What Happens If You Need A Root Canal On A Tooth With A Crown?

1 February 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Articles

Dental crowns are often placed on teeth as a way to save the teeth, and they are often used when a tooth is not strong enough on its own to survive. If you have a dental crown on a tooth and find out this tooth needs a root canal, you may wonder what will happen to the crown on that tooth. There are two different methods dentists use to perform root canals on teeth with crowns, and the method your dentist uses will depend on your individual situation.

Through The Crown

The first method dentists often use on crowns when root canals are needed involves going straight through the crown to complete the procedure. This procedure tends to work well when a dentist cannot remove a dental crown from a tooth, but it can also be an effective method for times when crowns can be removed.

To perform a root canal through a dental crown, the dentist will have to drill a small hole through the crown. This will give the dentist access to the roots of your teeth, and he or she will be able to then clean out the infected tooth pulp from this area. After the procedure is complete, the dentist will place a permanent filling in the small hole in your crown. This filling is designed to close the hole permanently; however, the dentist could go back in the hole if needed in the future.

The benefit of this method is that it will most likely leave your crown with very little damage; however, there are times when this method can weaken the crown. This tends to be more of an issue when a crown is made of all ceramic. Crowns can also be made of porcelain or they can be made of a mixture of porcelain and metal. These types of crowns are not affected as much when a dentist must drill through them. Because of this, your dentist may decide how to handle your root canal by first examining the material of the crown you have.

Remove The Crown

Removing the crown is another option dentists have when performing root canals on crowned teeth. When a dentist places a crown on a tooth, he or she cements it in place. The goal is for the crown to be securely attached to the tooth so it will never move or fall off. This is a great plan for a crown that remains on a tooth forever, but it is not so great if the crown ever needs to be removed.

Crowns are expensive. If your dentist wants to remove the crown to perform the root canal procedure, there are two possible outcomes you should be aware of:

  1. The dentist will be able to remove the crown without damaging it, and he or she will then be able to reuse the crown after the root canal procedure is complete. This would be the best outcome for your situation.
  2. The crown will break when the dentist removes it, and this will require making a new crown for you. A new dental crown costs between $600 to $1,500 on average. This is a lot of money to spend if your crown breaks.

The trouble is that your dentist may not know if he or she will be able to safely remove the crown without damaging it until he or she actually completes this step.

If you have a dental crown and need a root canal, you can talk to your dentist about these options. To learn more about crowns or root canals, contact a dentist and schedule an appointment today. You can also click here for additional info