Root Canal on a Crowned Tooth: A Comprehensive Guide

Root Canal on a Crowned Tooth: A Comprehensive Guide

November 1, 2023

While teeth are inherently strong and designed to last a lifetime, various factors can lead to damage. Dental trauma, dietary and lifestyle choices, subpar oral hygiene, and teeth grinding (bruxism) are the primary culprits behind tooth damage. When the tooth’s protective outer coating, known as enamel, gets damaged, it leaves the inner parts vulnerable to bacteria, potentially leading to decay. Fortunately, timely intervention can rectify this damage and prevent long-term complications.

In cases of significant tooth damage where bacteria have infiltrated the tooth’s pulp, home to nerves and blood vessels, decay can set in. In such situations, our esteemed team of dentists in Vancouver may recommend a root canal procedure. This procedure aims to eliminate the infection, salvage the tooth, and thwart further deterioration.

What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal, within the field of endodontics, is a procedure devised to remove the infected or decayed pulp from a compromised tooth. To effectively eliminate the infection, the dentist near you will drill into the tooth, extracting the damaged or decayed portions. Subsequently, the tooth undergoes thorough cleaning, rinsing, and disinfection to prevent any potential reinfection.

Given that removing the infected pulp creates a void, the dentist employs a rubber gutta-percha material to fill the tooth. In some cases, the placement of a permanent filling and/or a dental crown may be necessary to reinforce and safeguard the treated tooth.

Reasons for a Root Canal on a Tooth with a Crown

Dental crowns, recognized for their durability and efficacy in repairing tooth damage, serve as robust restorations. They are placed over compromised teeth to enhance their strength, size, shape, and appearance.

Before installing a dental crown, our skilled dentists consistently assess the tooth’s condition to ascertain whether any infection is present. This is crucial to prevent the concealment of bacteria beneath the crown, as this can potentially lead to further decay beneath the crown.

Regrettably, even a tooth with a crown may become infected, necessitating a root canal. It can occur due to several reasons:

Bacteria Trapped Under the Crown: Complex and deep canals can be challenging to fully cleanse during a root canal procedure, heightening the risk of bacteria becoming trapped. Subsequently, the infection may persist beneath the crown, compelling the need for a root canal.

Delayed Crown Placement Following Initial Root Canal: After performing a root canal, it is often advisable to allow the tooth time to heal before affixing a permanent filling or crown. Postponing crown placement increases the risk of reinfection, potentially leading to a later need for a root canal in Vancouver.

Damaged or Worn-Down Crown: Despite their resilience, dental crowns can sustain damage, cracks, dislodgement, or wear over time, exposing the underlying tooth to potential infection.

Inadequate Dental Hygiene: While dental crowns themselves do not develop cavities like natural teeth, poor oral hygiene practices can encourage the accumulation of bacterial plaque and calculus around the crown. This can lead to gum recession, exposing the underlying tooth to infections.

Fitting Crown: A poorly fitted crown can leave the underlying tooth vulnerable to infections, necessitating a root canal.

Indications Your Crowned Tooth Requires a Root Canal

  • Redness in the vicinity of the crowned tooth
  • Swollen gums and facial tissues surrounding the crowned tooth
  • Pain or heightened sensitivity associated with the crowned tooth
  • The presence of a dental abscess around the crowned tooth
  • Unusual warmth around the crowned tooth
  • Unexplained halitosis or unpleasant odor

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we urge you to contact our experienced endodontists in Vancouver promptly.

Performing a Root Canal on a Crowned Tooth

The answer is affirmative if you’re contemplating whether a crowned tooth can undergo a root canal. The dentist can perform the root canal procedure through the crown or opt to remove the crown prior to the root canal. Following removing damaged or decayed portions of the tooth, your existing crown can be repositioned, or a new one can be fitted to encase the treated tooth.

However, there are certain exceptions when a root canal may not be a feasible option for a crowned tooth. In cases where the underlying tooth is severely decayed or damaged and cannot adequately support a restoration, the dentist may recommend tooth extraction.

Schedule an Appointment Today If you suspect that your crowned tooth may be infected, we encourage you to reach out to Phoenix Dental Implant and Invisalign Centre in Vancouver without delay. Our experienced dentists are ready to provide you with the appropriate treatment and care.