Can I Have A Root Canal On A Crowned Tooth?

Can I Have A Root Canal On A Crowned Tooth?

Oct 01, 2022

While teeth are naturally strong and last a lifetime, they can still experience damage. Dental trauma, poor diet and lifestyle habits, poor dental hygiene, and bruxism are the key factors behind tooth damage. When the tooth’s enamel (outer shell) gets damaged, the internal structures of the tooth are exposed to bacteria that cause tooth decay. Fortunately, treating tooth damage promptly will repair the damage and prevent long-term complications.

If the tooth is significantly damaged, bacteria can infect the tooth’s pulp that contains the nerves and blood vessels, causing decay. When this happens, our New Providence dentist will likely suggest a root canal to remove the infection, save your tooth, and prevent further damage.

What is a Root canal?

A root canal is an endodontic procedure for removing a damaged or decayed tooth’s pulp. To remove the infection, the dentist drills through the tooth and removes the damaged or decayed parts of the tooth. The tooth is then cleaned, rinsed, and disinfected to prevent re-injection.

Since removing the infected pulp creates a hole, the dentist will use a rubber gutta-percha material to fill the tooth. A permanent filling or/and dental crown may be necessary to strengthen and protect the treated tooth.

Reasons for a Root Canal on a Tooth with a Crown

A dental crown is a highly effective and durable restoration for repairing tooth damage. A crown or dental cap is placed over a damaged tooth to improve its strength, size, shape, and color.

Before placing a dental crown, our Plainfield dentist will always examine your tooth to determine whether it’s infected. It is essential to prevent covering up bacteria under the crown, which will likely cause more decay on the crowned tooth.

Unfortunately, the crowned tooth can still get infected, causing the need for a root canal. It can happen due to:

  • Bacteria trapped under the crown. Generally, deep and complex canals can be hard to clean during a root canal, increasing the risk of trapping bacteria. After placing the crown, the infection will continue to eat up the tooth under the crown, causing the need for a root canal.
  • Delay placing a crown after the initial tooth canal. After a root canal, the dentist might recommend allowing the tooth to heal before placing a permanent filling or crown. Delaying the crown placement increases the risk of re-injection, which can cause the need for a root canal later.
  • Damaged or worn down crown. While strong and durable, a crown can break, crack, dislodge, or wear down over time, exposing the underlying tooth to infection.
  • Poor dental hygiene. While a dental crown won’t develop cavities like a natural tooth, poor dental hygiene can encourage bacterial plaque and calculus around the crown, causing gum recession which exposes the underlying tooth to infections.
  • Poorly fitting crown. An ill-fitting crown will expose the underlying tooth to infections, causing the need for a root canal.

Signs your Crowned Tooth Requires a Root Canal

  • Redness at or around the crowned tooth
  • Swollen gums and face around the crowned tooth
  • Pain or sensitivity around the crowned tooth
  • A dental abscess around the crowned tooth
  • Unusual warmth around the crowned tooth
  • Unexplainable bad breath or odor

Contact our endodontist in Berkeley Heights immediately if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms.

Performing a Root Canal on a Crowned Tooth

The answer is yes if you’re wondering whether you can have a root canal on a crowned tooth! The dentist can perform the root canal through the crown or remove the crown before performing the root canal. Next, the dentist will remove the damaged or decayed parts of the tooth and then use your existing crown or a new one to cover the tooth.

Still, there are exceptions when a root canal can’t be performed on a crowned tooth. For instance, the dentist can recommend tooth extraction if the underlying tooth is extremely decayed or damaged to support a restoration sufficiently.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Are you suspecting your crowned tooth is infected? Contact Jersey Smile to speak with our dentist for treatment.

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