After you have completed a root canal procedure, it then becomes important to protect your new investment. It is also important to start restoring your teeth back to health within two to four weeks after a root canal is completed and is feeling comfortable again. Following the root canal procedure, your tooth will become less resilient to withstand the force that occurs during chewing and especially if you are prone to clenching and grinding of the teeth. That is why for the back teeth and often the front teeth, a crown will be recommended. Depending on the amount of remaining tooth structure a proper filling will be placed in order to provide a solid foundation for your beautiful new crown or cap. The filling which is often referred to as a build up or a post and build up will be determined by how much tooth structure remains after all decays is removed. If there is sufficient tooth structure to support your new crown, a buildup is needed. However, if there is not enough remaining tooth structure, a post can be placed into one of your root canal spaces to gain more support from within your tooth. Then a build up is placed around your post and the tooth is prepared and shaped for you new crown.
If your tooth has no present cavities and the crown fits your tooth well or if the root canal was performed on a front tooth that has no large previous fillings, a simple filling may be all that is needed to properly seal up your tooth and protect your new root canal from bacteria and re-contamination. Our goal at Stanford Dental is to provide you with a beautiful long lasting smile. As a final note, if you have a tendency to clench or grind your teeth, remember a properly restored root canaled tooth is still not as strong as its natural predecessor. That is why we will recommend a protective mouth guard for night time wear.