The root canal treatment is by far the most misunderstood endodontic therapy as compared to any other procedure. Most people believe that no root canal procedure is complete until a crown is placed. In most cases, the dental crown is the second and final step in a RCT procedure. A dental crown restores the normal functioning of the tooth and also adds in the beauty of the overall smile. 

Root canal is a very straight forward dental procedure and does not live up to all the negative hype. Read on to know everything about the dental procedures and if you would need a dental crown after it’s done.

What Exactly is Root Canal Therapy?

An endodontist usually performs root canal therapy. Here is the step by step treatment for root canal procedure:

  1. A dentist uses a dental drill to make a hole in the affected tooth
  2. The dentist cleans the tooth from the inside with the help of some antiseptic solution
  3. The opening is then sealed off with the help of dental cement to prevent infection and decay
  4. Most of the time, the decayed tooth is completely deformed and there is no proper tooth structure that is left.
  5. A dental crown is then placed after treating the affected tooth. The dental crown restores dental tooth function and is an essential part of a root canal treatment.

Reasons Why a Treated Tooth Needs a Dental Crown

Different teeth bear different bite forces. The molars and premolars that are in the back of the mouth experience the most pressure. If any of these teeth get affected by tooth decay you will require a crown after the RCT treatment. The extra support provided by the dental crown can ensure the best working for the teeth and bear all the burden.

This also means that the teeth that are at the front can skip the crown placement as they don’t have to bear heavy loads. Some other deciding factors that determine whether a dental crown is needed after a root canal procedure include:

1. Health of the Affected Tooth

The severity of the condition that needs a root canal treatment does not form in a single day. Severely decayed or deformed teeth need a dental crown at the end of RCT treatment. However, a tooth that is partially decayed can be filled with a resin and does not require a dental crown.

2. Bruxism Problem

Grinding and clenching of teeth is a condition known as bruxism. The decayed tooth can never withstand the force applied through Bruxism. Even a healthy tooth can become deformed if the bruxism problem persists, this means a hollowed-out tooth does not stand any chance. 

If you don’t have this bad habit and you suffer minor decay then you can skip a dental crown after the RCT treatment.

3. Damaged Previously

A tooth that was treated previously for root canal problem and crown was placed on it is less susceptible to crumble when its structure is deforming due to any reason. You may not need a new crown in this situation.

Situation in Which You Can Avoid Dental Crown After RCT

  1. If your canines are relatively intact after the treatment then you can avoid a dental crown. The reason for this is, that the canines can not bear the heavy burden of a bite force. These teeth experience far less pressure as compared to molars or premolars. 
  2. Premolars and molars that are not too excessively fractured can be restored with only filling. Strong permanent seal can completely restore normal tooth functions.
  3. It’s important to know that a crown is not a guarantee that you don’t have to care for your teeth anymore. Fillings and crowns that are placed can wear down and can be affected by tooth decay. 
  4. Using crowns for the front teeth can drastically improve the appearance of your smile. Therefore it’s not a very good idea to skip out on dental crowns if it’s just costing a few extra bucks.

It’s never a good idea to avoid dental crowns if your molar or premolar teeth are decayed or infected. A filling cannot hold the molar and premolars in place for long as they are under the direct pressure of heavy bite force.

Final Verdict

A crown does provide a good finishing touch after a root canal procedure. It can make your smile aesthetically pleasing and prevent further infection to the tooth.

You should leave the final decision of getting a crown to the dental surgeon as he knows best, however if he asks you about your opinion you should keep the above-mentioned detail in mind before answering.