How to Decide?
Answer the following questions:
- Is the root canal located on a front tooth?
- Is there only a small cavity or filling on the tooth?
- Was the root canal performed very conservatively and left most of the tooth intact?
- You are NOT a heavy grinder?
- You don’t have too many crowns on your teeth already?
- You are under 60?
If you answered “yes” to all of the above questions, then you may be able to pass up on the crown, at your own risk. Not only does the tooth have to qualify for not needing the crown, but you also need to make sure you are not a heavy grinder, don’t have too many crowns, or are not too old where teeth are weaker and fragile and break much easier.
If you answered “no” to the any questions then unfortunately you will require the crown. A crown may be expensive, but losing the tooth and needing a dental implant is way more expensive and much more difficult to do.
Root canal treatments are quite costly and time consuming on their own, but without getting a crown you risk losing the tooth. Once the root canal has been performed the majority of the tooth structure above the gumlines is removed. As a result the tooth will become very weak and undermined. Without a crown on the tooth is likely to fracture or break, and should this happen you could be in trouble Sometimes the crown will fix the problem but most of the times the tooth will not be salvageable any longer and must be removed. Thus not getting the crown done on time could result in losing the tooth and the need for a dental implant, which is much more work and expenses than the crown would’ve been otherwise.
If the root canal is costing you too much, then you might have to wait to receive the crown a little later once you have the cash for it. Waiting for a few weeks is typically okay but after a few months the tooth begins to chip and crack and you must get the crown now or risk losing the tooth. Don’t postpone it for too long or you will end up losing the tooth after all and you paid for a root canal in vain!
helpful hint – If you need to wait for the crown consider talking to ask your dentist about at least placing the post or the permanent filling in the tooth. This makes the tooth much sturdier and reduces the chances of it fracturing as you wait for your crown. Also ask your dentist to drop the tooth out of bite. Not chewing on the tooth reduces the force exerted on it and decreases the likelihood of it breaking. Doing these two things should buy you some time to allow you to come up with the necessary funds required for the crown.