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What's the Deal with Root Canals?

Discussion in 'Dental' started by Future GI Guy, Nov 30, 2001.

  1. Future GI Guy

    Future GI Guy Hoo Hoo....
    7+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Hey Dental Students.

    I'm a medical student and I usually post in other forums. However, I need to ask someone "in the know" a question about teeth.

    I recently got a root canal, and I've been sitting on a temporary filling. My dentist wants me to get a "crown" over the root canal as a permanent measure, but I really just want another permanent filling (the original fell out). (And I don't have the "crown" type money....)

    Do you HAVE to get a crown when you get a root canal? I've experienced no pain with the temporary filling, and that seemed to be my dentist's main argument.
  2. Shiko

    Shiko Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jul 15, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Dear Doctor,
    Your doctor is right, root canal treated teeth are non vital teeth , they tend to be more fragile and better be covered .
    You also mentioned that you lost the old filling , I have just read that if the gutta percha is exposed to saliva for a period more than two weeks , then the root canal treatment should be repeated again .
    GO get your crown done dude :D
  3. DrJeff

    DrJeff Senior Member
    Moderator Emeritus Verified Expert 10+ Year Member

    Nov 30, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Listen to your GP. This is what can, and does happen if a permanent restoration(most likely a crown) isn't placed on a tooth after root canal therapy. First off, a temporary filling is just as its name applies, temporary. It leaks, it is much less wear resistant than a permanent restoration, and wear of a restoration can over time have altering and detrimental effects on your occlusion(bite).
    Why a crown is the standard of care of post root canal treatment has to do with the support of the remaining tooth structure. If you think of a tooth before any restoration is placed as a large solid block, when you place a filling you carve out a portion of that block and decrease the overall strength. When you create the access hole to allow the nerves and blood vessels of the tooth to be removed(the root canal procedure) you have to make a very large hole in that block, which leaves the remaining walls very structurally compromised. By placing a crown on top of that tooth, the construction of a crown is the key to the support. The crown has a substructure that is made out of either metal or an aluminous oxide compound(the same material that is used in ceramic artificial hips). This substructure wraps around the weakend walls and protects them from fracture. If a fracture occurs to the tooth, sometimes it is a relatively easy repair(i.e. the crown), sometimes it requires periodontal surgery(gum surgery) to expose the fracture line, likely removing bone to do so, and sometimes fractures will require the tooth to be extracted. Bottom line, if you've made the investment in your tooth with the root canal, don't skimp on the final process, or else in the very near future there could be even more and worse problems with your tooth :eek:
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