How Do I Know If I Need a Crown or a Root Canal?

A “crown” is a cap that fits overtop of a natural tooth to help restore its regular shape and size. If a cavity is deemed too large for just a filling to hold, a crown can help to restore the tooth keeping the structure of the tooth intact. Crowns can also help to serve as a cosmetic value by helping cover teeth that may appear discolored or misshaped.

On the other hand, a “root canal” is a procedure that involves saving a tooth that may be damaged, decayed, or injured. If a tooth is left untreated with any of these issues, it could cause some negative effects in your mouth like an infection, which you should want to avoid. Frankly, some individuals worry about the thought of a root canal; however, it really is a straightforward process. Most importantly, you can expect to be numb prior to the procedure so that you are comfortable throughout the whole process.

With a root canal you can expect:

  • X-rays to be taken of your mouth—these will help to tell the dentist where the problem tooth (or teeth) are and how many roots your tooth (or teeth) have
  • Local anesthetic prior to the procedure
  • A small opening to be made in the tooth
  • Cleaning instruments and materials to clear the root of the tooth of any bacteria
  • A material called “gutta-percha” to be inserted in the root canals of the teeth to ensure a proper seal and immediately following a temporary filling will be inserted in the small opening
  • A follow-up visit to remove the temporary filling once the tooth has had time to heal and you may receive a permanent filling, crown or other restoration place on the tooth.

Since crowns and root canals are two different procedures, you may be wondering how you would know if you need either type of treatment. Simply, your dentist will decide which type of treatment would work best for you and your dental health. By visiting with your dentist and receiving a full evaluation of your mouth, he/she can perform a series of tests to see if you would need a crown or a root canal.

Contact Us For More Information:

If you are looking for a dentist who can provide an evaluation of your mouth, the doctors at Moore Family Dentistry would be happy to visit with you! If you think you may need a crown or a root canal, we have the tools and knowledge to give you answers you may be looking for. Please contact us at your earliest convenience to schedule your initial appointment!