Patients often have some questions or concerns about performing root canal treatment through a crown. This is understandable. Many patients think that teeth with crowns should no longer require treatment. Many patients may also think that their crown would be damaged by performing root canal treatment through them. As a result of these questions or concerns, I have decided to address this subject matter within this post.
First of all, teeth that have crowns have a history of trauma that can lead to the need for root canal therapy. This history of trauma includes prior decay, cracks, fillings, breaks in the tooth, and dental treatment, including the crown preparation. This history may lead to the need for root canal therapy even many years later. Having this history of trauma does NOT at all require root canal therapy prior to the first crown; this would be over-treatment and unwarranted.
Second, to address the concern about a crowned tooth not needing further treatment, as indicated above, the history of trauma may present the need for root canal treatment up to many years later. Further, a crowned tooth may also get decay under the crown, or the tooth may break due to forces being placed upon the crown over time. So, crowned teeth may need further treatment at a later time, although many crowned teeth may not ever need treatment again.
Lastly, it is possible that the crown may get damaged from having the root canal treatment being performed through the crown. This can be minimized by using new rotary instruments with an adequate water coolant flow to prevent heat buildup. This may also be minimized by the technique used by the dentist. Some patients ask if the crown can be simply removed, having the root canal treatment being performed with the crown off, and then having the crown re-placed following the root canal procedure. While this makes a lot of sense since the crown does not have to be damaged with a hole, the risks of removing the crown often outweigh this suggestion. Crown removal itself can damage the crown and can break the tooth structure. For years, dentistry has placed fillings in these holes created during root canal treatment, and these fillings last very well.
I certainly hope this helps. If you have more questions, feel free to contact us. We invite you to peruse our website, We invite you to experience our brand of dental care, which is patient-centered, value-conscious, quality-oriented, and which is all performed by the same dentist, Dr. Mark Venincasa, and his hygienist. We do not foresee patients having another dentist working in place of Dr. Venincasa.
We invite you to make an appointment with us, by calling us at (972) 250-2580, or by contacting us in various ways available within this website. We thank you for your interest.