Sometimes, the pulp inside a tooth that had a crown installed can become infected and require a root canal. This can happen any time after the crown is installed, whether it's five, ten, or twenty years later. After the root canal, the tooth can be restored with a crown and will function like any other tooth. It's recommended to place the crown as soon as possible after the procedure to protect the tooth and prevent future problems. If you have any questions about root canal treatment, talk to your dentist.
It's impossible for them to know everything, but they should always tell you that it may be a possibility, especially if the decay that is extracted when preparing the tooth for a crown is very close to the nerve. Statistics show that between 5% and 7% of teeth that receive crown restorations end up needing endodontic treatment. That means that 93% or more don't need a root canal. This is because crowns are usually placed on teeth that have already been filled multiple times, which can traumatize the nerve inside the tooth and eventually lead to endodontic treatment. Root canals can be uncomfortable and expensive, so it's disappointing to learn that you may also need a crown. However, crowns can provide protection and stability to extend the life of a tooth. If you have a severely damaged tooth, your dentist may recommend having a root canal before placing a dental crown.
This will help the dental crown last longer and prevent pain in the future. A root canal is when the nerve and pulp of the tooth are removed. This is usually done when the tooth is too damaged to be saved with a filling or other less invasive procedure. After removing the nerve and pulp, the tooth is sealed to prevent infection. Then, your dentist can place a dental crown over the top of the tooth to restore its function and appearance.
The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots, where it connects to surrounding tissues. Root canal treatment is often successful in repairing and saving an infected or severely damaged tooth. Sometimes, it may be too late to perform a root canal and the tooth needs to be extracted. Additionally, if there is little or no decay and the tooth is structurally healthy, endodontics may not be necessary either. A root canal doesn't kill the tooth; once endodontic treatment is complete, it will function as normal.
However, having a root canal doesn't always mean you won't need a crown. Smokers are nearly twice as likely to need root canals as non-smokers, and this number increases with more years of smoking. Root canal treatment involves removing infected pulp and nerve from inside the root of the tooth, cleaning and shaping it, then filling and sealing it. If there is minimal decay and no infection present, then a root canal may not be necessary. Dental crowns are an effective way to restore damaged teeth in many cases without requiring endodontics. Sometimes, however, a tooth cannot be saved because its root canals cannot be accessed or because it has severe fractures or inadequate bone support.
In these cases, root canals won't help. This page explains root canal treatment in detail and how it can alleviate tooth pain and save your smile. The second (and sometimes third) appointment is when your dentist cleans and fills your root canal with a crown or other filling to prevent infection.