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What Happens to a Tooth After a Root Canal?

Nicole Madison
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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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.

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.

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.

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.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a The Health Board writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By anon942576 — On Mar 28, 2014

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

By bear78 — On Sep 19, 2013

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

By burcinc — On Sep 18, 2013

@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.

By ddljohn — On Sep 18, 2013

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.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a The Health Board writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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