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Does an upper canine tooth need a crown after a root canal?

User Level:
Patient
Posted by: Smiles55  (8 years ago)
I have a friend in Shanghai who was given a root canal on an upper canine, with no discussion before hand. She now has to decide if she gets a crown or just a filling. From the front the tooth looks almost unchanged after the root canal, and she didn't have any problems with the tooth before.

Her dentist recommends she gets a crown to stop the tooth form breaking later on and cover any discoloration that occurs, but she's not sure if she should take her dentist's advice because before the root canal he didn't discuss it and what would follow.

From looking around on the internet I have come across opinions ranging from "A root canal should always be crowned" to "On a front tooth, the stresses on a tooth aren't vertical but horizontal, so a crown will actually weaken a root canal tooth at the neck of the tooth and make it more susceptible to breaking off completely - if it's a front tooth. I would try bleaching, and if that didn't work, I would correct the discoloration with porcelain veneers instead of crowns".

Would it be ok leaving it uncrowned and then trying internal bleaching if it discolors, and then veneers or crowns if the bleaching didn't work? Or should she just have it crowned now?
User Level:
Dentist
I have a friend in Shanghai who was given a root canal on an upper canine, with no discussion before hand. She now has to decide if she gets a crown or just a filling. From the front the tooth looks almost unchanged after the root canal, and she didn't have any problems with the tooth before.

Her dentist recommends she gets a crown to stop the tooth form breaking later on and cover any discoloration that occurs, but she's not sure if she should take her dentist's advice because before the root canal he didn't discuss it and what would follow.

From looking around on the internet I have come across opinions ranging from "A root canal should always be crowned" to "On a front tooth, the stresses on a tooth aren't vertical but horizontal, so a crown will actually weaken a root canal tooth at the neck of the tooth and make it more susceptible to breaking off completely - if it's a front tooth. I would try bleaching, and if that didn't work, I would correct the discoloration with porcelain veneers instead of crowns".

Would it be ok leaving it uncrowned and then trying internal bleaching if it discolors, and then veneers or crowns if the bleaching didn't work? Or should she just have it crowned now?


What your post demonstrates is how reading the average internet article confuses patients rather than helps them. However, it is true that a crown without a cast post actually weakens an anterior root canal tooth.

It. is a roll of the dice on a canine. It depends on:

1. How badly was the canine damaged by the decay?
2. Does the patient have all their other teeth are not?
3. Does the patient have a short powerful skull, or a petite long one?
4. Does the patient grind his or her teeth?
5. Does the patient have a deep bite (high overbite), shallow overbite, or open bite?
6. Are the esthetics of the tooth OK now?

The options are:

1. Conservative filling in access prep of root canal only.
2. CAST POST, then crown. The cast post should NOT be omitted!
Posted 8 years ago
User Level:
Dentist
Typically on front teeth, you will be fine with a veneer covering the tooth after a root canal. The exceptions may be if the tooth is fractured or has developed further decay.
Medical Tourism
Posted 8 years ago
User Level:
Dentist
I have a friend in Shanghai who was given a root canal on an upper canine, with no discussion before hand. She now has to decide if she gets a crown or just a filling. From the front the tooth looks almost unchanged after the root canal, and she didn't have any problems with the tooth before.

Her dentist recommends she gets a crown to stop the tooth form breaking later on and cover any discoloration that occurs, but she's not sure if she should take her dentist's advice because before the root canal he didn't discuss it and what would follow.

From looking around on the internet I have come across opinions ranging from "A root canal should always be crowned" to "On a front tooth, the stresses on a tooth aren't vertical but horizontal, so a crown will actually weaken a root canal tooth at the neck of the tooth and make it more susceptible to breaking off completely - if it's a front tooth. I would try bleaching, and if that didn't work, I would correct the discoloration with porcelain veneers instead of crowns".

Would it be ok leaving it uncrowned and then trying internal bleaching if it discolors, and then veneers or crowns if the bleaching didn't work? Or should she just have it crowned now?


This is a hard decision for many. Obviously, up front, the cost will be higher to place the crown. Later on is usually more the worry. Think of a dead branch on a tree, it will readily break off if the wrong forces are applied. The same analogy can be used on endodontically treated teeth. The blood supply has been amputated, and the tooth no longer is getting any vital nourishment. This is the problem, even in anterior teeth. In my opinion, I would place the crown, depending on the amount of lost tooth structure, the post may also be necessary. I wish you luck in your decision making.
Posted 8 years ago
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