After root canal treatment, tooth becomes weak and brittle. In case of root canal treatment, infected nerve which is present at the centre of the tooth is removed and only the sides of the tooth are available for support which will cause tooth to become weak and brittle. Nerve supply and the blood supply of the tooth are also gone in case of root canal treated tooth. To increase the strength of the tooth, dental crown is advised after root canal treatment. If dental crown is not placed on root canal treated tooth, then the tooth will become more liable to fracture and breakage. A root canal treated tooth with only dental filling on it and no dental crown is more prone to fracture as compared to a normal tooth. If there is loss of more than 2/3 of the tooth structure, then only dental crown is not able to support the tooth. In such a case, after root canal treatment, post and core followed by dental crown is given on the tooth. Post is placed inside the root of the tooth and core build up is done on it. Posts are usually prefabricated and are available in many shapes. After giving post and core, dental crown is placed over it.
Decayed Tooth Cleaning and Shaping Of Canal
Filling Root Canal with Gutta percha Crown Placed on Root Canal Treated Tooth
Need for Dental Crown after Root Canal Treatment
Teeth (especially the molars) are subjected to high masticatory forces or chewing forces. A root canal treated tooth without dental crown can break easily by chewing forces. During the preparation of access cavity, tooth may become weakened. Tooth also becomes brittle due to loss of fluid substance of the tooth during root canal procedure. Amount of stresses on edges of the tooth are tremendous which can cause root canal treated tooth without dental crown to fracture. If a tooth is fractured after root canal treatment, then it becomes more difficult to repair the tooth. That is why dental crown is recommended after root canal treatment. If dental crown is not given after root canal treatment and the tooth is fractured, then tooth extraction may also be required.
After the root canal treatment, tooth may also become discolored because it becomes non-vital. (Pulp of the tooth is removed in case of root canal treatment which is responsible for vitality of the tooth).Discoloration occurs because of entry of hemosiderin pigment which is formed from hemoglobin into the dentinal tubules. Discolored tooth is not aesthetically acceptable especially if it is a front tooth and dental crown can be given to provide esthetics.
In a nut shell, it can be said that Dental Crowns are given after Root Canal Treatment:
1. To provide strength to the weak and brittle root canal treated tooth
2. To hide the discoloration that may occur at times after root canal treatment
So dental crown after root canal treatment should not be neglected.
After root canal treatment, porcelain/ceramic dental crowns or porcelain fused to metal dental crown can be given to the patient for the front teeth and for back teeth, porcelain fused to metal or metallic dental crowns can be given to the patient.
What If Dental Crown Is Not Given After Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treated tooth without dental crown can fracture. If a tooth is fractured after root canal treatment, then it will become even more difficult to repair the tooth. If much of loss of tooth structure occurs due to fracture of the tooth, then post and core followed by dental crown may be required for the tooth. Tooth extraction may also be required in case of vertical tooth fracture or if not much of tooth structure is left behind. If the tooth has to be extracted, then patient will have to get dental implants or dental bridge to replace the missing tooth which will be 3-4 times more expensive than getting dental crowns after root canal treatment. That is why dental crown is recommended after root canal treatment.
How Long To Wait For Dental Crown after Root Canal Treatment
If it is a back tooth that is molars or the bicuspids, then patient should get dental crown immediately after root canal treatment. Dental crown is a restoration which covers the tooth like a cap and covers the outer surface of the tooth and further increases the strength of the tooth. A front tooth may become discolored after root canal so dental crown is also to be given to front tooth after root canal treatment.
Some people wait for months to years after root canal treatment to get dental crown. This is not recommended. Waiting for too long for dental crown after root canal treatment can lead to fracture of tooth and if a vertical crack line occurs on the tooth, then tooth extraction may also be required.
Cost of Root Canal Treatment and Dental Crown
Patient can get root canal treatment done from an endodontist or can get it done from a general dentist. Cost of root canal treatment varies from $500-$1000 depending on the type of the tooth and whether root canal procedure is performed by a general dentist or an endodontist. Cost varies from place to place and dentist to dentist. If the patient has got the root canal treatment done from an endodontist, then he can refer to a general dentist to get a dental crown. Cost of dental crown varies on the basis of type of dental crown which is given to the patient. Dental crown can cost $600-$1200 to the patient. Cost of dental crown varies according to the type of dental crown which is given. All porcelain/ ceramic dental crowns are most expensive and porcelain fused to metal crowns are cheaper as compared to all porcelain crown. Both root canal treatment and dental crowns are covered by dental insurance companies.