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Why do I need a crown after a root canal?

March 21, 2017

Dental Crown after Root Canal

By Dr. Jeremy Jorgenson

Why may a dental crown be needed after a root canal?  Well let’s start by talking about root canals.  A root canal may be necessary when your tooth decay has reached the inner pulp or root of your tooth.  The infection may be extremely painful or you may not even know the decay has spread to the root.  Removing the tooth decay and infection is essential to preventing the spread of the infection to surrounding gum and bone tissue.

When a root canal is necessary, your dentist will use a drill or a laser to take out the decayed enamel, dentin, and the pulp to ensure all of the infected tooth is gone.  Depending on how much of the natural tooth structure must be removed, and other factors, will often determine whether a dental crown is needed after a root canal.  Generally, when large decay is present, the tooth has been significantly weakened, and when the tooth regularly experiences a lot of pressure (think back molar tooth), a dental crown may be appropriate to restore function.

What is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown is a tooth look-alike that fits over the remaining portion of your natural tooth to help strengthen the tooth, protect the remaining tooth structure from further decay, and to restore the look and function of your smile.  There are several types of dental crowns and uses vary by function and budget.

Choosing a Dental Crown

Stainless steel, gold, high noble, porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), porcelain, ceramic, zirconia?! How do you choose what type of crown is best for you!  Depending on the location, visibility, needed function, and budget, choosing the right dental crown for you should be a personal decision made with your dentist.

  • Stainless Steelsteel crown
    • Pros: More cost effective, Okay for temporary use
    • Cons: Preferred for children only, does not resemble a natural tooth
  • Silver/Gold/Metal Alloysgold crown
    • Pros: Long-lasting, rarely chip or fracture
    • Cons: Metal tooth does not resemble a natural tooth, depending on the price of metal can cost more than a PFM or all-ceramic crown
  • Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM)
    • Pros: Outer portion can be matched to surrounding teeth color, strongPFM crown
    • Cons: More natural tooth has to be removed to fit this type of crown, can wear over time, can fracture or chip, metal can show if gums recess
  • All-Porcelain or All-Ceramic
    • Pros: Very strong, long-lasting, one-piece (compared to PFM), less natural tooth bruxzirhas to be removed, tooth colored, no metal, better investment
    • Cons: Must be hand-crafted by a dental lab taking about 1 week to make

Scheduling your Appointment

At Advanced Dental Care in Costa Mesa, Dr. Jeremy Jorgenson and his dental team have made it easy and convenient for you to reserve dental appointments that fit your schedule!  You can book directly online at, call/text us at (714) 424-9099, or email us at  We have morning, evening, Saturday, and emergency appointments available now.  You can live chat us on our website too!