When facing a root canal, most patients are hoping for as simple and speedy treatment timeline. The good news is that in many cases the only follow-up needed is a crown placed on the treated tooth. The crown is often placed within a few weeks of the initial root canal procedure. Replacing a temporary filling as quickly as appropriate helps to reduce the likelihood of issues like re-infection or a fractured tooth.
That additional intervention is needed to protect the tooth, which is weakened by the root canal treatment. If a crown is not placed on the tooth after a root canal, it may be more susceptible to breakage. A crown may also restrict bacteria’s access to the tooth’s inner core, reducing the risk of re-infection.
In many cases, when a dentist follows up a root canal with a crown, the repaired tooth can last for the rest of the patient’s lifetime. Occasionally, however, the initial root canal is not effective and the infection returns to the pulp chamber through decay or re-injury of the tooth. In these scenarios, the patient may need to have a second root canal to eliminate the infection.
During the treatment planning process, you should ask your dentist what precautions you should take to reduce your risk of complications following the root canal that might require additional treatment. The dentist may instruct you to avoid chewing with that tooth until the permanent crown is placed on it, for example. As always, good oral hygiene is important following a root canal, too.
A root canal is a valuable intervention that can save a severely damaged tooth. If you are wondering what additional treatment may be needed beyond a root canal treatment, rest assured that most cases will only require a crown to be placed on the tooth for protection. Ask your dentist if there are any special considerations in your case that might necessitate additional treatment.
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