whether you will want to coordinate with your dentist for a crown after the root canal procedure is performed to ensure the best, most permanent restoration results.
At renovoendo.com we believe in restorations that stand the test of time. If you are experiencing tooth pain or know you need root canal therapy, book your appointment at one of our endodontic studios today.