My endo accidentally performed a root canal on #26 when I needed it done on #25, so I now need two restorations. He is being a professional and has said that he will do all treatment with no out of pocket expenses from me. The problem with this is that he suggested I should get filling only (but did say he would pay for crown). I know this is not crazy, but he does have a financial incentive to do filling, not crown. Is veneer an option, would that provide any strength? What should I do?
Anterior Teeth Restoration After Root Canal?
Doctor Answers (6)
After Root Canal What Type of Restoration Should I Get?
There has been a major change in thinking about how to treat teeth after having root canals. A few decades ago, most all teeth having root canals ended up having a post and core and full crown restorations. Today more thought is put into how to restore the tooth.
If a tooth does not have a fracture or large filling, but gets a root canal, then usually the best treatment is just a filling and core after the root canal.
Smaller teeth, like lower incisors or upper lateral incisors, often benefit from having a bonded post and core after the root canal.
Teeth that have cracks in them will benefit a lot from a full crown restoration, which most of the time will prevent the tooth from cracking in half and then needing to be extracted (removed).
If a tooth is discolored, but otherwise no cracks or large fillings or cavities, then root canal followed by veneer or crown.
Veneers do provide some strength, but teeth that are substantially week most often benefit more from having a crown placed.
Anterior restoration for root canal tooth depends on situation
If the tooth is intact (meaning no cavities, no fillings and no fractures) then all you should get is a filling in the root canal access hole. You should not get a crown because by the time you shave down the tooth for the crown, plus the hole for the root canal, you basically obliterate all the tooth structure and end up having to do a post and core. Now your tooth will be very weak and prone to fracture. When a post and core fractures you loose the tooth.
If the tooth is not intact and is missing significant tooth structure then you should get the crown.
If the tooth is intact but discolored, then you can try internal bleaching or a veneer. Not a crown
Filling will be adequate if no surrounding damage
Most of time filling works perfect after endo treatment in lower incisors but if there is surrounding decay then crown will be better option. Vaneer will be as helpful after endo treatment. It also gives the option of gettting crown later if you are not happy with the color as some teeth become discolored after endo treatment. Best of luck
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You can restore the Anterior teeth after root canal with just filling
The Root canals done on lower Anterior teeth are often restored with just a filling since the access for root canal is very minimal and the damage to the tooth is very minimal. The only reason one may need a veneer or a crown is if the tooth has changed shade (For cosmetic reason) or was decayed badly. In your case if you didn't have a cavity and you are happy with the color of the tooth it's best to restore it with a filling and be conservative.
Restoration following Root canal on lower incisor
It's very common to just put a filling after a root canal on a lower incisor. The root canal can be done very conservatively, saving most of the tooth structure. The lower incisors are very small, you have to shave down quite a bit to fabricate a crown. Without seeing x-rays it's hard to comment. But in many cases a simple filling is fine. In the future if the teeth turn darker you may want to crown them.
Filling or crown?
If enough tooth material is present you are most likely better off with a filling over a crown its more conservative and easier on the gum tissues, as far as a veneer it offers no strength may just improve apperance... good luck
Kevin Coughlin DMD, MBA, MAGD CEO Baystate Dental PC
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.