After a Root Canal

What happens after a root canal? How does it affect the tooth? Dr. Rubin discusses an article from the Journal of Endodontics.

The article speaks about the time lapse between finishing a root canal on a posterior (back) tooth, such as a molar, and the time a permanent crown is placed. Once the nerve has been removed from the tooth, it no longer has a blood supply and the tooth becomes brittle and subject to fracture. For this reason, a crown is placed to encapsulate and protect the tooth. The articles points out that the type of restoration after a root canal therapy (RCT) significantly affects the survival of the endodontically treated tooth (ETT).

Teeth that were restored with a composite or amalgam build-up (or just fillings) were 2.29 times more likely to be extracted compared to those ETT that received crowns. Another important factor affecting the survival of the ETT was how long it took to get a crown placed on that tooth. Teeth that received crowns more than 4 months after RCT were almost 3 times more likely to get extracted compared with teeth that received crowns within 4 months of RCT.