A root canal treatment is done to save a tooth that has been damaged due to tooth decay or injury. In this treatment, the infected nerve tissues and dental pulp is removed, and the dental hollow is cleaned and sealed to save the tooth from further damage.
Once the root canal treatment is over, the dentist has the task of rebuilding and restoring the tooth so that it can start functioning like before. The dentist has two options to restore a tooth a dental filling or a dental crown.
What is the need for dental fillings and dental crowns?
Dental fillings and dental crowns are used to:
Give stability and strength to the tooth
Dental Crowns and dental fillings strengthen the tooth after a root canal treatment. The tooth becomes weak due to the following reasons:
- Sometimes the tooth is already fragile, and sometimes it also becomes naturally hollowed due to severe tooth decay or cavities.
- Many times tooth becomes weak due to drilling and making of access cavity in the process of the root canal.
- In cases where the dentist has difficulty in finding the root canals, she has to remove a more significant amount of tooth structure to locate the root canals; this makes the tooth weak.
- The dentist also needs to remove more tooth structure in cases of severe tooth decay. Due to the removal of more tooth structure, the tooth becomes weak.
- The strength of the dentin which is the calcified portion of the tooth reduces due to the chemicals used in the cleaning process of the root canal treatment.
Seal the tooth
After the infected tooth pulp is removed, the hollow of the tooth needs to be sealed to protect it from contamination by saliva and infections. For this purpose, the tooth needs to be sealed with dental filling materials and then protected with the crown.
To make the tooth last long
To make the tooth restoration last long and to make it durable after the root canal treatment, it is important to protect it with a dental crown.
What is right for me dental filling or dental crown?
The doctor decides the kind of restoration according to the need of the tooth. It is possible to reconstruct a tooth with just a dental filling in cases where the access cavity is a small and traditional or the tooth had experienced no other trauma or previous filling. A dental composite filling is also suitable to seal the front tooth in which nonaxial force has been applied. In cases of the molar tooth, direct downward force is required, and it can be sealed only with a dental crown.
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It is an accepted standard treatment to restore a molar after a root canal treatment with the help of dental crowns as it gives more strength and support to the teeth. But a front tooth which is healthy and intact can be restored with the help of composite filling.
What are the different types of dental crowns that we can choose following a root canal therapy?
A dental crown is a prosthetic object that can be fixed on the tooth by the dentist. The different types of dental crowns are:
- Ceramic Dental Crowns: These dental crowns can match the natural color of the tooth. They are usually used for the front tooth. It is made from a single block of porcelain. They can be handmade by a technician or created by the milling machine using the CAD/CAM technology.
- Porcelain mixed with metal: This type of crown gives two benefits. It can be matched with the natural color of the tooth, and it is also very durable due to its connection with the metal structure. These crowns are long-lasting.
- Gold Alloys: These crowns are made by mixing different metals like gold, copper and other metals. Though these crowns do not match the natural color of the tooth, it is still widely used because it offers excellent strength to the tooth. These crowns are mostly used for the molars as the molars have the tough task of chewing food.
- Base metal alloys: These types of dental crowns are made by fusing non-noble metals. It gives a lot of strength to the tooth and is used to avoid corrosion. It is used for back teeth which are not that visible.
Dr. Fay Mansouri, an Orange County Root Canal professional, says that a dental crown makes the tooth strong enough to carry out the functions like chewing and biting, and we should choose the type of dental crown according to our need and preference.