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Must you have a root canal done before a crown?

No. One of my patients told me that a dentist said a root canal must always be done before a crown is placed. This doesn't make sense. They are 2 separate treatments that are commonly done together but not requirements of each other.

Wrong type of crown

Wrong type of crown

Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is treatment involving the nerve inside a tooth. It is required when the nerve is infected or dead. The main purpose is to prevent or treat an infection.

A crown is a type of restoration on a tooth, to restore it to a strong and functional shape. The main purpose is to make the tooth functional, esthetic and comfortable.

In back teeth, a crown is commonly required after a root canal therapy. This is because back teeth are subjected to heavy forces when biting and is prone to fracture after a root canal. The crown will provide extra strength and protection to the tooth. It would be a shame for a tooth to fracture after you have spent much money and time on a root canal.

Sometimes a root canal is performed on a tooth that requires a crown. This is not a common situation. The reason why this would be done is that there is a high risk of the tooth dying or becoming infected. It is troublesome to have to perform a root canal after a crown has been placed.