Feeling pain, pressure, or discomfort in your mouth is the worst. Often the culprit of this unease is a cavity – a sign that you need a filling. But unfortunately, sometimes the problem is worse than that and you end up needing a root canal.
A root canal is a more extensive procedure than a filling. That said, it’s still a relatively simple procedure for dentists.
There are a few key components of a root canal treatment, including the numbing of the tooth and the installation of a crown at the end. However, not every root canal procedure ends with a crown.
If you’re wondering how long a root canal treatment lasts without a crown, you’ve come to the right place. This article will explain everything you need to know about the root canal process and what to expect after your procedure to hopefully ease your nerves.
Before answering how much a root canal lasts without a crown, let’s first give you a refresher on what a root canal is.
A root canal is a procedure in which infected material is removed from your tooth before it is filled in. You can think about it as a more in-depth version of a filling needed when the infection goes into your nerves and blood vessels. Ideally, you never want an infection to get that far, but if it does, you’ll need a root canal to fix it.
The material inside of your tooth is called the pulp. A root canal’s purpose is to eliminate the bacteria in the tooth and prevent further infection in your mouth.
The cost of a root canal varies per region but can cost from a few hundred dollars to thousands, depending on how severe the tooth infection is. Luckily, some dental insurance plans may cover a portion or even all of the procedure.
Signs that you may need a root canal include:
- Tooth pain or pressure
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- A cracked or chipped tooth
- Gum problems (discoloration or darkness)
- Loose tooth
Now, let’s talk about the process of getting a root canal.
Although many people fear a root canal procedure, they’re one of the most common dental treatments. According to the American Association of Endodontics (AAE), over 15 million root canals are performed in the United States alone each year. Your dentist likely performs a root canal every other day.
Understanding the process of a root canal may make it sound less intimidating. Here’s what to expect from the entire root canal process.
The root canal process starts with your dentist numbing your tooth with local anesthesia. Once your tooth is numb, your dentist then proceeds to make a small hole in that tooth.
Through this hole, your dentist can reach the pulp of your tooth and remove the infected tissue. Sometimes they’ll also treat your tooth for bacterial infection.
Finally, your tooth will be filled and sealed, similarly to a filling. In most cases, it is then topped with a crown.
Your tooth will be sensitive for a few days after treatment, but you should resume regular brushing and flossing activities soon after your procedure.
Let’s talk about the last aspect of the procedure – the crown.
A dental crown is a permanent cap placed over the weakened tooth. They are typically made from porcelain, metal, or ceramic and restore your tooth’s strength and appearance.
The purpose of a crown is to protect and cover your damaged tooth, especially after a filling. Crowns are considered especially important after root canals as it is an intense dental procedure that leaves your tooth quite sensitive. Installing the crown is typically the last step in the root canal process.
Other reasons you may need a crown include the following:
- Restoring a broken tooth
- Protecting a weak tooth from breaking
- Holding a dental bridge in place
You now know everything you need to know about root canals and the purpose of a crown. But how long does a root canal last without a crown?
How long a root canal lasts without a crown isn’t super straightforward. Sometimes you simply don’t need a crown on the affected tooth, and a dental filling will do. If your dentist suggests that your tooth will be okay without a crown, you may only need a filling.
However, there are other times when having no crown may expose your damaged tooth and harm your healing process. A crown can allow your restored tooth to last up to 20 years, while a tooth that undergoes a root canal without a crown may last only six years.
As mentioned, a large part of your tooth’s structure is removed during a root canal. This means that, without a crown, the outer tooth may crumble. If this is possible, your dentist will always add a crown after your root canal.
However, there are times when the tooth’s structure may stay intact pretty well. If this is the case, then a filling may do.
To recap, a root canal usually ends with a crown on your infected tooth, but it doesn’t always end this way. If your tooth is relatively intact, or if the tooth you need the root canal on is near the front of your mouth, then a filling may be all you need.
While it may seem daunting, a root canal is a routine procedure your dentist performs all the time, so you should rest assured that you’re in good hands.
If you need a filling or root canal, contact Shelburne Village Dental to book your appointment today.