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Dental crowns

Dental crowns are permanent tooth covers that are cemented to chipped, cracked or broken teeth to improve their appearance and function.

Is it really necessary to crown a tooth that has a single root? It is not a molar or in the front.

Kamini Talati (Port Saint Lucie, FL) on Sep 7, 2011
A tooth that has had a root canal becomes weak from the inside out. The tooth will become weak and it may fracture or break if it is not crowned.
Debra Glassman (New York, NY) on Sep 7, 2011
I think you mean. "Do I have to crown a tooth that had a single root canal in the front?" Generally Root Canal teeth are more brittle than natural teeth. If the amount of tooth structure was removed was very small you may get away with a small composite filling on the inside of your mouth. If there were previous large fillings your dentist may want to crown the tooth to prevent future fractures. Somtimes I will just place a post in the top portion of the root canal with a filling for added strength.
Michael Apa (New York, NY) on Sep 7, 2011
That's a hard question to answer without all of the history on the tooth. I would say is that it's never necessary to crown a tooth unless the tooth is broken down and needs the strength of a crown.
Brian Gray (Washington, DC) on Sep 7, 2011
Crowns are placed to protect the tooth structure in the mouth. The amount of roots do not play a direct role - so long as there is enough root support. So any tooth can be a candidate for a crown.
Aziza Askari (Farmington Hills, MI) on Sep 7, 2011
A dental crown restores function, strength, and shape to a tooth damaged beyond what a filling, inlay, or onlay can repair. Some causes for a crown include a deep cavity; a worn-out filling, inlay, or onlay; a fracture or chip; or worn-down enamel. Regardless of the location of the affected tooth, a crown allows the damaged tooth to remain intact and alive. With a porcelain crown, your smile will remain white and beautiful -- no one has to know you have a crown. You can visit to read more about crowns and cosmetic dental restorations.
Christopher Baer (Aurora, CO) on Sep 7, 2011
It really depends. We do not base the need for a crown on a tooth based on the number of roots it has. Crowns are done on teeth to protect the tooth from fracture, rebuild a tooth has has had large fillings or decay, on teeth that have had root canals, or for cosmetic/esthetic changes to teeth. Sometimes we can place a veneer instead of a crown on a tooth with a single root.
Les Latner (Los Angeles, CA) on Sep 7, 2011
I assume that you are referring to a tooth that has had a root canal treatment. Teeth that have had a root canal treatment are generally teeth that have been infected by caries several times and have had several fillings over time. All of that can leave an inadequate amount of tooth structure, and over time the remaining tooth will often break off. A tooth that has had a root canal is usually more brittle and thus more likely to break. For this reason, no matter an anterior or posterior tooth, a crown is usually recommended. The times that it might not be recommended is when there is still enough tooth structure remaining.
Leonard Tau (Philadelphia, PA) on Sep 7, 2011
I assume that you had a root canal and are wondering if you need a crown. It does not matter what how many roots a tooth has if you need a crown.
Steven Bader (Newton Centre, MA) on Sep 7, 2011
Your question is a little unclear. If you are asking about a root canal treated tooth with a single root, it usually is better to place a crown to protect the remainder of the tooth from fracturing. If that is not your situation please repost your question. I hope that helps! Best of luck.
Amanda Seay (Mount Pleasant, SC) on Sep 7, 2011
That really depends on a number of factors. If you have insufficient tooth structure remaining then you can be at risk for future fractures no matter where the tooth is in the mouth. Your bite on that tooth, whether the tooth is vital or non-vital, the integrity of the tooth and existing restoration all play a part in your dentist deciding on the best treatment.
Ramin Tabib (New York, NY) on Oct 25, 2011
This is an excellent question. The simple answer is No. The more complicated answer is maybe. If a single rooted tooth that has a root canal did not have large fillings to begin with, then yes you can forgo a crown placement. However, if the tooth has large fillings that replaced the previously decayed tooth, then it’s important to place a crown on that tooth. Although root canals treatment eliminates the infection, it also weakens the tooth. This weakening happens as result of gaining access to the root of the tooth. In order to eliminate the need to place a crown on a single rooted tooth, there has to be an ample amount of tooth above the gum line that did not have fillings to begin with. This is very rare since most root canals are caused by previous fillings that outlived their usefulness and started to leak in bacteria that damaged and infected the root of the tooth.