What Happens to a Tooth After a Root Canal is Performed?

Posted on: 21 January 2020

When bacteria infect a tooth and kill the nerve inside it, the only way to remove the infection is via root canal therapy. A dentist drills a tiny hole in the tooth and then uses tiny files to remove the infected tissue from within. Unfortunately, once the nerve has died, a tooth is essentially dead. That doesn't mean the tooth needs to be removed. However, the tooth will never be the same again.

Root-canalled teeth receive no nourishment

The major difference between a living tooth and a root-canalled tooth is that root-canalled teeth don't receive any nourishment from your body. Living teeth that are infection-free receive blood supply from the bundle of blood vessels inside them. Dentists call this bundle of nerves the pulp. However, once infected, the pulp dies and begins to decay inside the tooth.

A decaying pulp is a ticking time bomb that will eventually lead to a dental abscess unless a dentist removes it. But a tooth is still useable once a dentist has removed the pulp. However, it won't be as strong as it once was.

Teeth with pulp are weak and brittle

Although you can still keep a tooth that no longer has a dental pulp, that tooth will be weaker than it was before. This is because, without nourishment, teeth become brittle and more like glass than healthy enamel. As a result, they break more easily than living teeth. Because of this, you need to be more careful when chewing with a tooth that has had a root canal.

And another difference between vital and non-vital teeth is that non-vital teeth no longer have any sensation when you chew food. This means it becomes more difficult for you to judge how much force is necessary when chewing food. If you apply too much force to a tooth with no pulp, it might break or chip. That's why it's a good idea to opt for a dental crown after a root canal.

Dental crowns provide more structural integrity

After a root canal, a good way to ensure that your tooth can withstand chewing forces without breaking is to opt for a dental crown. Because dental crowns are made of porcelain, they allow you to chew more comfortably. This is because the risk of the tooth fracturing is much lower.

Therefore, if you need a root canal on a tooth, consider protecting that tooth with a dental crown afterwards.