Root Canal Procedures are very common and are considered an out-patient, non-invasive, minor procedure. 1 in every 5 people in the world would have either undergone a root canal procedure or would have considered going through one. It has become such a popular choice owing to its high success rates, patient satisfaction and due to its painless method of operation.
Root canal treatments may take 2 to 3 seatings and usually o have one or two follow up check up’s to ensure the tooth and the dental crown is doing well, if the dentist has in fact replaced the tooth with one. It is very common to have the crown feel off root canal tooth a few months after the procedure if proper care is not taken. This may be considered as a dangerous situation for the treated tooth and for the patient as it exposes the tooth to attacks by microbes and germs from food and drinks.
Before we go into how to care for the crown post root canal treatment, let us first understand about the treatment and the dental crown.
What qualifies for a Root Canal Treatment?
If a patient has a tooth that has been infected by plaque build up and by decay leading to rotting of the tooth reaching the pulp or the nerve of the tooth, this situation may call for a root canal treatment. In situations where the ecay is superficial and has not infected the pulp of the tooth, a simple dental filling would suffice, but when the infection spreads to the base of the tooth where the more sensitive part of the tooth reside, such as the pulp and the nerve of the tooth, a root canal treatment would be necessary. The patient would experience intense pain spreading through his head and jaw if anything small from the food he eats gets stuck there. It could also be quite dangerous for the tooth as such causing severe and permanent nerve damage.
In such a situation, a dentist may opt for a root canal treatment where the tooth is cleansed off all the decay and is flushed off debris. The tooth is shaved down and reshaped to fit a particular size of dental crown which then replaces the original tooth and brings back the functionality of the actual tooth.
Why Dental Crown?
Dental crown is an artificial tooth made to mimic the functionality of an actual tooth and with similar properties so that the patient can carry on with the day to day activities without worrying about the damaged tooth. Dental crown is like a cap for a treated tooth and fits right above the tooth. Dental crowns are made from a mould that the dentist creates with the impression of your tooth. The mould is then sent to a lab where a crown is prepared to fit the exact space and size of your tooth.
Dental crowns are made from various kinds of materials based on the functionality of the tooth that needs replacement, the budget and the requirement of the patient. Some popular materials are metal, porcelain, ceramic, resin, preseed porcelain, porcelain fused with metal etc. Based on the aforementioned factors, one may select the material from which a crown needs to be made.<\p>
Functions of Dental crowns
Dental crowns are useful for those with damaged teeth that can no longer function like a regular tooth. A dental crown covers up any irregularities in the tooth such as tooth chipping, broken tooth, misshapen tooth, colour faded tooth, and a tooth gap due to root canal treatment.
A dental crown provides functionality similar to an actual tooth and can withstand regular activities such as chewing, biting and forming a complete jawline for aesthetic purposes. A dental crown can be both for cosmetic or medical purposes.
Caring for Dental Crowns post treatment
Below are a few tips to care for a dental crown after a root canal is done:
1. Oral Hygiene
First and foremost, it is important to keep up the oral hygiene of the mouth so that the dental crown is not attacked by microbes and germs from the food you eat. Brush twice a day thoroughly and make sure you change your toothbrush every few months. Floss your teeth regularly paying extra attention to the area where the dental crown is fit. Make sure you floss gently around the crow as you do not want to disturb the dental cement used to set the tooth up. Rinse your mouth regularly after consuming food or drinks so as to minimise the germs.
2. Sensitivity to food
Make sure you don't use your dental crown to cut and bite into the food directly. Tearing food is better than cutting into food. Tearing off food uses less and gradual pressure than biting into and cutting down on food which exerts a blunt pressure on the crown. Eventually the crown may loosen as its strength may be compromised from the pressure of cutting down on food. Also, avoid very sticky and hard foot such as steaks, red meat and candies. Use the teeth that are unaffected or the side that is healthier rather than using your crown.
3. Regular check up
Visit your dentist regularly to follow up on the dental crown health. Make sure you incorporate the tips given by your dentist and follow them religiously. Care and maintain your dental crown as they are expensive and saves your original tooth from further damage and microbial attack. It is important to keep the crown healthy and your dentist can help you with that.
You need to exercise great precaution if your crown fell off root canal tooth due to some sudden or extreme action such as biting or chewing. In this case, secure your dental crown and make a dentist appointment immediately. These situations can be considered a dental emergency and therefore rush to your dentist. They can help place the tooth back on. Make sure you keep your mouth entirely clean and in case if you do need to eat, choose to eat on the healthier side and opt for soft food that does not need any hard chewing. Your dentist will either replace your dental crown or help you with filling the tooth temporarily if the crown is lost or damaged.