Crowns are cast in gold, porcelain fused with metal, ceramic or resin in the shape of the original tooth. Root canals and crown placements are considered endodontic procedures, but they may be performed by either endodontists or regular dentists. Endodontics is an advanced branch of dentistry that focuses on diagnosing, preventing and treating diseases and problems with the soft tissues inside the teeth, also known as dental pulp. Endodontists can clean, disinfect and restore the root canal system within teeth through endodontic treatment, commonly known as root canal therapy.
If damaged pulp is left untreated, it can cause a number of health problems and even lead to tooth loss. The association between crowns and the survival of treated root canal teeth should be recognized during treatment planning if long-term dental survival is the primary criterion for successful root canal treatment. Root canal-treated back teeth without crowns are lost at a much higher rate than teeth supported with full-cast crowns. To help reinforce the cusps of pulpless teeth weakened by the removal of tooth structure, it is recommended to use a crown that spans the cusps to resist the occlusal forces of daily chewing. Root canal treatment is performed when the endodontist removes the infected pulp and nerve at the root of the tooth, cleans and shapes the inside of the root canal, then fills and seals the space. Unless your dentist or endodontist tells you otherwise, brush and floss as you would regularly after root canal treatment.
Whether or not you will need a crown after endodontics depends largely on the position of the tooth in the mouth. Typically, when referring to a root canal specialist (endodontist), they will complete the root canal and place temporary filling material to cover the root filling material. While many general dentists perform root canal therapy, certified endodontists have completed additional training focusing on the internal tissues of the teeth. The choice of general anesthesia varies from endodontist to endodontist, so it's best to consult your local office about their policies. In some cases, an endodontist may discover additional channels that are very narrow or curved that could not be treated during the initial procedure. They will remove the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully clean and shape the inside of the root canal, then fill and seal the space.
If the tooth lacks sufficient structure to keep the restoration in place, a post may be placed inside it. After a root canal, be sure to follow all of your endodontist's instructions, which generally include avoiding hard or especially chewy foods, brushing your teeth twice a day, and being very careful around where they performed the endodontic procedure. You can eat normally before a root canal treatment, and most endodontists even allow patients to eat up to 1 hour before a procedure. While all general dentists have been trained in root canal treatments, most of them are performed by an endodontist. However, as with all oral procedures, most endodontists prefer that their patients brush their teeth before their appointment.