After Your Root Canal: Will You Need a Filling or a Dental Crown?

Dentist Blog

Sometimes home repairs require you to make a hole in the wall. And these holes require specific patches. It's similar to when your dentist makes a hole in your tooth to perform a root canal. Sometimes a filling will be sufficient to patch the hole, but sometimes a filling won't quite be strong enough. Read on to learn more about getting a root canal and a filling. 

Opening the Tooth

A root canal requires your dentist to open the tooth. The damaged dental pulp (which is the tooth's internal nerve) is removed before the pulp canal is irrigated and then filled. Once this has happened, your dentist will close the entry hole. The best method for this depends on the size of the hole and the location of the tooth.

The Amount of Pressure

Your front teeth, namely your incisors and canines, are the teeth that are most prominent when you speak and smile. These teeth are intended to grip and tear your food. While they face a certain amount of pressure to grip and tear your food, they won't be subjected to the same forces as rear molars (which chew your food). The size of your molars also means that more of the tooth's structure must be removed for a root canal to be performed.

A Composite Filling

This means that a front-facing tooth with a relatively small opening for the root canal will often only need a filling. This will be a composite filling material, applied in a thin layer which is then cured with a UV light before another layer is added, and so on until the filling has reached the necessary thickness and strength. When only a small amount of the tooth's structure was removed to permit the root canal, a filling will do the trick. 

A Dental Crown

When a significant amount of the tooth's structure was removed for the root canal, a filling won't offer the necessary reinforcement. A filling will still be applied, but this will only be a temporary measure. You will have a follow-up appointment to have a dental crown fitted, and this will involve a small amount of the tooth (filling and all) being removed so that the dental crown can fully encase the tooth without increasing its mass. 

So what is best after a root canal—a filling or a crown? There's no definitive answer, and it depends on the location of the tooth, along with how much of its structure must be removed to allow the root canal. 


18 March 2021

Dealing With Dental Dilemmas: Soft Teeth and Dental Care

Being born with naturally soft teeth, I've spent a lot of time in and out of the dentist's office. Not only have I learned a lot about basic dental care, I've also discovered many tips for dealing with broken teeth, extractions, implants, and more. I decided that I wanted to make the most of my experience by sharing what I've learned with others. True first-hand experience is a great teacher, and I knew that my story could help. I created this site to do just that, and I hope that the information here helps you to understand what to expect from your dental problems.