Root canal-treated teeth become brittle over time, making them more prone to fracture. When a root canal is necessary on a molar or premolar, aka a “chewing” tooth, we need to protect the now-brittle tooth against the very strong chewing forces it is subjected to daily. We also must remember that, prior to requiring a root canal, these teeth have often experienced large cavities and/or fillings, leading to the removal of tooth structure and further compromising the strength of the remaining tooth.
All too often, we encounter root canal -treated teeth that were not protected by crowns and have now suffered a fracture in a manner that cannot be fixed. When this occurs, the tooth must unfortunately be extracted. Because we cannot predict if and when this will occur, we recommend crowns be placed as soon as possible following the root canal treatment.
What is a crown?
A crown (sometimes referred to as a “cap”) is 360 degrees of coverage and protection for your tooth. It is made of porcelain and/or metal and is cemented overtop of your natural tooth. If made of porcelain, a crown is shade-matched to the adjacent teeth so that it looks like a natural tooth in the smile.
At Leaside Dentistry, we employ Cerec technology to fabricate crowns in our office. If your tooth meets the necessary criteria, we are able to make your crown in a single appointment! Check out our Digital Dentistry page (http://leasidedentistry.com/digital-dentistry/) to see exactly how this technology works.
Written By: Dr. Jennifer Hittner