Dental Crowns After Root Canal Therapy
Dental crowns are commonly placed to restore a tooth that has been damaged by a large cavity or root canal infection. At the practice of John P. Goodman DDS, in Kansas City, MO, we use natural-looking porcelain crowns to maintain the appearance of your smile. Learn more about how dental crowns can restore your smile after root canal therapy.
Root Canal Infection Causes
Root canal infections are typically caused by untreated cavities. Cavities are caused by the breakdown of the tooth by bacteria. When bacteria in the mouth produce acids, they can erode the protective enamel and dentin layers of the teeth, leading to cavities. Treatment for cavities typically involves removing the decayed part of the tooth and filling it with a composite resin material.
Root canal infections occur when a cavity isn't treated, and bacteria enter the innermost structure of the tooth, the root canals. Infection can also occur due to an injury to the tooth, such as a large crack or chip that exposes the root canals to dental bacteria.
The root canals consist of a soft material called the pulp, which includes tissues, blood vessels, and nerves. Once bacteria infect this tissue, it can result in severe pain, sensitivity to hot and cold, swelling, and an abscess on the gums. The infection should be treated as soon as possible to prevent further damage and save the tooth.
Treating a Root Canal Infection
To treat a root canal infection, the dentist will first administer local anesthesia to numb the affected tooth and surrounding area to make the procedure as painless as possible. Next, a small access hole is created in the top of the tooth to reach the infected pulp and remove it using specialized instruments.
Once the infected pulp is removed, the dentist will clean and shape the root canals. This is done to remove any remaining debris and bacteria that may be present. The root canals are then filled with a biocompatible material, such as gutta-percha, to prevent further infection and restore strength to the tooth.
Placing a Dental Crown After Root Canal Therapy
After root canal therapy, a dental crown is usually recommended to provide structural support to the tooth and protect it from further damage. Placement of a dental crown will require two dental appointments. Preparation for the crown will take place after your dentist has eliminated all signs of infection and replaced the missing pulp tissue with gutta percha.
The dentist will prepare the tooth for the crown by shaping the tooth to fit the crown. This may involve removing some of the tooth's structure around its perimeter. Next, we will take an impression of the prepared tooth. This impression will be used to create a custom-fitted crown. A temporary crown may be placed on the prepared tooth while the permanent crown is being fabricated in the dental lab. This temporary crown is usually made from acrylic or composite resin and is not as durable as the permanent crown.
Once the permanent crown is ready, you will return to our Kansas City office to have the temporary crown removed, and the permanent crown placed on the tooth. We will ensure that the crown fits properly and that the bite is correct. Finally, we will bond the crown to the tooth using dental cement.
Contact Our Practice
To find out if you are a good candidate for a dental crown, contact our Kansas City practice today. Call us at (816) 842-8585 or send us a message online.