Marietta Roswell Dental Care

A tooth that has undergone a root canal sometimes needs a dental restoration called a crown, but this is not always the case. Root canal procedures often remove large portions of teeth or weaken them to the point that they risk future damage without the support of a crown. However, depending on the tooth that receives a root canal, other options such as composite fillings work just fine for restoration. Understanding how a tooth is affected by a root canal and what a crown can do for it can ease any nervousness a patient feels about treatment.

What is a root canal?

Millions of people get root canal procedures each year to save teeth that have decayed. The tough outer shell of a tooth, called enamel, protects the sensitive pulp inside, which houses nerves and blood vessels. When the pulp becomes infected, it gradually breaks down the tooth and can cause pain. A root canal removes the infected pulp and revitalizes the tooth.

Signs of decay

A cavity signals the start of decay in the enamel of a tooth. Some cavities can be removed and filled before the decay deepens, sealing the tooth off from bacteria that may infect it further. If a cavity has gone unchecked and infected the inside of the tooth, a patient may experience:

  • Sharp pain when biting down on that tooth
  • Cracks or chips
  • Intense sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
  • Inflamed or darkened gums
  • Gums that bleed when brushed and flossed

A patient who experiences any of these symptoms should see a dentist immediately to discuss possible procedure options and dental restoration.

The root canal procedure

A root canal is a well-practiced process that removes the infected pulp of a tooth. The procedure normally involves filing down the tooth to access the inside of the root where the pulp lies. Both the pulp and the nerve of the tooth are removed. Once cleaned out, the root is filled with a composite material and sealed off. Typically, this process reduces much of the tooth and a patient requires a crown to return the tooth to full function.

When is a crown necessary?

If a patient only needs a minor root canal, the filing and seal may be enough to restore the tooth. In most cases, however, too much of the tooth is gone, and a crown must be made to top it off.

Benefits of a crown

A crown is a multipurpose dental restoration, and it often benefits patients more than simply capping a root canal. Crowns can ensure that the tooth is stable, preventing it from cracking or breaking during daily activities. It can be matched to the color of the natural teeth around it, which is especially beneficial if the damaged tooth became discolored during the root canal process. A crown also decreases chances of later infections and sensitivity.


A dentist can advise patients on the necessity of a dental crown depending on individual circumstances. Ask a dentist about the root canal process and the durability of a crown, including choosing between same-day and traditional crowns, before making a decision.

Request an appointment here: or call Marietta Roswell Dental Care at (770) 993-2657 for an appointment in our Roswell office.

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