A crown may supply the finishing touch after a root canal – sealing the tooth and strengthening it for the long term – but a crown isn't necessary in every case. Teeth at the front of the mouth and those that are reasonably strong, in particular, may not need them at all. Weighing the following pros and cons can help you decide if a root canal without crown placement is the best and most cost-effective option for you.
STRONG BUT DELICATE
Root canals save teeth from decay, but they can also weaken them. When the pulp inside a tooth is infected or no longer living, dentists can treat the tooth through a root canal by removing the pulp and apply filling to replace it. When performing routine root canals, however, dentists drill through the tooth and then remove infected and decayed enamel, dentin and pulp. For this reason, teeth with large cavities are weak even when the cavities are filled. Because root canals also remove the pulp, the teeth involved can no longer function as living things. Over time, this deficit causes them to lose strength and become likely to fracture.
WHY CROWNS ARE ADDED
After performing root canal work, dentists apply permanent fillings to protect the treated teeth from bacteria and to strengthen them in the process. For many root canal procedures, however, fitting crowns over the filled teeth is necessary because of the high risk of fracture without the extra protection crowns provide. Another advantage of crowns is that they restore the natural appearance of your teeth.
Dr. James L. Johnson