Today, we welcome our friend and colleague, Dr. Angela Noguera, Board Certified Endodontist. Angela is President and CEO of DC Endodontic Center here in Washington DC.
Why it is important for patients we send to Angela for root canal therapy return to have the tooth fully restored with a crown?
The purpose of root canal treatment is to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. During a root canal, the nerve and pulp of the tooth are removed and the inside of it is cleaned and sealed.
Most root canals require two or more visits to your endodontist. The first visit alleviates any pain from the tooth. On the second visit, the tooth is cleaned, disinfected, shaped, measured and filled to prevent any further infection.
A rubber dam is used to seal the tooth to prevent contamination until the patient returns to his restorative dentist to receive permanent protection with a crown.
The placement of a crown should be done within a short period of time after a root canal. Some time is advisable so that the restorative dentist works on a tooth that is not tender from the root canal procedure.
If a patient waits too long before getting a restorative crown, the tooth gets reinfected, vulnerable to loss and fracture. To minimize fracture risk, Angela's approach to treatment is conservative.
She keeps the opening in the tooth being treated small. She likes to preserve the tooth's structural integrity with a minimally invasive technique.
Over time, a tooth with a crown may need a root canal. It may be possible to do a root canal without removing the crown, but it is not advisable as it may not maintain a proper seal. A new crown is recommended.
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