3 Ways A Tooth Can Be Rebuilt Following Root Canal Therapy

Posted on: 21 January 2016

Root canal therapy, or RCT, is used when a tooth's dental pulp has become inflamed, infected, and/or damaged. The compromised pulp can end up eroding the tooth's dentin from the inside out and can cause nerve pain. The RCT procedure involves opening the tooth, scraping out the pulp, and then sealing the canal shut. But your tooth also needs to be shut or rebuilt again after the procedure.

There are different methods of rebuilding a tooth following RCT that mostly depend on the severity of the damage. Here are a few of the options your family dentistry specialist might use to complete your root canal therapy.

Dental Filling or Crown

Dental fillings or a dental crown are the most standard methods of rebuilding a tooth following a root canal. A filling is used when the damage is mostly limited internally and relatively small in size. A crown is used when there is more substantial damage or if part of the exterior dentin has a sizable crack or chip.

Fillings made of composite resin are the most natural looking though not as durable as metal particularly on teeth like the molars, which take a lot of bite force while grinding your food. Your dentist might recommend a metal filling for molars or other rear teeth where the metallic filling won't be as noticeable.

Dental crowns can have a natural look when made of porcelain or porcelain backed with metal with the latter being the stronger option. The crown slips over the exterior of the tooth and is bonded into place. The crown can either cover the top part of the tooth or the entire exterior of the tooth. Note that metal-backed porcelain crowns do have a strip of metal visible near the bottom and thus look more natural on full-tooth applications where the line is hidden near the gums.

Dental Crown and Core

Does the RCT tooth have a sizeable cavity that's too large for a filling to both adequately fill and rebuild the tooth? Your dentist can place a dental crown but the crown depends on some natural stability existing in the tooth before placement. That stability can be achieved by planting a core before the crown is bonded on.

The core is essentially a filling that will be covered by the crown. Amalgam metals can be used since the filling won't be visible and that metal can provide additional strength to the crown once it is bonded on the tooth.

Dental Crown, Core, and Post

If a tooth has such a large cavity that the filling material isn't stable on its own, the dentist might recommend supplementing the core with a post. The post is a small, metal peg that is inserted into the tooth to serve as a backbone of sorts for the core material. Your dentist can then pack the core or filling material around the post and then bond the dental crown around the outside of the tooth. Contact a business, such as Village Family Dental, for more information.