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What Happens to a Tooth After a Root Canal?

After a root canal, your tooth enters a healing phase, where the removed pulp is replaced with a biocompatible material. The tooth is then sealed and often crowned for protection. This process restores the tooth's function and appearance. Intrigued by how this can save your smile? Discover the detailed journey of a tooth's revival in our comprehensive visual guide. Ready to explore further?
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Following a root canal treatment, a dentist usually fills the tooth with a temporary filling and protects it with a temporary crown. Shortly after, the patient typically returns to the dental office for additional treatment. In most cases, the dentist removes the temporary crown and filling and replaces them with permanent versions. This gives normal function to the tooth. It is worth noting, however, that the tooth beneath the crown is deprived of its blood supply and eventually becomes very brittle.

An individual would normally have to be very gentle with a tooth after a root canal. This is because the tooth loses its blood supply and becomes much more fragile than it was before. If an individual bites down on something hard with this tooth, there is a chance that it may break. To avoid this, dentists usually take steps to restore the tooth. This can involve the use of a filling or dental post, which is a type of metal rod, as well as a crown to protect the fragile tooth and make it more functional.

A cross section of a tooth.
A cross section of a tooth.

Often, dentists use temporary restoration materials on a tooth right after a root canal treatment. The dentist may temporarily fill the tooth and place a temporary crown on it to keep it protected until the patient’s next appointment, for example. Essentially, these steps serve to keep bacteria and debris out of the tooth, and they also help prevent it from breaking until the patient receives follow-up treatment.

Most teeth will need some restoration following a root canal.
Most teeth will need some restoration following a root canal.

In most cases, some restoration is performed on the tooth after a root canal. A dentist may place a permanent filling in the tooth in order to keep bacteria and debris out of it. In some cases, he or she may also choose to cement a post into the tooth to increase its height and provides something to which the dentist can adhere the filling material.

A root canal involves the removal of damaged nerves and pulp from a patient's tooth.
A root canal involves the removal of damaged nerves and pulp from a patient's tooth.

It is usually necessary to place a permanent crown on a tooth that has had a root canal. A dental crown covers the part of the tooth that is above the patient’s gum. It is typically made of porcelain to resemble the patient’s teeth, but some are made out of metal, including gold. Crowns may also be constructed from a combination of porcelain and metal. They restore the shape of the tooth, strengthen it, and make the tooth look more like the patient’s other teeth.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a TheHealthBoard writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

Learn more...
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a TheHealthBoard writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

Learn more...

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Discussion Comments

anon942576

My tooth got a temporary filling recently, but l want to know what the rod the dentist placed in my tooth does.

bear78

Does the permanent crown on a root canal get renewed after a number of years or is it left indefinitely?

burcinc

@ddljohn-- An infection is possible after a root canal, if the pulp is not removed properly during the procedure or if it's not sealed properly afterward. It can also happen if the temporary filling and crown never get replaced with permanent ones.

Did you have restoration done on your root canals and did you go for periodic check-ups afterward?

If everything is done correctly, a root canal should not get infected. Root canals are done to save infected teeth in the first place. Getting a root canal is usually not an option. If an infected tooth is not treated with a root canal, it will only get worse and can cause some very serious complications.

ddljohn

I've lost three teeth so far because of root canals. I've come to the conclusion that it's impossible to save a tooth after a root canal procedure. Not only does a tooth lose its blood supply after this therapy, but it also becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.

I lost my teeth because all three became infected underneath the filling and crown. I developed symptoms of infection a few years after each procedure. I went to the dentist who opened up the crowns only to find infected, deteriorated teeth underneath. The only solution was having them pulled and I had to have antibiotic treatment each time.

I wish I had never gotten root canals.

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    • A cross section of a tooth.
      By: Andrea Danti
      A cross section of a tooth.
    • Most teeth will need some restoration following a root canal.
      By: yanmingzhang
      Most teeth will need some restoration following a root canal.
    • A root canal involves the removal of damaged nerves and pulp from a patient's tooth.
      By: Igor Mojzes
      A root canal involves the removal of damaged nerves and pulp from a patient's tooth.
    • After a root canal, the tooth loses its blood supply and becomes much more fragile than it was before.
      By: vladimirfloyd
      After a root canal, the tooth loses its blood supply and becomes much more fragile than it was before.
    • After a root canal is performed, a dentist will fill the tooth with a temporary filling and protect it with a temporary crown.
      By: xalanx
      After a root canal is performed, a dentist will fill the tooth with a temporary filling and protect it with a temporary crown.
    • A root canal must be performed by a dental professional.
      By: Alen-D
      A root canal must be performed by a dental professional.
    • Antibiotic injections may help prevent infection following a root canal.
      By: Sherry Yates
      Antibiotic injections may help prevent infection following a root canal.