Dental crowns are a common method of protecting and restoring teeth and are usually a must after receiving a root canal. However, considering that root canals preserve your natural teeth, rather than extracting them, you might be wondering why the crown is necessary at all. If you're curious, then here's a basic explanation.
What the Root Canal Does
Root canals are sort of like an extra-strength cavity drilling. A small hole is made in the tooth with a drill, and then the interior structures are removed via drilling and suction. This gets rid of any parts of the tooth that are decayed, rotting, or otherwise damaged. For the vast majority of people, root canals provide instant pain relief and can help to preserve a tooth that would otherwise have to be pulled.
Impact on Structure
While root canals are safe, and plenty of people have undergone them without any problems, it does have a lasting impact on the tooth. WIth the tooth effectively hollowed out, it's not as strong as it used to be, even after being filled with dental cement.
A tooth has a strong structure, but with its interior removed, the enamel shell is more likely to be damaged or to collapse from exposure to chronic pressure, like the kind it would undergo just from being chewed on regularly.
As a result of this issue, dental crowns are usually placed on top of a tooth that's received a root canal. This adds an extra shell of protection that prevents the tooth from absorbing too much pressure when you bite down and chew. It also helps to seal off the tooth from the outside world, reducing the risk of bacteria and plaque coming into contact with the tooth and potentially damaging it further.
Thankfully, getting a dental crown is no big deal after a root canal. Your dentist will likely put it in place as soon as the tooth's root canal is completed. You may receive a temporary crown that will be replaced by a permanent one molded to your exact tooth shape shortly after.
In any case, once a crown is over the tooth, you don't need to worry about pain, damage, or danger to your teeth. In addition, modern ceramic crowns strongly resemble real teeth, with a wide range of shades of white so that your dentist can ensure that they blend in with your surrounding teeth. This procedure will soon be behind you, and you'll probably stop thinking about the tooth that received a root canal, just like any other tooth that's filled or capped with a crown.