Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Capping a tooth after RCT: 'Trick or treat?'

If you think dentists are scary, ever wondered how good a dentist's costume would be for a Halloween treat? Knowing what all I do as a dentist, I wouldn't have any kid pulling a dental prank on me for sure!

 Whenever you get a root canal treatment (RCT) done, you are always advised to get a cap, or more technically a crown done for the tooth to keep it from falling apart. And it often sounds like "Get the cap treatment done or you will be tricked into more dental treatments". How true is that?  If you are reading this blog hoping I will say otherwise, you have knocked the wrong door. Here are some of the many reasons why you should get a tooth capped after RCT:

  1. The tooth was already weakened by the cavity that made the root canal treatment necessary. Your dentist further drilled a big hole right in the center of the tooth to get to the canals. So your tooth is now basically like a hollow shell, ready to cave in the next time you treat it with popcorn or hard candies. A cap or crown will encase the tooth from the outside and bear all loads. 
    A root canal treated tooth is liable to fracture without a cap or crown because its core structure has been removed. 
  2. When the root canals are cleaned, their blood supply is cut off. This dehydrates the tooth and makes it brittle. 
  3. When the root canals are cleaned, their nerve supply is cut off. This means you are less likely to realize when you are putting excessive pressure on the tooth. 
  4. If a root canal treated tooth fractures, there is little the dentist can do. It needs to be removed and all the time and money spent for your root canal treatment goes in vain. And if you think, losing the tooth is getting rid of the problem once and for all, you are in for more trick or treat! The empty space will, over time, cause shifting of other teeth with more cavities and gum problems. To prevent that, you need a dental implant or a bridge done.
  So, a cap or crown after RCT gives the tooth strength to bite like your natural tooth, longevity to survive like your natural tooth and beauty to look like your natural tooth. The only trick now is in making the right choice for your crown.

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