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 are sometimes performed by endodontists and sometimes by regular dentists. Endodontics is an advanced branch of dentistry that focuses on preventing, diagnosing and treating diseases and problems with the soft tissues inside the teeth, also known as dental pulp. With endodontic treatment, commonly known as root canal therapy, endodontists can clean, disinfect and restore the root canal system within teeth.
If damaged pulp is left untreated, it can cause a number of health problems and even lead to tooth loss. Although treatment recommendations should be made individually, 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. The risk of losing endodontically treated posterior teeth due to fracture if not supported by a complete cast crown is too high to take.
To help reinforce the cusps of pulpless teeth weakened by the removal of tooth structure, the authors recommend the use of 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. According to the AAE (American Association of Endodontists), 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), the root canal will be completed and temporary filling material placed 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. However, the choice of general anesthesia varies from endodontist to endodontist, and it's best to consult your local office about their policies. Generally speaking, a dentist specializes in the health of the outer teeth and gums, an endodontist specializes in the health of the inside of the tooth.
In some cases, the endodontist may discover additional channels that are very narrow or curved that could not be treated during the initial procedure. The endodontist removes the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and shapes the inside of the root canal, then fills and seals the space. If the tooth lacks sufficient structure to keep the restoration in place, the dentist or endodontist may place a post inside the tooth. After a root canal, be sure to follow all of the endodontist's instructions, which generally include avoiding hard or especially chewy foods, brushing your teeth twice a day, and being very careful around the area where the endodontic procedure was completed.
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 the time the procedure is performed by an endodontist. However, as with all oral procedures, most endodontists prefer to brush their teeth before the appointment. .