How Involved is a Dental Crown and a Root Canal?

What are the steps involved in getting a root canal and a dental crown, due to an abscessed cavity.

Doctor Answers 6

Root canal treatment and dental crown for infected tooth

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In the situation when decay reaches the pulp chamber, the nerve becomes infected and can cause myltiple symptoms such as pain, discomfort, hot sensitivity, sensitivity during chewing, or in certain situations can be completely asymptomatic. In order to avoid future complications like absesses, more extended tooth decay the endodontic treatment should be performed if the tooth has enough of the remaining structure to be saved and has good overall prognosis. The root canal therapy in such cases can involve multiple visits depending upon the severity and complexity of the situation and will require removal of all infected tissue from the root canal and later- root canal filing. After getting endodontic treatment in order to save the tooth, it should be crowned with dental crown. It will prevent future leakage of bacteria inside the root canal and re-infecting the tooth. Crown placement usually will require 2 appointments: during the 1st one the tooth will be prepared and temporary crown will be placed after the impression. During 2nd appointment the permanent crown is cemented.

Root Canal and Dental Crown Relation

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Patients often have confusion regarding these procedures.  Let me start off by saying that a tooth that has had a root canal always needs a crown, but a tooth that has had a crown may or may not need a root canal.  Teeth that have had a lot of fillings and decay may need a crown as a more protective and definitive restoration,  If the nerve is still in good shape the tooth can be kept alive and no root canal should be done.  If the nerve is infected or affected during the procedure then a root canal needs to be done.  The majority of the teeth I place crowns on do not need root canals.  If you are ever doubt that your tooth needs a RCT seek a second or third opinion.  Sometimes teeth that don't hurt do need root canals.  Usually teeth that hurt for mare than a fleeting moment need root canal therapy (RCT) as well

Lawrence Singer, DMD
Washington Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Root Canal and Crown Procedures

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How complicated a root canal and crown procedure will be is dependent on the severity of the infection, size and location of the pulp canals within the tooth and degree of curvature of the root tips.  If the infection is fairly limited and the canals easily negotiated, the process is quick and easy.  Severe infections can result in an uncomfortable procedure.  Complicated or barely negotiable canals can make it a very difficult procedure for the dentist.

During the procedure, a small opening is placed in the top of the tooth leading to the chamber which contains the nerve, artery and vein (pulp) supplying nourishment tooth tooth.  The pulp is removed and the walls of the canals are cleaned and shaped down to the apex of the root where these vessels enter the tooth.  A rubber based material call Gutta Percha is fitted to the size and shape of the canal to seal off any communication between the oral cavity and jaw through the canal.

When the nerve artery and vein are removed, the tooth remains alive, receiving nourishment through the surface of the root.  This supply is limited and the tooth looses some moisture content making it more brittle.  To preserve the tooth and prevent future fracture, a crown is placed over the remaining tooth.  The crown restores the form of the tooth and brings it back to a functional state.

Marc Zive, DMD
Springfield Dentist

Main steps for root canal and crown

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If your tooth has to receive a root canal treatment, depending on tooth and severity of infection completing a root canal might take one or two appointments. Doctor is going to clean canal of the tooth, disinfect it and permanently fill it. Then build  up of the tooth is performed, final preparation for the crown and final impression for the crown is made. While you are waiting for the fabrication of the crown ( which can be from 1 to 2 weeks) you will have a temporary crown covering and protecting your tooth. Last step - delivery of the final restoration, your dentist will permanently cement your crown of the tooth. So as you can see you will have 1 or 2 appointments for root canal treatment Adan 2 appointments for delivery of the crown. There is another possibility to get the same day crown if your dentist is using Cerec system and has an ability to fabricate a crown in office. Good luck!

Zina Kaleinikova, DDS, MS
Cleveland Dentist

Root canal steps

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Tooth is made numb, small hole is made in chewing surface, nerves are removed from the narrow canals with serrated wires called files. Canal walls are scraped and cleaned. Canals are then filled with a soft rubber material called Gutta Percha. Tooth then needs to be crowned.  Dr Josephs

Mitchell A. Josephs, DDS
Palm Beach Dentist

Root Canal Treatment and Crown

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A tooth causes an abscess when the decay has reached the nerve and has traveled down the root canal to the end of the root.  To treat this, a root canal is necessary.  The root canal treatment will remove the infected nerve and clean out the root canal system.  This will allow the abscess to drain out with the help of antibiotics.  The canals will then be filled with a filling material called gutta percha, and the tooth will be prepared for a crown.  A crown is necessary after root canal treatment since the tooth becomes weak and brittle once the nerve and blood supply to the tooth are removed. An impression of the tooth is taken to be sent to the lab to fabricate the crown, which will be cemented at the next appointment.  Best, Dr. Elizabeth Jahanian

Elizabeth Jahanian, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist

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.