It seems that our schedules continue to get busier these days and are full of activities that need to be accomplished, particularly this time of year. If you are dealing with the challenge of an infected or injured tooth, you may wonder if you really have to schedule a dental appointment to place a permanent crown over a tooth that’s been treated with a root canal. There’s so much else to do!
You may ask,“Can’t I wait until early next year to schedule my crown appointment?” The short answer to that question is NO. Here are a few reasons why you should schedule your follow up appointment to receive your crown within one to three weeks after your root canal.
- A longer wait means a longer period of being extra careful. Many of the instructions you receive after your root canal – especially the ones related to eating soft, bland foods – are designed to protect the temporary crown. If you wait longer to get a crown, you will have to continue that regimen.
- Until a final restoration (crown) is placed, your tooth remains at risk of further damage. A root canal-treated tooth can be more brittle after the procedure, and a permanent crown is needed to prevent future damage.
- Your tooth may suffer extra sensitivity without a crown. Some teeth treated by root canals can become more sensitive to heat or cold. Permanent crowns reduce this effect.
- The longer you wait, the more likely you are to have the temporary crown fall out. Your temporary crown is not secured to your tooth in the same way a permanent crown is. If it falls off, the chances that you will experience increased pain or reinfection can skyrocket, as can cost. Such situations often result in unplanned emergency trips to the dentist.
- A permanent crown gives your natural tooth the best shot at long-term survival. A study published in the May 2020 Journal of Endodontics reported that natural teeth treated with a permanent crown restoration have a survival rate of more than 90 percent over nine years. The extra layer of outer protection provided by the crown safeguards the interior protection offered by the root canal.
“Having a root canal is the first step to rescuing a compromised natural tooth,” says Dr. Susan L. Wood, who practices with the Phoenix Endodontic Group. “Having a permanent crown placed over that tooth within one to three weeks ensures a much higher level of certainty that your tooth repair will last a lifetime.”