Do you always need a dental crown after root canal treatment?

Patients often ask if it will be necessary to add a dental crown after a root canal is performed. Normally, patient is afraid by the root canal procedure in itself. The need to add a dental crown makes the visit to the dentist’s office more intimidating and uncomfortable, too.  Below, we will take a look at whether a crown is really necessary following a root canal treatment.

Dental Crowns After Root Canals: Answer is: Yes and No? Read below.

Which teeth need dental crowns after a root canal?

In general, the best way to determine if a crown is necessary following a is to gauge the tooth’s location in the mouth.

Typically the easiest way to think about whether you need a crown after a root canal is to determine where the tooth is in the mouth. Back grinding teeth, molars and premolars, typically need a dental crown after a root canal. Front teeth that we use for cutting and tearing, such as canines and incisors, may not need a dental crown.

What are the other factors that determine whether you need a dental crown after a root canal?

As I mentioned above, whether the tooth is a front tooth or back one, is one of the most important factors. However, there are several other factors to consider as well.

1.Do you clench or grind your teeth?

Those who grind or clench their teeth are more inclined to require the protection of a dental crown.

2.What is your history? Have you broken teeth in the past?

Considerations include the patient’s oral health history, whether he or she broke teeth and whether

teeth were chipped in the past.

3.How bad is the crack, break or decay that is causing you to have a root canal?

A tooth that requires a root canal due to considerable decay or a fracture will also necessitate a dental crown as they have minimal structure remaining left.

4.How much of your tooth is actually left? This one is very similar to the one above.

The amount of the tooth remaining also plays a part in determining if it is prudent to add a dental crown after the root canal.

5.Is there a tooth opposite, above or below, the tooth getting a root canal.

What Studies Say: Is a dental crown after a root canal necessary?

Studies show that a dental crown after a root canal increases the chance of the tooth surviving. There was a 6x higher survival rate in this studyAnother study shows that only about 1/3 of the molars survive without a crown at 5 years.

The vast majority of back teeth with a root canal need a crown.

Back tooth = Need crown after root canal almost always.

Front tooth with lots of decay or broken = Need crown after root canal.

Front tooth with very little decay and not broken = Does not need crown after root canal, unless the tooth has a lot of decay or missing tooth structure.

Tooth already has a dental crown, does it need a new dental crown after the root canal?

That is a important question and can be hard if not impossible to give you a definitive answer. If there is decay around the edge or margin of the crown then yes you need a new crown. However, in many cases, there is a hidden decay under the crown, the problem, here, that dentist does not know what is under the crown. In fact, no one knows how much of your actual tooth is left as crown covers the whole tooth. Therefore, decay removal will be the first step, and then recommending a new crown will be decided after, although in most of the cases, the decay will be large enough and ultimately, you will be needing a new crown.

What are your options for dental crowns after a root canal?

Dental crowns come in a variety of materials today. Modern dentistry, offers a variety of materials, such as Metal-Free porcelain crown, zirconia crowns, both are strong and look very natural, and gold crowns are still available but are more expensive and wear down more, although they are excellent for gum tissue and biocompatible and we can slightly modify gold in the mouth to have an excellent fit. However, we make very few gold crowns today. Porcelain fused to metal crowns were once very popular and are still in use today by some dentists but their use is disappearing and may not be around in a few more decades due to better options.


Do not be intimidated. A dental crown following a root canal increases the chance of the tooth surviving. A dental crown really will help keep the tooth functional for years after the root canal is performed. If you need a consultation, Contact us, and book your appointment with Dr.Miski.